Eco-friendly travel guide to Beijing advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Beijing, China.
- Air quality: 2.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 3.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2.5 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$15 - $1500
- Budget per day: US$30 - $2000
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Beijing is the capital of China and it is without a doubt one of the most visited places in the country. Being home to over 24 million people, the city is also one of the most populated cities across the globe. It is often hailed as the first choice for most tourists visiting the country. Amidst all of this, it is extremely essential that the city display its eco-friendly side by implementing measures across various sectors. When you visit Beijing, you will see just that, as the capital city lives up to some of your expectations.
As a tourist, you can begin your responsible travel by using public transportation. The city and many of its 24 million inhabitants are known to use the public transportation on a daily basis, not only is it cost-effective, it is much greener as it reduces the carbon footprint of each individual while travelling considerably. Many of the different public transportation modes are known to be eco-friendly as they either use electric power or run on compressed natural gas.
Another way by which you can travel responsibly in the city of Beijing is by eating local food. As an eco-friendly traveller you must try and enjoy the local food as far as possible, not only will you get a taste of authentic Chinese cuisine but you shall also help the local food industry thrive. The big fast food corporations are bad for the environment and do not do enough to help the economy or the poor people in general.
Similarly, it is recommended that you travel responsibly by supporting the local businesses, much like the food industry, the other local industries are facing tough competition from brands and mega-conglomerates. These conglomerates can be found dabbling in almost all fields, most notably in clothing, grocery, meat, and electronics industries. If you are looking to make purchases, head to smaller shops in town, they will not only provide you with good service but they will also introduce you to a vast catalogue of products that aren’t mass-produced or available for sale on the internet.
Lastly, it is suggested that you as an eco-friendly traveller, try to minimise your impact on the environment during a trip to a foreign country such as China, which is already plagued with major environmental issues. Primarily because of a confluence of reasons including world-highest population, aggressive industrialisation, and unsustainable practices in various fields. Hence, the biggest step that you can take to ensure responsible travel is to check into an eco-friendly/green hotel. Fortunately enough, due to the rising awareness about this, major cities across the globe have seen many such hotels popping up, Beijing too is no different and has a host of such hotels, more details about which are given through the course of this article, so read on to know more.
Air Quality and Pollution
The city of Beijing has a very well documented and renowned history when it comes to air pollution as a whole. The city battles with air pollution.
Before we discuss the air quality of the city of Beijing, we must understand the local climatic conditions. The city of Beijing has a pretty decent climate. The city witnesses moderate temperatures with both the higher and lower average not being on extreme. The highest average temperature on an annual basis is in the lower 30-degree centigrades and the lowest average temperature on an annual basis ranges between 5 to -8 degree centigrades. As a tourist, depending upon the month in which you are travelling, you can carry suitable clothing, so make sure you do your homework before catching that flight!
Well known across the globe are China’s struggles against poor air quality. The country is home to over 1.4 billion people and seldom is there a chance that necessary regulations can help overcome the adversities of such a large population whilst ensuring clean air. Beijing has had the poorest air quality in the world for quite a few decades. This was initially being underplayed and it was seldom reported about, however, as the world began to take notice, the Chinese government also realised about the crisis they were dealing with. In the early 2000s, the air quality in the city had depleted so much, that scores of residents had breathing issues and the visibility had dropped to historic lows. With the 2008 Summer Olympics due the administration spent approximately 17 billion USD to clean up the air in the city of Beijing.
While that proved to be partly effective, the city again battled poor air quality in the mid-2010s, the smog that enveloped the city lead to massive outrage as visibility was greatly affected and many of the inhabitants developed respiratory illnesses. In fact, the city had to be shut down for two complete days as well, and thus the Chinese government then lead a crackdown, which resulted in the closure of various manufacturing plants and major polluters within the city limits, it also scrapped older cars which did not follow the strict environmental norms, new commissions were set up to continuously monitor the air quality and tower-like massive air filters were installed to clean the air across the city. In addition to this methods such as cloud seeding were also implemented to ensure rainfall in places with high levels of pollution. As a result of these measures, at present, the air quality of the city of Beijing is quite decent and the air pollution is under control. Yet, if you are a tourist visiting the city and have a history of breathing-related issues or illnesses it is recommended that you make use of a suitable mask while exploring the city. If you are planning on renting an apartment and living in town for a long period of time, we suggest that you pick an apartment with an air purifier/filter.
