A good place to shop is in the underground. A bus
#103 will take you to the Swan
Hotel. There is a large underground market
there and a big above-ground department store.
Carolyn, an American in China
Beijing, Xi'an and the Internet...
I travelled to Beijing and Xi'an last year and even
with the low Canada versus USA's rate of exchange
the eight day trip was very reasonable. The Terracotta
Warriors in Xi'an were unbelievable and
well worth the visit.
Beijing is amazing and the shopping is great -- especially
the Silk Market
located near the Embassies. Our guide was very knowledgeable
and spoke English fluently. We stayed at the Marco
Polo Hotel which had just opened (it wasn't
far from Tianamen Square), and the service and food
was fantastic. We flew Newark to Detroit where we
picked up Northwest Airlines directly to Beijing.
It was a wonderful flight and oh so exciting to be
on the way to China. The stewards and the hostesses
constantly tell you to move and exercise while on
board. What a trip!
P.S. When visiting
the Great Wall
during the winter months dress warmly. It was very
cold and windy the day that I visited.
P.P.S. All the
hotel business centers have fax machines and internet
hook-up. Both are a relatively inexpensive way to
stay in touch with home.
Ed. note: The
internet connections in China are now only in hotels.
I was told that in 2002 all internet cafes had been
shut down permanently. Does anybody have further information
about this? Please write to: email@example.com
Kong to China flights...
Here's a money saver for
everybody! Did you know that flights between Hong
Kong and mainland China are classed as international
flights and are therefore much more expensive than
a domestic flight? For a much cheaper solution, depart/arrive
Shenzhen or Guangzhou, both of which are close to
the border with Hong Kong, but which are classed (and
priced) as domestic flights.
Julie, Brisbane, Australia
hostel in Beijing....
The youth hostel in Beijing
(for all ages) is highly recommended. It became my
home away from home when I was there - such wonderful
people! It was cheap, clean, safe and very secure.
Many young Chinese women will live there while studying
or working in Beijing. You can even exchange an hour
of English lessons for Chinese writing lessons. Very
informative and helpful!
The hostel I stayed at was in Chaoyang district -
It's called the Zhaolong
International Youth Hostel (behind the
Zhaolong Hotel) - address from Lonely Planet is: Zhaolong
Fandian Guoji Qingnian Binguan 6597 2299. It's on
the corner of the third ring road and Nongzhanguan
Nanlu Street. Y50 per night (about £4.50 or
US$7.00). I liked staying there better than any of
the Western Hotels (had a few days in the Marriott
when I landed). The hostel has a kitchen if you want
to make your own meals, a few tables and chairs sitting
outside, and an indoor sitting room as well. They
also had basic supplies you could buy - beer, tea,
biscuits, etc at the main desk (on a hot July day
- great to buy a beer for 10Y and sit outside at the
tables with other travellers and Chinese students.)
The rooms were very clean, kettles, hot showers, air
conditioning, lockers for valuables, etc. And a free
storage room where you could leave your large backpack
for a few days - which I did regularly - and just
carried my day-pack for 2-3 day trips outside Beijing.
It's within walking distance to the bars/restaurants
in the Chaoyang district, as well as walkable (long
walk) to Pearl market, Silk Market, Tiatan park, etc.
An added bonus -- The hostel has an agreement with
the Zhaolong Hotel
- you could use the pool and facilities for about
3Y. The Hotel Concierge desk arranged most of my train
tickets from Beijing to wherever... for a small fee
of about 10Y (about £1). Much more convenient
than going all the way over to the train station!
Robin, Brighton, United Kingdom
correct gifts in China...
If you are buying or bringing
gifts for Chinese friends, never give a clock or white
flowers as both signify death. Never offer a man any
gift with a turtle design of any kind on it. A turtle
is a man whose wife cheats on him. And be sure to
wrap your gift in red paper or, if you don't have
red, at least not white or blue.
Carolyn, an American in China