Living in Beijing, can offer an amazing, life-changing experience. Beijing is a city steeped in ancient and modern history; famous most notably for its easy access to the Great Wall of China, the legendary Forbidden City, and its status as the celebrated site of the 2008 Olympics. It finds itself hurtling toward a future that promises to be even more ambitious than its history, resulting in the transformation of a city that leaves residents, local and expatriates alike, in wonder. In this section, we provide informations like furnishing your home, where to eat, entertain, and sightsee, Beijing public transportatin, and even drive by yourself, in order to help you get settled down and expore this wonderful city.

Modern Furniture Market

This Scandinavian brand specializes in modern and affordable furniture and accessories. The Beijing branch is the largest in the world outside Sweden and features everything from desks, chair, wardrobe, to sofas and kitchen sets.

  •  59 Futong Dongdajie, Wangjing, northwest of Siyuanqiao 
望京四元桥西北角
  •  www.ikea.com.cn

This massive mall sells just about every piece of furniture you could imagine at low, low prices.

Featuring Asian and European designs, this trendy expat-favorite sells furniture, antique accessories, dishware, cushions, lamps, lush fabrics, mirrors, pottery and more. Dara's Dashanzi outlet houses a small gallery showing contemporary art.

  •  Zone D, 798 Xijie, 798 Art District, 2 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District 朝阳区酒仙桥2号798艺术新区798西街D区
  •  www.dara.com.cn

Antique Furniture Market

The main road of this dusty hamlet is lined with warehouses and showrooms that overflow with reproductions of Ming and Qing tables, opium beds, chairs, benches, stools, drums – you name it. What’s more, the merchants can custom-build whatever you cannot find in stock. Gaobeidian, long considered the antique furniture village of Beijing, is now becoming a more developed retail area with larger stores like Lily’s Living, which also offers antiques on top of a full range of modern furniture.

  •  Outside Dongsihuan, turn right at the Gaobeidian exit of the Jingtong expressway then drive south, Chaoyang District 朝阳区东四环外京通快速路高碑店出口处出来右转往南走
  •  www.gaobeidian.com.cn

Beijing Antique City (former Beijing Curio City) is the largest Chinese antique trade center in Asia. It has over 600 antique dealers, mainly selling classical furniture, ancient clock and watch, ancient rug, ancient ceramics, celebrity calligraphy and painting, ivory carving, snuffbox, copperware image of Buddhathe, antique chinaware, the Tibetan cultural relic and much more.

Home Decoration

This UK-based company stocks around 40,000 different products in its Beijing superstore, including flooring, bathroom and kitchen materials, doors, windows, paints, hardware, tools, curtains, fabrics, furniture and a fabulous drill section. Multiple locations.

Emoi is incredibly cute and sophisticated with its unique home décor. Almost everything in the store is green or white, with a few exceptions, to play part in the concept of being an environmentally conscious business. From wall clocks and alarm clocks to coasters, tissue boxes, photo albums, candles and aroma vases to even bathroom, kitchen and office accessories, Emoi has all the necessary furnishings and accessories to bring your home to life. While it is somewhat similar to an IKEA or Muji, the quality is better and the prices are comparable and the store itself has a more personable atmosphere. Multiple locations.

The cut bunches and potted plants in the basement will brighten anyone's day. Expect to pay around RMB 40 for a trailing ivy and RMB 50 for a small bonsai tree. And you can also pick up some tropical fish on the first floor.

  •  9 Maizidian Xilu, Chaoyang District 朝阳区麦子店西路9号

Beijing's best amusement park sprawls out across a square kilometer of land outside the East Fourth Ring Road and offers 40 rides, an IMAX theater, more than 100 games and seven cinemas. The park is divided into a number of themed areas inspired by such civilizations as Mayan Central America, Minoan Greece and Shangri-la the little kiddies play in Ant Kingdom. The roller coasters are world class, the park is well maintained, and the lines for rides are fairly reasonable.

  •  Xiaowuji North Road, East 4th Ring 朝阳区东四环路小武基北路
  •  bj.happyvalley.cn

The district's popularity has exploded since the opening of BTAP and 798 Space in 2002, with scores of galleries, lofts, publishing firms, design companies, high-end tailor shops, and cafés and fancy restaurants setting up.

Suzie Wong's is part 1930s Shanghai opium den and part postmodern lounge. Show up early to get one of the Ming Dynasty beds before the ravenous crowds arrive. Ample mixed drinks (featuring daiquiris and the "pineapplicious" lights of havana) are RMB 35, and beers go from RMB 25 up. The second-floor dance area is a den of sweaty bodies on weekend nights-find relief on the outdoor patio.

Substantial fake beach boasts real, well-maintianed sand and comes dotted with free sum umbrellas and chairs.

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Driving Restrictions

Beijing implemented a "No Driving Day" policy prohibiting car owners from driving within the fifth Ring Road for one weekday each week from 7am to 8pm. No driving Days are decided according to tail plate number and rotate every 13 weeks.