Respect the Culture
As a tourist, when you are visiting the city of Beijing you will face multiple obstacles while befriending the local folk. If you belong to the same region in Asia, you may have a slight chance of blending in well enough and you may even have a fair idea of the local culture and the general practices, these help in ensuring a smoother transition. However, if you are from the western part of the world, some of your actions and manners may serve to be a rude cultural shock for the locals in Beijing. Also, the second biggest issue that you will face in Beijing as a tourist is the language barrier. If you can speak Mandarin it will work well to your advantage as the locals love it when a tourist can speak their language or even attempt to do so. But if you are relying solely on English to get you through, you may face hurdles as not all local people know the language fluently and those that are confident may indulge in a conversation to practice their skills rather than to form a bond with you while those who are under-confident may avoid a conversation altogether.
In this section of the article, there are a few tips and tricks that you must keep in mind to ensure that you overcome these various obstacles and learn to respect the local people and their culture to emerge to be a good tourist in the city of Beijing.
To begin with, there is a massive food culture here, and this makes a lot of sense as there is a ton of food and it is fantastically scrumptious. Where is the best opportunity to go through a night with companions? In a decent café that offers an assortment of mouth-watering dishes. In addition, for Chinese, having dinner is a custom. They eat for exceptionally long spans of time, they taste all dishes and even some immensely significant decisions are made over lunch. More so, hot pot, a Chinese version of fondue, and barbecues are incredibly mainstream here. This movement unites individuals as they cook food together, share a few anecdotes, and spend some quality time together. Thus, try to be the ideal tourist to local people by bonding with them over food.
Chinese individuals love their way of life, so in the event that you need to be befriend them, you should show enthusiasm for Chinese culture and find out more about it. At that point, you'll have a lot to talk about. Plus, normal diversions sparkle a companionship across societies, so you should have similar interests with your companion. On the off chance that you need to discover Chinese companions, head to places, where you can discover individuals of similar interests. Chinese individuals are cordial and they like art, music, movies, and sports. So try to bond over these by heading for a cycling trip on the weekend, watch a sport together over drinks, go catch the latest movie at a theatre, the options are truly endless.
Lastly, the Chinese people are known to be immensely close to their immediate family. When they are friends with somebody for long spans of time or through sticky situations, they often value the companionship and consider the friend to be no lesser than family. Often inviting such friends over for a meal to their house along with their family. It is seen as the ultimate honour and if you are bestowed with it, make sure you don’t be rude by declining or rescheduling, use the right words to accept the offer, be gracious, be punctual, and make sure you take a few gifts for your friend and his/her family members. This is extremely important and very much a part of the local culture.
Top 10 Places to Visit
The city of Beijing is quite vast and there are scores of places for you to visit as a tourist, given in this section are the Top 10 places for you to visit:
- Shichachai: It is regarded as one of the best traveller destinations in the city. It is a notable area comprised of three lakes. They are arranged onto the north-west of the Forbidden City and north-west of the Beihai Lake. The three lakes are called Qianhai which is known as the Front Sea, Xihai which is known as the Western Sea and Houhai which is known as the Back Sea. The water here is beautiful and you will see lotus flowers floating on them also the millennium-old bridge here has a beeline of tourists. The rich history and the beauty of the place are the two main reasons that tourists are attracted to Shichachai. It must be at the very top of your list as a tourist visiting the city especially if you wish to connect with nature.
- The Temple of Azure Clouds: It is is a well known Buddhist sanctuary which is arranged in the eastern side of the Western Hills. The sanctuary was developed on 6 unique levels over a height of almost 100 meters, it is well known due to its magnificent scenery. Here you will discover 512 sculptures, of which incorporate 500 wooden Arhats, 11 Bodhisattvas and one sculpture of Ji Gong who was a celebrated Buddhist priest inside the Hall of Arhats. All the Arhats are distinctive, housing life-size sculptures with various stances and articulations. The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, which is situated at the focal point of the sanctuary complex and the other significant highlights incorporate the Arhats Hall and the Vajrasana Pagoda. Definitely a must-visit for all those tourists looking to connect with their spiritual self.
- Yuanmingyuan: It is one of the top places of interest in Beijing; it was at one point the most astounding imperial nursery in China for the five Qing rulers in the eighteenth century. Anyway today, you can just see some messed up column and fallen structures that were scorched during the second Opium war and by the Eight-Power Allied Forces later at the start of the 20th century. This beautiful garden is isolated into three sections and at the focal point of the Garden, there is an enormous artificial lake, known as Lake of Happiness.
- The China Millennium Monument: It is an acclaimed landmark of Beijing and an intriguing place to visit. It is additionally known as Zhonghua Shijitan and was built to praise the beginning of the 21st Century. Here you will discover a sundial-formed Main Altar, the Sacred Fire Square, and Bronze Path. Within the structure you will discover the Beijing World Art Museum which works in gathering, displaying and exploring in both antiquated and current crafts of Chinese artists. This will give you an interesting insight into the culture of the local people and the generations bygone.
