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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Vacations and World Travel

Vacations and World Travel Visiting our beautiful city? Come stay at the Arbutus Vista - Vancouver's Bed & Breakfast.
How was your trip? Which tour packages would you recommend/avoid? Must do's and must eats? Share tips, photos and experiences with other senior RS members who just want to get away..

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Old 09-10-2015, 12:36 PM   #1
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Going to Beijing for a week end of Oct with GF

Going to Beijing with my gf for a week at the end Oct. Just wondering is there fun place to visit other than the great wall? Looking to do more local stuff like bar, Karoake, and local malls and playland? Sorry no clubbing and no weird massage places since Gf is here. Any decent hotels? Most decent hotels I find near the city center is like over $100 a night Canadian. I did found some for around $60 a night but it seems kinda of shaddy and doesn't look very clean.
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:32 PM   #2
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Just went there half a year ago. I stayed in both a western 4 star hotel and a airbnb type of place. By far, the bnb was light-years away in terms of overall experience. We were treated as just a statistic at the hotel, and 5 star hotels in China mean nothing it seems. They can build the buildings, but they know nothing about maintaining nice things.

The bnb place I stayed at was in a hutong. So, the old part of the city, you were one of 4 room facing the courtyard. I believe the place was called Kelly's place. Look it up, not sure if it's your thing, but I thought it deserves mention.

As for activities, the night market is pretty cool. Great Wall is a must, don't go to the close one, make the trek to the further or even the furthest. It's worth the time and effort. Forbidden city was also quite nice to walk though if not a little crowded. Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:30 PM   #3
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We both been great wall and the forbidden city so might not be on our list. BnB is how I want to go but gf might not like it lol. But honestly bnb seems a lot better.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:31 PM   #4
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I second the AirBnB option. My partner and I are booked in a Hutong one for December. From all the reviews I've read, it seems to be the best way to go if one is in search of a "local" experience.
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Old 09-14-2015, 03:54 AM   #5
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I personally enjoyed massage places. (real ones, not the one with chicks) They were cheap and really good.

As for some more local stuff, the ABSOLUTE must eat IMO for Beijing is the beef intestine from this place:

????????(???)??,??,??,????(?)-??-?????

They have two locations but this is the one that's good (the other is not too bad, but not as good)

As far as other tips, you absolutely want to stay near subway stations within Ring3 (三環). Taxi is cheap, but Beijing is such a big city (5x bigger than greater Vancouver combined), if you end up in the wrong area, you could be looking 1hr+ commute from point A to B, not to mention the horrific traffic jam.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:33 AM   #6
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We book a decent hotel within Ring2. Seems decent I guess. Now to find food to eat!
Now have to figure out where to get a Sim card and how to take the subway form the airport to the hotel.

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Old 09-17-2015, 03:36 PM   #7
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Book the hotel
Beijing Beijing Lien Hotel Online Reservation | Ctrip.com
Beijing Lien Hotel北京麗恩酒店
Pretty close to the train and bus. Also seems be pretty center. about $600 Canadian for 8 days. Seems ok. now have to figure out how to get a working sim card and how to get to hotel once I arrive.
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Old 11-12-2015, 12:55 PM   #8
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A note for those considering AirBnB in China..It is illegal, so you will need a dummy booking for a hotel when applying for the Chinese visa. Just found this out after we had already booked our airbnb.

Oh, and do any of you have any experience with "registering" at the local police box/station as a foreigner? I have heard mixed responses ranging from don't worry about it to don't risk it as it could result in a hefty fine.
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Old 11-12-2015, 03:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infiniti View Post

Oh, and do any of you have any experience with "registering" at the local police box/station as a foreigner? I have heard mixed responses ranging from don't worry about it to don't risk it as it could result in a hefty fine.
I've been to China 4 times (most recently last month) as a Canadian with no ties to Mainland China. I've never had to do this...ever.
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Old 11-12-2015, 04:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infiniti View Post
A note for those considering AirBnB in China..It is illegal, so you will need a dummy booking for a hotel when applying for the Chinese visa. Just found this out after we had already booked our airbnb.

Oh, and do any of you have any experience with "registering" at the local police box/station as a foreigner? I have heard mixed responses ranging from don't worry about it to don't risk it as it could result in a hefty fine.
Just write any hotel in. They don't really check. I don't think you need to register at the police station... I been back 3 times in the last 2 years and didn't do it. Beijing is a pretty safe place (espeically if you stay near center of Beijing). There are undercover cops everywhere (even in the subway to prevent thief). They have x rays machines in every subway station, before you enter they must scan your bag and purse and if you have any water bottle/liquid in a bottle they make you drink in front of them to make sure it is not danger to anyone.

My hotel is near Sanlitun Village (20mins walk) and there is also a stadium. Really safe I seen police cars and police every other block. Maybe coz that area there are lot's of western there (save a bunch of blonde hair middle age woman). Also near Sanlitun Village there is a street full of pubs which is awesome. Food can be as cheap as $12 to $15 RMB for a bowl of noodles(is really big and full and not bad at all) to several thousand RMB for a meal. Just depends.

Some tips
1.Carry tissue with you at all times! I mean it! Not in your purse, not in your jacket. Put it in your pocket and make sure you have at least 3 piece of tissue at least. It will save you. Remember 99% of washroom in China don't have tissue. So once you are done your business you will need it. Almost shit my pants coz I left the tissue in my jacket (let my gf hold it while I went in). Had to rush out to grab it from her.

2. Just push and shove when on subway and bus. Everyone just push and shove. There are no line up. If you are nice you will never get on. Oh and ppl like to push you out of the way. But if you are from Vancouver you will have no issue pushing them miles away. Several times some guy try to push in I simply push back and once I knock this guy back several steps and he looks like he wanted to punch me lol. No one have manners when entering subway so just push away!

3. When eating ask if you have to pay for wet tissues and or bowl/dishes that's wrap nicely. Some place have what's call premium plates and chopsticks that's been professionally sanitize and they usually leave them on the table wrap in bags. If you open them or use them you have to pay extra (like $5 to 10RMB) so you have to ask for the regular stuff (which is I assume wash and clean by the staff in the restaurant so it is not wrap in a bag). Honestly use the free stuff it makes no difference I usually just wipe them with my own tissue.

4. When shopping always ask for discount. There is always discount in China just have to ask for it.

5. No FB. There are no facebook is most place that offers wifi and if you use your data place most sites out of china are block. Only some high end hotels have connections to outside of China. This is due to the gov blocking them. You can use a VPN is you like but I personally don't really care. Also their data speed and wifi is slow. So don't expect LTE network most likely you will get 2g to 3g. Oh and you can only get sim cards at the airport. New rules imply you have to be a citizen to get sim cards. You can try to go to a store with your passport number or western ID to get one but most sales at the store won't know how to set an acct using your passport. So save yourself the headache and just pay a little more at the airport to get a sim card.

6. Beijing is very fashionable so if you want to look sharp and maybe get a thing or two going with girls there you have to dress sharp. None of that North Face ski jackets or the casual wear we are used to here. I basically look a bum when I went lol.
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