Parking tickets

What do you do if you get caught parking where you shouldn’t? Step one is an oral warning and an order to vacate the spot. However, if you do not immediately cooperate, your car may be towed, accompanied with a fine of RMB200 and possible loss of penalty points. If you get a parking ticket, bring it and your Chinese Driver’s license to the address listed in red on the ticket or to any branch of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau. You will then exchange your parking ticket for a second, smaller ticket. You can then take that smaller ticket to pay your fine at any branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

Accidents and insurance

The law on the responsibilities of drivers involved in accidents is designed to speed up the accident-resolution process to prevent fender benders from jamming traffic. Here’s what it stipulates:

After a minor accident, stop your car immediately in the position of the accident, turn on your hazard lights, and jot down the other driver’s license, license plate, and insurance policy numbers along with their contact information. Call the police immediately if the other driver appears to have been drinking alcohol, or lacks either a license or license plate.

The law suggests that you mark the scene with chalk (show the positions of all the wheels of both cars) - all insurance companies are obligated to distribute free chalk to their customers and take photographs from different angles. After that, you and the other driver must decide whether you agree about respective responsibility for the crash. If you can’t reach an agreement, call the police – when they arrive, officers will assign responsibility based on the evidence at the site and the testimony of bystanders, after which you will fill out the provided accident claim forms. They can assess fines on the spot and call two trucks if needed. Then you should call your insurance company within 48 hours and obtain an accident report number.

On the other hand, upon a minor accident, many Beijingers will promptly negotiate a cash settlement rather than involve the authorities and insurance companies and risk losing points and /or paying a fine. If you select this route, consider not revealing your mobile phone and license number lest the other party should later decide to file a claim or contact the police. Further note that such informal settlements will invalidate any insurance claim you later might decide to make.

Taxi

There are over 70,000 taxis running in every corner of the city. Some drivers speak little English, while most do not. Since the city authorities improved drivers' English for the 2008 Olympics, more and more drivers can speak English. Make sure you have the address written in Chinese. If there is a phone contact at your destination, note that as well: a mobile phone is the most useful navigation tool in Beijing.


Beijing cab drivers are mostly honest, and incidents of drivers deliberately taking advantage of foreigners are very rare. Tipping in China is not customary and drivers will expect to be paid only what is on the meter, plus any road tolls. The taxi fleet has been upgraded over the past two years, and nearly all vehicles are now reasonably spacious and comfortable. Sit in the front if you want to buckle up, but strangely, there is no requirement for rear seatbelts, and most cab companies rip them out.


Starting fare is RMB 10, and beyond 3 km the rate is RMB 2 per km plus RMB3 for gas fee. There are surcharges for long-distance and late night trips. Five minutes of waiting time equals 1 km of driving time. Keep the printed receipt at the end of the trip: it includes all vehicle details, which is invaluable if you have left an item in the taxi.

  • Taxi calling number: 6837 3399
  • Taxi complaint number: 6835 1150

Subway

The Beijing Subway is a rapid transit rail network that serves the urban and suburban districts of Beijing municipality. The subway's first line opened in 1969, and the network now has 15 lines, 192 stations, and 372 km of track in operation. It is the oldest subway in mainland China. Among the world's metro systems, the Beijing Subway ranks fourth in track length after the metros of Shanghai, London and Seoul, and fourth in annual ridership after those of Tokyo, Seoul, and Moscow.

The most recent additions, Line 9, along with sections of Lines 8, 15 and Fangshan, entered into operation on December 31, 2011. Despite the rapid expansion, the existing network cannot adequately meet the city's mass transit needs and extensive expansion plans call for 19 lines and over 703 km (437 mi) of track in operation by 2015. Download the Beijing metro map here.

How to Buy the Ticket? A single-ride ticket costs RMB 2.00, it is a flat fare with unlimited transfers. This applies to all lines except the Airport Express, which costs RMB 25.00 per ride. and you can also get a Yikatong, an integrated circuit card that needs a RMB 20 deposit, refundable, plus whatever amount you want to put on the card, All subway lines now collect fares through automatic fare collection (AFC) machines that accept single-ride tickets and Yikatong.

Bus

Beijing is one of the largest metropolises with a comprehensive bus system. There are more than 20,000 public buses, including normal buses, double decker buses (beginning with te 特, te in Chinese means "special") and trolley buses. Beijing's bus system is cheap, convenient and covers the entire city. In general, bus drivers and ticket sellers do not speak English.

Buses run from 5:00am to 11:00pm daily. The starting fare of public buses is RMB1 for both non air-conditioned and air-conditioned buses. Buses that travel in the suburban areas cost RMB2. The public bus system has implemented an IC card system that allows passengers to travel at a discounted rate. Usually, a bus that costs RMB1 will cost RMB0.40 after the discount.

IC cards can be purchased with a RMB20 reimbursable deposit, and any additional amount is counted as a prepaid fare. IC cards can also be used for the subway system, but there are no discount fares. Cards can be bought at any subway station.

One of the biggest problems that bus passengers encounter is theft. All personal belongings should be carefully protected, especially when boarding or exiting the bus. Normally buses with three doors only permit boarding from the middle door and exiting from the front and the rear doors.