- Summer Palace: Locally notable as Yiheyuan, as the name suggests was the vacation place of the sovereigns of China from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Built in the year 1750, the Summer Palace once filled in as a summer destination for Empress Dowager Cixi, who abused Navy assets to restore the Summer Palace for her own advantage. Nonetheless, today it is a beautiful sight and one worth your time and appreciation.
- Drum tower: It is one of the most well-known traveller places in Beijing and speak to the image of this social and metropolitan city. It is situated in the focal point of the old city, Drum Tower at first utilized as instruments in antiquated China and a short time later as a ringer to consistently articulate the time during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was furnished with bronze or copper drums that were pounded to follow the time and record the hours. The drum tower was utilized to record the time back then with an aggregate of 24 drums however now just one of them remains. It truly is a sight to behold for any tourist fascinated by history and rituals.
- Peking Opera: It is considered as the ideal case of China which shows one of a kind Chinese culture to the entire world. Peking Opera is a mix of gymnastics, singing and dancing. Peking Opera has become a brand exhibition at the teahouses, and chilling with friends at these is getting mainstream with the city's professionals and even amongst the vogue adolescents. You must experience this to get an insight into the artistic performances of the city.
- The Bell Tower: It is a twofold built with dark-coated tiles and red materials, with a black rooftop and stone dividers. Also, there is a stone window on each side of the four entryways. Holding tight an eight-square wooden casing of the subsequent floor, the bell in this pinnacle is the major and heaviest in China. It is made of copper which is viewed as best to communicate the sound, and you can hear it being rung clean and solid from long distances. Consequently, it could be utilized to inform the time to the common folk in the older days. A few guests beat the chime and with to get good karma and for wellbeing. This literally is a chunk of Chinese history and you must visit The Bell Tower to experience it first-hand.
- National Grand Theatre: It is a celebrated opera house in Beijing. It is encircled by glass with an artificial lake, and has a seating capacity of over 5000 individuals, that too in three lobbies and is humongous and spacious in every single way, often being compared to the majestic Sydney Opera House. With the debut show being held in the year 2007, it isn't too old as an attraction, however, the sheer size and the greatness of the undertaking is deserving of your reverence. The outside of the auditorium has stunning titanium emphasized glass dome that is totally encircled by a man-made lake. It is said to appear as though an egg coasting on water, or a water drop. If you wish to see the confluence of man-made architecture along with decent use of natural elements, this is the place you'd want to visit.
- Beijing Temple of Confucius: It is the second biggest Confucius Temple in China. This popular sanctuary was developed during the year 1302 and was utilized to offer the appreciation to Confucius. Inside this lovely sanctuary, you will discover 198 stone tablets situated on either side of the front yard, and they contain in excess of 51,624 names of Jinshi, the forefront researchers of the Yuan. Often considered to be a cesspool of knowledge and an offbeat choice for most tourists in the city of Beijing to visit.
The city of Beijing has some truly exciting and interesting places to visit and as seen in the section above, some of these places have been listed out. However, these are just a few of the magnificent destinations for you to explore. The city is immensely popular amongst tourists across the globe and there is a good reason for that. The biggest reason being the tourist attractions that Beijing houses. With a good blend of culturally rich and historically significant attractions along with serene and calming parks you truly can enjoy the best of both worlds. Given in this section of the article are a few venues based upon the categorisation, so read on to know more.
- Beihai Park: It is a mainstream spot for some nearby residents, a spot to chill off and unwind in summer. Beihai Park is one of the most established and most legitimately preserved magnificent parks of the country and it is to be found in central Beijing. It has a past filled with thousands of years of history. It isn't just the main standard mix of the gaudiness of the northern parks and the refinement of the southern parks in China.
- Jingshan Park: It is situated at the focal point of the city. A regal park which can be found on Jingshan Hill, and Jingshan is the most noteworthy area in Beijing. You can get the view of the Forbidden city from the park. Jingshan Hill comprises of five individual pinnacles, and on the head of each top there lies an intricate structure. These structures were utilized by authorities for social affair and recreation purposes. These five pinnacles additionally draw the rough chronicled pivot of central Beijing. From the centre of the five structures, you can see the shining and heavenly Forbidden City in the south, the Drum Towers in the north, and Beihai Park and White Dagoba Temple in the west.
- Nanhaizi Wetland Park: It is considered as the biggest wetland park in Beijing. It incorporates a magnificent culture zone, a natural zone for relaxation and a sanctuary for Milu, a type of deer novel to the country. During the Ming and Qing Dynasty, Nanhaizi was an illustrious nursery for poaching, where a wide scope of wild creatures lived. The primary point for building up this wetland park is to improve the ecosystem and the surroundings.
