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
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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