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Beijing, China

Beijing Reviews

smurfzzz smurfzzz
11 reviews
Beijing tips Sep 14, 2011
Have a few tips for new travellers in Beijing based on my 1 week experience.

1. Almost all places in Beijing do not accept credit card, and even if they do, they only accept local credit card. Thus, you need hard cash, and you require a passport to change foriegn currency. Foreign currency can be change in Bank of China or at your hotel.

2. Try to take the subway rather than the taxi, because the traffic in Beijing is badly jam. The subway ticket is 2RMB each ride (irregardless of destination). If you are carrying heavy loads, I won't recommend the subway, because you need to take many flights of stairs and walk a long distance for interconnecting train.

3. If a local tries to talk to you, IGNORE, especially in tourist area. If you can't read or speak chinese, I will recommend you to pay the hotel to get a chauffer or guide to explore with you around the tourist area. There are too many touting and scams around, especially if you are a non-chinese, so it's safer to have a local guide to take care of you.

4. Always try to bargain unless the price has already been written down black and white or in high-end shopping mall.
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alicesmorrison alicesmo…
2 reviews
Nov 29, 2006
My trips to China have always been a wild experience mixed with excitement and confusion. Beijing, with its different foods, exciting culture, and sights such as the Great Wall, Ming Tombs, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace is just breathtaking. I highly recommend to be adventurous and do your own things, rather than taking a guided tour. My lonely planet guide proved to be very useful and I managed to do so many things on my own, even with my poor knowledge of Mandarin. The whole trip to Beijing was a spiritual experience with the beautiful sights, mountainous countryside, interesting and exciting people and culture. The only down side is that the beautiful Hutongs (traditional Chinese houses) are quickly disappearing due to the urban development of a city who aims to become the new Shanghai.

Shopping in Beijing is a lot of fun, but I would recommend to go where the locals shop, and avoid the touristy Silk Market or the Wangfujing area. Much better choice is Tian Yi market, or Hong Qiao, in the south central area of Beijing, just to the east of the Temple of Heaven. Bargaining is the rule here in Beijing. DO NOT say how much you want to pay for an item unless its near the end of the process. Always try and drop the seller's offering price as much as possible before opening your mouth with a price.

DO throw out really low prices like 10 or 20 RMB as long as you have a big smile.

BE AWARE the initial price offered by the seller is usually at least 40% over the general price acceptable. It can be up to 500% over.
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