- Yuyuantan Park: It is an acclaimed park in Beijing. Its cherry blooms in mid to late April through early May each year merits a visit. You will discover around two thousand cherry trees of more than twenty distinct species. Other blooming trees, for example, peach are also to be found, just as tulip blossoms. There are additional bistros, structures, play and exercise places and the recreation centre is an incredible spot to go for a calming walk. Yuyuantan Park is host to an occasional temple fair and shows. Yuyuantan Park is likewise a notable spot for rowing and there is a huge swimming place open in specific seasons.
- Badaling National Forest Park: The Badaling National Forest Park is situated at the foot of the well known Badaling Great Wall with a complete area of 29.4 square kilometres or 11.35 square mile and a pinnacle of 1,238 meters or 4,060 feet. It includes a serious assortment of plants and creatures. The primary beautiful spots of the recreation centre incorporate Red Leaf Ridge, Syringa Valley, Azure Dragon Valley, and Stone Gorge. The main Chinese railroad worked by Chinese engineer Zhan Tianyou is additionally in the recreation centre. The ideal time to visit the recreation centre is harvest time, particularly in mid and late October as the primary hint of red in Beijing's harvest time, the red leaves in the mountains and fields are progressively blazing in the recreation centre, mirroring the magnificent Great Wall.
- The Jiufeng Mountain: It is high, steep and sublime with tops in the entirety of its highness. The slopes rise and fall with the landscape, looking as though a huge mythical beast is moving. Seen from the culmination of Jiufeng Mountain, the dawn is a gigantic exhibition and the dusk praises the recreation centre. Guests can likewise effectively appreciate an all-encompassing city perspective on Beijing. The two pinnacles resemble a rousant vulture, where two antiquated pines are sticking into the sky. Thusly, the mountain gets its name 'Jiufeng' meaning Vulture Peak. Strangely moulded rocks can be found around the mountain. At the foot of Jiufeng Mountain, an enormous stone is steep to the point that no one but reptiles such as lizards can ascend, so it is named "lizard rock".
- Chinese Ethnic Culture Park: It is also known as the Nationalities Park which adds to an enormous ethnic base of China's dynamic culture, brushing a prologue to culture, dancing and singing exhibitions, and conventional architecture. It is an exceptionally celebrated park for picnicking with families and companions. It shows a host of ethnic gatherings, and an enormous number of ethnic culture relics and articles from day by day use are displayed so as to reflect true everyday environment of every ethnic gathering.
The city of Beijing is landlocked and does not have any beaches for you to visit.
- The Great Wall of China: The Great Wall of China is one of the most popular landmarks of not only China but the entire world. Visiting The Great Wall of china is considered to be necessary. Beijing is surely the best spot to see the Great Wall of China. Acclaimed areas of the Great Wall in Beijing involves Juyongguan, Badaling, Jiankou, Simatai, Jinshanling and Mutianyu. It is an arrangement of stone and mud dividers situated in northern China, built, recreated, expanded and kept up between the fifth century BC and the sixteenth century to secure the realm against northern aggressor during the scope of progressive traditions. As the world's biggest military structure, the Great Wall twists all over across deserts, prairies, mountains and levels, same as a massive dragon. Almost nine thousand kilometres from east to west of China. The Great Wall we see presently was generally evolved in the Ming Dynasty. It is a must-visit for every tourist headed not just to the city of Beijing but to the country of China.
- Forbidden City: It is situated in the very heart of Beijing, China, it is currently notable in Chinese as Gugongng which implies the Palace Museum. It is the most visited and well-known sight for any Beijing visit. In the year 1987, the Forbidden City was assigned as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was the magnificent royal residence of the Ming Dynasty. The magnificent customary royal residence engineering is unquestionably worth a visit along these lines, come here and appreciate the fortunes kept in the castle; learn of the legends and tales about the royal family and the court, and appreciate a visual dining experience of 5,000 years of conventional Chinese craftsmanship.
- Tiananmen Square: It is unquestionably one of the topmost vacationer locations situated in the core of Beijing City. Tiananmen Square is a place where various parades and different festivals, particularly those of extraordinary social importance happen as it was on the platform of Tiananmen Gate that Mao Zedong pronounced the People's Republic of China on 1st October 1949. This site is considered as the site for monstrous motorcades and rallies, which is the biggest square of this sort on the planet. It is, in reality, the biggest regular red the travel industry spot of around the world, and an iconic image of China. It can and can hold a million individuals for open festival or social events.
