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  VISITING BEIJING (Page 8)  


What's left of a monastery at Fragrant Hill (Xiangshan Gongyuan). There is a cable car that takes you to the top of the hill. If you go by the local bus be prepared to walk quite some distance along a steep upward street before you arrive at the entrance to the hill.

The West Railway Station is huge and is the departing point for the highly touristic XiAn as well as for Lhasa but the whole place is quite chaotic so forget about taking public transport to come here. Better take a taxi if you're not going to miss your train.

From a bicycle repairer to fortune-tellers the roadside is often the only place to reach out to prospective customers.


...But not only that. This man is hoping that one of the passers-by would be able to help him find his missing father.

Architecture with a difference. This is the Xizhimen Building housing a shopping mall.


What is popularly known as "Ghosts' Street" (gui3 jie1) is actually a street stretching over 3 bridges and one km lined with well-illuminated restaurants on both sides. A number of the restaurants here are open 24 hours. It's just outside the underground station called Beixinqiao (Line 5).

If you are tired of tourist-oriented places and want to go to a general and wet market frequented by the locals this is it. You can buy a new bicycle here or live fish and crabs for the table. The Dongjiao shichang (Dongjiao market) is about 300 meters from the subway at Dawanglu (Line 1).

One of the biggest shopping/food malls near Beijing is the Carrefour hypermarket at Longde Times Square, No. 186, Litang Road in the Changping District, about 20kms to the north of Beijing. It can be reached by Line 5 of the Beijing subway as it is near the Tiantongyuan neighbourhood. On its uppermost floor is a food court where a large variety of Chinese dishes can be found. Be prepared to sit with the local populace at long tables which are quite spartan. Nearby is a McDonalds and a KFC as well. The Tiantongyuan neighbourhood is reported to have over 400,000 residents.
The Carrefour complex at Tiantongyuan on the outskirts of Beijing
The Carrefour complex at Tiantongyuan on the outskirts of Beijing
One of the foodstalls at the Carrefour complex in Tiantongyuan
One of the foodstalls at the Carrefour complex in Tiantongyuan.


There are quite a number of Muslim restaurants in China. They are easily identified by the green background on their signboards and the presence of some Arabic characters.

Beijing's Olympic swimming pool called Water Cube (Shuilifang) is open to the public for swimming from Thursday to Sunday (afternoons only). Tickets are sold outside the Water Cube, not inside.
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