Private Car

Some expatriates choose to purchase or lease a car. Those living in the Shunyi suburbs definitely need one as there are fewer taxis and no subway access within walking distance. Note that some companies have policies specifying that foreign employees may not drive during their posting in China. Many expats choose to lease a car and driver. It is important that you lease from a driver (or leasing company) with the correct permit allowing him to lease out his car. Specific lease terms vary, but rates start from about RMB10,000/month for a VW Passat with driver but excluding petrol and toll fees.

The Beijing municipal government started limit yearly issuance of new car license plates to 240,000 in 2011 and implement harsh traffic control measures to ease the city's traffic congestion. Beijing car buyers will have to draw lots before obtaining a car license plate. Cars registered outside of Beijing will be banned from being driven inside the 5th Ring Road on work days during the rush hours of 7 to 9 a.m.and 5 to 8 p.m.

Black Dragons are apparently swimming aficionados, as this is one of two "Black Dragon Pools" within the Beijing municipality. The eponymous pool is augmented by 18 smaller ones and several waterfalls. People swim here, but the water quality can be suspect. In autumn, wild geese flock here. Take Jingmi Lu to Miyun Reservoir, then head northwest for another 13km. Approx distance: 100km.

Life in this once-quiet fishing village on Bohai Bay was forever altered by the arrival of laowai in the late 19th century seeking relief from the heat of Beijing and Tianjin. The foreigners built bungalows and golf courses and, to the bemused surprise of locals, bathed in the ocean. From boat and bike rentals to seafood and people watching, Beidaihe has all the essential ele-ments of a beach adventure. The sand and sea are not those of a tropical beach destination, but are surpris-ingly clean and groovy, and this has long been known as one of the best bird-watching sites on earth.

This section of the Great Wall dates back the 14th century (Ming Dynasty) and is among the most spectacularly rugged sections within reach of Beijing. Highlights include the "The Eagle Flies Facing Upward" watchtower and "Sky Stairs" featuring 80-degree inclines. Trips here are often paired with a visit to Yanqi Lake, which is just to the south. Check more informations from Great Wall of China

The tranquil boat ride through the bottom of Longqing Gorge can be a remarkable tonic after a day at Badaling. This scenic area is often considered a microcosm of the Yangtze River's fabled Three Gorges and is also frequently compared to Guilin's craggy waterborne peaks. Visitors can ride the world's longest chain of escalators to the top of the largest dam in northern China. Beyond sightseeing, the gorge features a range of recreational options for visitors, including kayaking, rock-climbing, horseback riding and go-carting. In winter, the Longqing Gorge Ice Sculpture Festival is suburban Beijing's answer to Harbin.

The big draw here is a kilometer-long pool inside the mountain, but there are also trickling waterfalls and a long cave. The views are stunning, and since there is a circular path aroundthe mountain you don't have to retrace your steps.

It's less of a circus than Badaling or Mutianyu, and the four-hour hike from Simatai to Jinshanling is one of the most spectacular ways to experience the wall, but it is very steep in parts. The less physically fit can ride the Simatai cable car.

This densely forested national reserve north of Beijing has 180 types of animals and 700 types of plants, as well as a natural spa with hot springs. Standing at nearly 2,200 meters tall, the mountain is Beijing municipality's second tallest peak. Great place to cool off during the dog days of summer.

The Shidu Scenic Area consists of ten villages, one at each of the Juma River ferry crossings between Zhangfang and Shidu. Western tourists flock to Shidu Village for the bungee jumping, but for a more authentic experience, head to Gushanzhai, “Lonely Mountain Village,” at Qidu (the seventh crossing). A 10km loop trail through the valley starts with a swaying 200m suspension bridge (RMB 20) and is followed by a winding dirt path (horses are available for rent, but the scenery is best absorbed on foot).

Locals claim the mountain looks like a lotus flower and that its main peak has a pink hue. Judge for yourself. Other, less subjective draws include the spring water, strange rock formations and 100 acres of ancient forest.

This large, easily accessible park in Beijing's western hills has for centuries offered a heady fix to devout Buddhists, temple junkies, hiking enthusiasts and fresh air fiends. The eight temples and monasteries scattered around this site south of the Fragrant Hills include the Temple of Divine Light, the only temple at Badachu that still has resident monks. The temple is complemented by the reconstructed 13-story Buddha Tooth Pagoda, on a site which previously contained a sacred Buddha tooth.

About 85km north of Beijing, the area's craggy peaks, topped by bonsaied cypresses and spilling over into lush summer growth, recall traditional ink paintings. The park, which boasts a dense forest offering more than 100 varieties of trees, also contains a wild botanical garden that overlooks the western shore of Miyun Reservoir. The mountain's highest peak - situated at 1,414m above sea level, is accessible through a fairly easy hike that takes approximately five hours. On either side of the creek, the terrain rises to rocky outcrops - some with sheer drops, others contorted into sculptural forms. The park's camping site, which is available to visitors free of charge, consists of desolate barracks in a clearing in the middle of the forest.

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