- Temple of Heaven: It is notable and unmistakable for its characterized layout, interesting design structures and enrichments, it was proclaimed as one World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in the late 90s. It is a celebrated complex of fine religion structures position in gardens and encompassed by noteworthy pine woods, arranged in southeastern metropolitan Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing lines for yearly services of supplication to Heaven for good reap.
- Beijing Museum of National History: If you are keen on knowing the history and culture of china, this museum is a must visit for you. This monstrous museum of natural science is the greatest museum in whole China which was at first established in the year 1952 as the National Central Museum of Natural History. Also, in the year 1962 the name was changed to the Beijing Museum of Natural History. This popular museum contains four main exhibits namely Animal, the Green Homeland, the Friends of Human Beings, Palaeontology and the Mystery of Human. These collectively give visuals outlining China's natural marvels through the ages with assortments of a fifth of a million items of Ornithology, Palaeontology, Invertebrates and Mammals.
- National Museum of China: Situated on the east of Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, the museum was revamped and has been extended such that it is the biggest museum on the planet. By and by the museum displays an assortment of more than 1 million bits of social relics, as indicated by the museum's official site. It has a venue with eight hundred seats, a meeting lobby with three hundred seats and a studio as well. It likewise has a huge space for guests to encounter history and customary expressions and art through intuitive projects.
- The Beijing Capital Museum: It is one of the most well-known museums of Beijing which contains more than a quarter of a million cultural remainders in its assortment just a tad bit of its assortment are shown on display and a significant level of the museum's speciality assortment originated from objects uncovered in Beijing. It was perceived in the year 1981 with an assortment of somewhere in the range of a hundred thousand items. Its Bronze Exhibition Hall, which has an ovular shape, was likewise intended to represent the uncovering of old relics by its inclining plan in which reaches out from the land outside the museum. The stone-made wall outside the museum was intended to represent the symbolism of the city dividers and pinnacles in antiquated China.
China has an inconceivable history. One of the most significant pieces of their legacy is their food. Chinese food is one of the most liked cuisines in the whole world. Ancient Chinese cuisine include authentic recipes that went through a lot of trial and error. Chinese are known for their innovative spices Chinese medication and the different ways they cook their food. This incredible regard for food enables empowered Chinese cooks to make the most assorted and intriguing dishes. Brisk extension of the Han culture from Yellow River across whole region of China that covers numerous atmosphere zones that have their own indigenous fixings and cooking customs.
This rich culinary culture of China is alive and thriving. Even though you can experience good Chinese food in various countries across the globe now, with the United States of America having a sizeable market for Chinese takeout. However, it is in China itself that you will find some authentic dishes to relish, some of these include:
- Steamed Vermicelli Rolls
- Peking Roasted Duck
- Shrimp with Vermicelli and Garlic
- Sichuan Pork
Traditional Local Restaurants
- Haiwanju: Make sure you come here as hungry as a hog as Haiwanju literally means the house of king-sized bowls. But don't hope to have a sentimental candlelit meal with your lover; the environment is rambunctious with guests welcomed boisterously upon arrival and exit. It doesn't get any real than that. It is a customary Beijing chain that is generally celebrated for its delectably chewy Zha Jiang Mian (a type of noodles made with soybean paste and the choice of vegetable side dishes that accompany it). Other must-attempt dishes incorporate the Peking shredded pork and deep-fried starch chips.
- Jing Yaa Tang: It is generally known for delicious Beijing roast duck. Be that as it may, the local people and guests likewise rave about the first-class experience. In case you're an enthusiast of hot Sichuan cooking, go for the poached chicken with crushed peanuts and sesame or perhaps dishes such as mapo tofu. Restaurateur Alan Yau planned this top of the line contemporary restaurant and the name signifies translates to exemplary, exquisite room. But, its atmosphere and blended palette cause you to feel like you're going to a culinary ballet.
- Jubaoyuan Hot Pot Restaurant: It’s so popular that the eatery needs to restrict the number of sesame buns that every client can purchase. Locals love to have hotpot, and there's no preferable spot to do it over Jubaoyuan. A winter custom for most locals, the hotpot is a do it yourself eating experience where the staff place raw constituents into a pot of stewing stock, before dunking them in a sauce produced using sesame paste. Hotpot is something best eaten in gatherings of at least four or more individuals as there will be more plates of well-cut beef, mutton and piles of new vegetables. The crowd here shall be immense and you better be prepared for long waiting times.
- Jin Ding Xuan: Choose any one thing off the dumpling menu. To put things into perspective they call themselves the best dim sum restaurant in town. The acclaimed shrimp dumplings are a dependable decision. Furthermore, there's even dessert dim sum to top off your dinner. Jin Ding Xuan has two fundamental menus: one with Sichuan and Cantonese food, and one with a wide scope of dim sum entirely. Regardless of whether you're a meat-eater or a vegetarian, you'll discover dumplings that will fulfil your cravings .
