GuBei Water Town (BeiJing) 古北水乡(北京)

Plus the adjacent SiMaTai Great Wall at night.

Located in MiYun County, about two and a half hours drive north of central Beijing.


Beijing, the capital city of China, is a vibrant metropolis steeped in history, culture, and modernity. Here's a brief overview of what you can expect as a tourist in Beijing:

Historical Landmarks:
The Great Wall of China: One of the most iconic structures in the world, the Great Wall is easily accessible from Beijing. Mutianyu and Badaling sections are popular among tourists.

Forbidden City (Palace Museum): A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this vast imperial palace complex was home to Chinese emperors for over 500 years. It houses numerous halls, courtyards, and historical artifacts.

Temple of Heaven: A masterpiece of Chinese architecture, this ancient temple complex served as a place of worship for emperors to pray for good harvests.

Summer Palace: A stunning ensemble of lakes, gardens, and palaces, the Summer Palace served as a retreat for emperors during the Qing dynasty.

Tiananmen Square: One of the largest city squares in the world, Tiananmen Square is flanked by important landmarks such as the Monument to the People's Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.

Cultural Sites:
Beijing Hutongs: Explore the narrow alleyways and traditional courtyard residences of Beijing's historic neighborhoods. You can take a rickshaw tour or simply wander around on foot.

Beijing Opera: Experience traditional Chinese opera performances at venues like the Liyuan Theater or the Chang'an Grand Theatre.

798 Art District: A hub of contemporary art and culture, this former industrial area is now home to numerous galleries, studios, and cafes.

Modern Attractions:
Olympic Park: Visit iconic structures such as the Bird's Nest (National Stadium) and the Water Cube (National Aquatics Center) from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

CBD (Central Business District): Marvel at the futuristic skyline of Beijing's modern business district, which includes landmarks like the CCTV Headquarters and the China World Trade Center Tower III.

Culinary Delights:
Peking Duck: Indulge in Beijing's most famous dish, crispy roast duck served with pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce.

Street Food: Explore the city's vibrant street food scene and sample local delicacies like jianbing (savory crepes), lamb skewers, and dumplings.

Practical Tips:
Transportation: Beijing has an extensive public transportation system, including the subway, buses, and taxis. However, traffic can be heavy, so plan your travels accordingly.

Language: While English is not widely spoken, especially outside tourist areas, many signs and transportation announcements are in English. It's helpful to carry a translation app or a phrasebook.

Weather: Beijing experiences four distinct seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. The best times to visit are spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild and comfortable.

Etiquette: Respect local customs and traditions, such as removing your shoes before entering someone's home and using both hands to pass or receive items.

Beijing offers a rich tapestry of experiences for tourists, blending ancient heritage with modern innovations. Whether you're fascinated by history, culture, or culinary delights, there's something for everyone in this dynamic city.

