Beijing, China - general tips

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Beijing, China

Beijing, China - general tips Reviews

Jane_Duong Jane_Duo…
3 reviews
Beijing, China - general tips on language, shopping and sightseeing Jun 03, 2011
My first impression about China was NON-ENGLISH.

Thanks for my hard study at university, I still had some little Chinese left in mind, which enabled me to manage to get in the taxi. I pushed myself through the crowd in front of the airport, and a endless line of taxi. Finally I found one without any passenger inside, except for the driver, of course!!! He looked at me, tiredly. Until now, after many times thinking about that moment, I still cannot find out a reasonable reason which made him that tired when he saw a beautiful client like me! He asked me in Chinese, as if he didn’t care about the fact that I was a foreigner: “Qu nar?”. Ok, I know it! I immediately replied him “Qu North dongsanhuan, Landmark hotel”. He opened his eyes as wildly as possible. Oh shit, I forgot that “North Dongsanhuan” and “Landmark” were both in English, but I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SAY THEM IN CHINESE!!! Then, as you know, I’m always careful and pay attention on details. That’s why I had printed out the name and address of the hotel in Chinese. I immediately told him “Deng yi xia!!!” (Wait a moment), then I grabbed the paper with Chinese characters in my bag and gave that guy. He showed that he knew the place. Phew… at least I could manage the situation, and at least from his attitude, I thought that I could get to the hotel!

If Singaporean go shopping in department stores or shopping malls, Chinese go shopping in markets. I love the markets there. During 1 week staying in Beijing, I made time to go to HuangFuJing street, Jashow and Silk market for shopping. HwangFuJing is one of my favourite, where tourists can discover the traditional xiaochi food of China, for instant Tang Hu Lu. Actually, I’m a fan of Chinese kungfu films; therefore, Chinese history, and culture have been familiar with me when I was around 10. I was very curious about Chinese food, especially the ones in films. So, for myself, HuangFuJing is a heaven, which gave me the experience about Chinese traditional food. Humphh, about shopping in China, I have to say that it’s extremely cheap compare to Vietnam; however, remember to bargain!!! You must bargain the price down to 10%. If the seller said it’s 850 RMB, don’t hesitate to tell her the price you’re gonna pay for it is 85 RMB.

What else about China??? Beijing roasted duck was good. I had it several times when I was there. My favorite restaurant was Da Dong, where the cook did a demonstration of cutting duck at your desk. According to my colleagues, the number of slices is 100; after 100 slices, the cook need to finish the cutting. However, you need to reserve a table, otherwise, you have to queue up into a long line in order to have a table, and be careful, the price is very expensive. Besides, there was a restaurant close to my hotel, named Great Wall restaurant, which was behind Sheraton hotel, where you also can find Beijing roasted duck with reasonable price (around 170 RMB for one duck), but they displayed the skin and meat on the plate before bringing to your desk, then NO DEMONSTRATION!!! Hey, by the way, although its names is Great Wall restaurant, it locates in downtown, Chaoyang district :)

If I have a chance to go to China again, I will spend 1 whole day in the huthong by Hou Hai lake. It was touristic, yet ancient. I was there only in several hours in the evening, then, no time to enjoy the life and peace of the area. I still remember some old men sitting in front of the doors, playing Chinese traditional musical instruments and singing; some coffee shops - tiny, dark, with candles and flowers by the grey bricked walls; red lanterns swinging in the breeze. Life is there, moving slowly at night without any worries. Yep, definitely, if I go there again, I will spend a whole day in the area, wandering, watching, listening, drinking, reading, and enjoying!

Some memories about my first trip to China to share, hope they are useful for your travel!

Jane Duong

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