Vegetarian and Vegan
- The Veggie Table: Not quite the same as most of Beijing's vegan and vegetarian cafés, which normally include a Buddhist topic and Chinese cooking, The Veggie Table serves European and Middle Eastern food, making it a customary frequent for the city's expats. It also has Beijing's best hummus and veggie burger. Additionally, the eatery utilizes natural ingredients whenever the dish allows and has become a point for the network of socially supported agriculture and their farmers to gather neighbourhood natural produce.
- King’s Joy: King's Joy is at the top with regards to vegan-friendly eateries in Beijing. From its menu stuffed with vegan dishes, the outdoor seating has a lovely ambience with bamboo plants. Everything about King's Joy is deserving of an excursion. For the individuals who grimace at the entangled names of Chinese dishes, there's an occasional set menu. The restaurant likewise offers Chinese afternoon tea which is a must-have for most tourists headed there.
- Suhe: A few vegans love mock meat, while others lean toward new veggies. The café has vegetable curry, fiery Chongqing noodles, and furthermore gives quinoa vegetable serving of mixed greens to clean-eating devotees. Suhe is an extraordinary decision for the last mentioned dish.
- Tianchu Miaoxiang: It is a settled veggie-lover café in Beijing. Like comparable foundations, this veggie restaurant implants Buddhist components into its enrichment. A keen move since a huge population of Chinese vegans practice Buddhism. Subsequently, the café has a calming vibe. Concerning the food, those with fluctuated levels of zest resilience will discover something to suit them here.
Are different types of street food in China. Your trip to China will not be complete without trying these. Can be found pretty much everywhere and a very cheap. Not only that but having street food is a great way of supporting local vendors who solely run their house by selling street food. The true culture of China can be experienced this way. Some of the dishes include:
- Xianbing (Meat pie/dumpling)
- Egg Waffle
- Pai gu nian gao (Pork with rice)
- Chuan'r (Chinese Kebabs)
- Stinky Tofu
Some of the places to find them are:
- Wangfujing Snack Street
- Fucheng Street
- Niujie Muslim Snack Street
When you visit the city of Beijing you shall be pretty much well aware of the fact that the local people are always keen on sipping on something throughout the day. Depending upon where they are and the hour of the day, they settle upon suitable beverages. It is almost a no-brainer that every Chinese individual greatly enjoys their tea and this is true even in the city of Beijing where the most popular non-alcoholic beverage is indeed the various kinds of tea on sale, some of the popular ones are:
- Bai Mundan
- White Tea
- Pu Erh
- Butter Tea
- Yellow Tea
- Cheese Tea
- Bubble Tea
- Green Tea
Further, once the day comes to an end and the stars start shining brightly in the sky, many individuals prefer to enjoy a steaming hot cup of tea post-dinner to aid as a digestive and keep themselves warm before going to bed, they add various herbs and spices to the tea as well. However, this isn’t the case on all days and on the weekends many like to unwind with an alcoholic beverage. The younger generations are far more regular when it comes to the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Some of the popular alcoholic drinks that you must try on your trip to the city of Beijing are listed below:
- Rice Wine
- Maotai Baijiu
Tap water in China is undrinkable, however, it is sheltered to utilize it for washing and for brushing your teeth. Travellers can drink boiled water or find filtered water in stores. Even in large urban communities like Beijing and Shanghai, water from the tap isn't all around separated, cleaned, or purged, and may have contaminants like rusts, microbes, infection, chlorines, or other weighty metals. Quality mainstream brands like Nestle, Nongfu Spring, Evian, Wahaha, Kunlun Mountains, and C'estbon are easily available. Different sorts of packaged tea and juice are likewise accessible.
The city of Beijing is a global hub attracting scores of tourists and expats on an annual basis and it is also a city that houses the rich and the powerful. Here unlike the other major cities across the globe, there is only a small population of people who prefer eating unprocessed healthy food which is clean and reliable beyond the walls of their houses. They’d rather source fresh ingredients and have a cook prepare their meals.