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Simple Chinese language phrases to enhance your China trip (pinyin and pronunciation)
PinYin - English : pronunciation. Nǐ Hǎo - Hello / Hi (literally, you good? / how are you?) : nee how Zài Jiàn - Goodbye / bye : z~eye jee~ann *** XièXiè - : Thanks : she~air she~air (second is a little softer/quieter) XièXiè Nǐ ! - Thank you! : she~air she~air nee! *** DuìBuQǐ - Excuse me / sorry : der boo chee BúKèQì - You're welcome : boo ker chee Qǐng - Please : ching Mei / MeiHǎo - Beautiful : may *** DuWei - That's right : doo~way (uickly, and often said twice) *** Wǒ - I / me : woh Nǐ - You : nee Tā - He / she : tah *** Wǒ Yào - I want / would like I would like one of these : Wǒ yào Yī ge Zhè ge (woh yow ee guh jay guh) *** ZhèGe - This : jay guh NàGe - That : nay guh *** Yī Ge - One : ee guh Lian Ge - Two : lee~ann guh (Two as a simple number is Er, pronounced 'are') Sān Ge - Three : san guh *** Duō Shǎo Qián? - How much? : doo~or sh~ow[l] chee~ann? Tài Guì Le! - too expensive! : tie gwee ler! *** Hǎo De - ok : how der Hěn Hǎo - Good : hen how Bù Hǎo - Not good : boo how *** ShénMe? - When? : shen mer NǎLi? - Where : nah lee? Nǎr - There (gesturing) : nah *** Xiao - Small : sh~ow[l] Da - Big : dah Tai - Too : tie *** Bin De - Ice-cold : bin der Lian De - Cold : lee~ann der *** La - Spicy : lah Bu La - not spicy : boo lah Xiao La - a little spicy : shee~ow[l] lah Da La - Very spicy : dah lah Tai La! - too spicy! : tie lah! *** Noodles - Miàn : mee~ann Dumplings - Jiǎozi : jee~ow[l] zuh Rice - MiFàn / Fàn : mee fan / fan Eggs - JīDàn : jee dan Beef - NiúRòu : nee~you row Lamb - YángRòu : yang row Chicken - JīRòu : jee row Tofu - DòuFu : doh foo (See BeijingBuzzz's food cheat sheet for much more) *** ZhōngGuó - China : jong goo~woh YīngGuó - England : ying goo~woh MěiGuó - America : may goo~woh ZhōngWén - Chinese nationality : jong ren YīngWén - English nationality : ying ren *** Hótel - Hotel FànDiàn - Hotel / Restaurant : fan dee~ann Wǒ Bù ZhīDào - I don't know : woh boo juh~dow Tīng Bù Dǒng - I don't understand : ting boo dong ZhèGe Duōshǎo Qián? / DuōShǎo Qián? - How much is this? : doo~or sh~ow[l} chee~ann? - Too expensive! : tie-gwee lah! Wo Yao ... - I would like ... : woh yow ... Wǒ Yào ZhèGe - I want this one : woh yow jay~guh *** BúShì - No : boo shh ShìDe - Yes : Shh der MéiYǒu - none / out of stock : may~oh *** Wǒ ài ... - I love ... : woh eye ... - I love this! : woh eye jay-guh! Wǒ ài ZhōngGuó - I love China *** Hǎo Chī - Delicious (literally good eat) : how ch Bú Hǎo Chī - Not tasty : boo how ch *** Wǒ Bù LiǎoJiě - I don't understand : woh boo lee~ow[l]~jee~air *** Wǒ Xiǎng ... - I would like ... : woh shee~ang ... Wǒ Xiǎng Chī ... - I would like to eat ... : woh she~ang ch *** Bei - North : bay Nan - South : nan Xi - West : shee Dong - East : dong *** DìTiě - Subway train : dee tee~air Dìtiě nali ma? - Where is the subway? : dee tee~air nah~lee ma Zhan - Train station : zahn Men - gate : men Yuan / kwai - rmb (currency) : yoo~ann / kw~eye Gong yuan - Park : gong yoo~ann *** KāFēi - Coffee : kah fay Chá - Tea : chah kěLè - Cola : ker ler PiJiou - Beer : pee jee~oh Shui - Water : shway Wo yao liang ge pijiou liande - I would like two cold beers : woh yow[l] lee~ann guh pee jee~oh lee~ann der *** Jia Yo! - Let's go! / Go! (encouraging) : jee~ah yoh! Wǒ Bù Shuō Hànyǔ / ZhōngWén - I don't speak Chinese (huh?!) Or simply Bù ZhōngWén : boo jong wen *** Numbers are easy (there are finger position numbers too, but that's not so easy) : 1 - Yī : ee 2 - Èr : are 3 - Sān : san 4 - Sì : si (the sound is the first half of 'soot') (short sound) 5 - Wǔ : woo~oh 6 - Liù : lee~oo 7 - Qī : chee 8 - Bā : bah 9 - Jiǔ : jee~oo 10 - Shí : shhh (longer sound) Example of 11 - 99 : 73 - Qi Shí Sān (7x10) + 3 : chee shhh san (7 10 3) 70 - Qi Shí (7x10) : chee shhh (7 10) 100 - Bǎi : buy Example of 101 - 999 : 357 - Sān Bǎi Wǔ Shí Qī (3x100 + 5x10 + 7) : san buy woo~oh shhh chee (3 100 5 10 7) 300 - Sān Bǎi (3x100) : san buy (3 100) *** Cheers! - GānBēi! : gan bey!
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