- Mrs. Shanen’s
- Crab Island
- Tribe Organic
- Wutai Yun Vegan and Organic Restaurant
The culture of enjoying a few pints of freshly brewed craft beers along with friends at a popular bar or a pub while watching a sports game and enjoying a nice plate of sides has mainly been the culture of the western world. However, due to rapid globalisation, this culture has found its way to the country of China. Beijing being the capital city witnessed this first-hand and most of the passionate craft beer lovers are young adults. If you too wish to enjoy some delectable brews, given below are some of the popular breweries in town:
- Design Beer Pub
- Jing-A Brewpub
- Peiping Machine Taphouse
- Arrow Factory Brewing
- Great Leap
- NBeer Pub
The local people of the city of Beijing are known to lead very tiresome lives and they prefer enjoying some activities over the weekend, as a tourist, you can also indulge in these activities at your leisure, and they shall certainly help you experience the city in a new light. You could try Bungee Jumping at Longqing Gorge, or you could enjoy paragliding at The Flying Man Club, or test your skills learning parkour at Club Hero, and if none of these interest you head to the nearest hill and enjoy some biking or trekking.
Yoga and Retreats
The people of China are known to be very well connected to their spiritual side and they do practice meditation and chanting on a regular basis. Some individuals are also known to be into yoga and some popular venues for you to visit in Beijing to learn/practice yoga are:
- Yoga Yard
- Yogi Yoga
- 42 Yoga
Beijing is the centre of major political, economic, and social activities in the country and it is home to some of the biggest industries as well. With plenty of tourists and expats flocking on an annual basis, there is an immense need for accommodation of different types. Hence, you will find a wide variety of accommodation options here. These include five star-hotels, theme hotels, resorts, business hotels, budget hotels, inns, motels and so forth. You can choose an accommodation option according to your budget.
- The Brickyard: Initially an old tile plant, the flawless 25-room Brickyard is a sanctuary of tranquillity only a couple of miles from the Mutianyu segment of the Great Wall, and offers extraordinary floor-to-roof sights from the contemporary rooms. The group utilizes local labourers, sources items from the town, utilizes reused materials to remodel, fertilises its natural waste, and uses almost complete LED lighting. Focused on its maintainability and eco-friendly endeavours, The Brickyard distributes a report each year specifying its yearly advancement.
- The Opposite House: A beautiful location in the premium Sanlitun neighbourhood, The Opposite House was planned by Japanese engineer Kengo Kuma utilizing privately sourced, recovered materials. At the front work area, visitors appreciate paperless registration and registration, and there are bamboo bicycles available to counterbalance that carbon footprint. The attention-grabbing glass veneer streams in a bounty of natural light and each room has a moderate, Japanese-style interior with enormous wooden baths and spa-like showers too.
- Aman Summer Palace: Built inside the Summer Palace, China's most seasoned majestic garden, the Aman has remodelled the insides of many Ming Dynasty structures, safeguarding the legacy engineering and beguiling yard setting. And guess what's the USP! You can beat the large crowd visiting by using a mystery entrance into the Summer Palace promptly toward the beginning of the day, or just before dusk.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Being a densely populated city Beijing attracts a large number of tourists and young expats, many of them are on a tight budget and they have little money to spare for accommodation. As a result of this, there is a sizeable market for accommodation in hostels and guest houses, these offer quirky amenities and compact living spaces at reasonable prices. Some popular ones are:
- Beijing Yue Xuan Courtyard Hostel
- Beijing Sweet Dream House
- The One Hostel
- Chinese Box Courtyard Hostel
- CMYK Stoneyards by the Great Wall
- 365 Inn
Renting apartments in Beijing is an option if you are here for a longer period of time or prefer them over hotel rooms or value your privacy and freedom or even if you have a few friends accompanying you. Surely enough, Airbnb is quite popular here along with a few other similar portals but the policies are slightly stricter and you might want to read the fine print before making a booking.
In a city as crowded as Beijing, you will find many enthusiasts who are offering Couchsurfing opportunities. While the safety aspect of this may be debatable but if you have verified contacts as hosts and recommendations from known travellers then you could take the chance.
Many individuals in and around the city of Beijing are known to be extremely passionate about camping, you could join a few enthusiasts on their expedition by connecting over social media applications. A few popular campsites are listed below:
- The Huangsongyu Reservoir
- The Ming Tombs Reservoir
- The White River Castle Reservoir
- The Xiangshui Lake Scenic Area
- Soul Mountain
How to Get There
The city of Beijing receives the highest numbers of passengers via all modes of transport on an annual basis. Being the largest city and the capital of the country you can expect it to be well connected to most global destinations, a few ways to reach Beijing are listed below.
The Beijing Capital Intercontinental Airport serves the city and has flights connecting to some of the biggest cities in the world. The airport has a host of amenities including Wi-Fi, facial recognition scanning, restaurants, bars, gyms, sleep pods, zen gardens and so forth. Additionally, the airport is well connected to the city via all means of transport so you needn’t worry about pre-booking or exorbitant fares.
The Chinese inter-city bus system is truly massive and as a tourist, you can make the most of this and reach the city of Beijing from almost any city in the country.
The Chinese Railway runs to several intercontinental destinations, these include Russia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, North Korea, and Kazakhstan. If you are in any of these countries and wish to travel to China keep your ticket and visa (if required) handy while boarding a train to Beijing.
Hitchhiking is not new to the city of Beijing, if you wish to reach Beijing from cities nearby you can hitch a ride on the highways, while only a few people are trusting and friendly, you could try your luck.
The above listed means of transport are the most common ways to reach the city of Beijing, any other means are perhaps new and rarely explored.
The city of Beijing is absolutely massive and to explore you may need to rely on more than just one means of transportation. Some of the greenest means to move around the city include the subway and the e-buses. If you wish to explore a few areas on the outer boundaries of the city limits try the high speed rail (HSR).
Walking around the city of Beijing is a safe endeavour, especially during the daytime. You won’t have any issues with dedicated pathways and helpful people to guide you.
Cycling is a popular means of transportation in the city of Beijing. It is extremely safe and you have dedicated bicycle lanes all over. You can rent a bicycle at various locations and there are options of using bicycles made out of bamboo and wood as well. A few premium hotels shall allow you to rent one for a minimum cost or even for free.
If you have a valid license renting any car in Beijing is easy, it can be done via a mobile app as well, however, finding EVs is slightly harder but if you opt for the right car rental service, things won’t be too difficult.
The public bus system in the city of Beijing is marvellous, not only does it connect the entire town very well but it also is economical costing 1 Yuan per line, more so, these buses mostly run on electricity thereby making them a good eco-friendly option to consider.
Tram, Train and Subway
The subway network in the city of Beijing is magnificent connecting all corners of the city and being a green option. Additionally, the biggest advantage is that the subway isn’t crowded like the other modes of transport.
Sustainable shopping is extremely essential if you wish to be an eco-friendly tourist. Each item of clothing or accessory you purchase increases your carbon footprint considerably, more so supporting local businesses will help you contribute to the battle against conglomerates that exploit the planet and its natural resources for greed.
- Ghost Street: Known for its enthusiasm and various street food alternatives, Ghost Street is the place foodies can discover everything from fish to nearby Chinese street cuisine's top picks.
- Beijing Old Station Food Street: It is a noteworthy street fixed with interminable food carts. With an exceptional assortment of food, hungry explorers can dive into the absolutely fascinating and customary cooking styles accessible in China.
- Sanyuanli Market: Here you find a fresh assortment of the global produce and its assortment of dry merchandise, preserved nourishments, fresh meats and fish.
- Liulichang Antiques Street: It is the best spot on the planet to discover antiquated books, calligraphy brushes, canvases, rubbings and inkstones.
- Panjiayuan Flea Market: You can discover basically anything here, including exquisite calligraphy brushes, painted porcelain containers, jade adornments, cut stone puppets and unpredictably planned wooden furnishings.
- Silk Street Market: As the name recommends, the market is most popular for its silk. You can discover real Chinese silk garments and adornments. It resembles the flight of stairs to antique paradise where you can discover classical handiworks, jade, compositions, calligraphy and porcelain.
Second Hand Stores
In a city that is as large as Beijing you shall find people belonging to different economic backgrounds and for many who wish to use good products without compromising on quality often rely on the second-hand market. More so, the second-hand market is dominated by electronics and garments. The Taikooli area in the city is a great place to start your shopping journey for the same.
At present, the Chinese garment business is worth over a trillion USD but it takes a major toll on the environment and brands such as Fake Natoo and NEEMIC are providing sustainable fashion options for you to explore.
The city of Beijing has a marvellous recycling method with everything from cans to bottles to even batteries and toys being systematically recycled. There are categories for every kind of waste and the efficiency is quite good.
The waste segregation method employed here is based on the above-mentioned category system. Additionally, people on the move are given incentives such as free tickets at subway platforms for recycling plastic bottles and cans. You shall find cleanliness in common places to be marvellous and trash cans are found everywhere.
Work and Study Abroad
Beijing is an immensely popular city where people from all across the globe come to study and work at some of the most reputed institutes and firms respectively.
The exchange programs that China has with many neighbouring countries in the South-East Asian region is robust and you shall find plenty of students learning at universities in Beijing via intercontinental grants and scholarships.
Being an Au Pair isn’t too common here but if you have the right contacts and can convince individuals for the same, you could find yourself a nice and luxurious home to live in as the concept is only popular amongst the rich who have room to spare in this densely packed city.
It is obvious that in a city of this size there are plenty of issues to tackle and you can do your bit for society by volunteering for various endeavours being undertaken especially by NGOs and service groups.