Beijing Travel Guide
You know we’re all about roller coasters, theme parks, and all the other rides and attractions that come with them. This week there’s some new theme park news, as it sounds like there’s a park in development to be dedicated to one man and one man only.
Apparently it’s Jackie Chan who will soon be having business lunches with Mickey Mouse to discuss the amusement park business, as there are plans to hook him up with his very own park. Roller coasters, martial arts stuff, and plenty of t-shirts have already been planned, as the park—JC World—is scheduled to open over in Beijing.
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are capping off a busy summer with a trip to China.
After spending most of the spring and early summer in London, the couple moved to Chicago where Mila continued filming her upcoming movie Jupiter Ascending. Whether they were hanging out at the Taste of Chicago, shopping at the Chicago Premium Outlets Mall, or having dinner at Hub 51, the couple seemed to fit right into the Windy City.
A real life Central Perk, the cafe where Rachel, Ross, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler hung out on Friends, has finally openedbut not where you'd expect.
A replica of the famous '90s coffee shop has been constructed in a Beijing apartment complex by Friends super-fan Du Xin (aka "Gunther" to his friends) who says, “for me, it’s like a religion. It’s my life.”
Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new featureTravel Catfocuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).
Travel Cat spotted in: Beijing, China.
This week's Travel Cat comes from reader Lisa Sun, who says of these three:
By now you've all heard the story of the family with two toddlers kicked off a JetBlue flight from Turks and Caicos and, regardless of where you stand on the incident (for the parents or against), it's clear that flying the so-called friendly skies with little ones is not an enviable journey.
Our first thought when we heard about the family getting kicked off was, "Dear God, we hope that never happens to us." Our second thought was actually about this little playground we saw at the Beijing International Airport back in China.
While racing to finish up work, stuff the last necessary items into our suitcase (we would not be a good candidate for I am Packed right now), print out our boarding passes, double-check our camera equipment, charging cords and TSA-sized toiletries and do other last-minute errands before hopping on a flight, we caught eye of this snapshot from the Beijing International Airport in our photo archives.
Posted just before the trains to the baggage claim, it says: Relax. Train Comes Every Three Minutes.
Isn't that just...nice? We wish all airports had that sign so that us hyper-active, worrywart travelers could at least take a moment off (or three minutes) from stressing.
There's another bonus for the OCD traveler at Beijing's airport, as the lifts and train cars are frequently disinfected. But of course, we understand if you still want to bring your own personal hand sanitizer.
What Not To Do In / Travel Tips / Tourism / China Travel / The Forbidden City / Beijing Travel / → All Tags
We told you the other month how powerful it was arriving at Tiananmen Squarewhich sits across from the Forbidden Citybut today we're telling you what NOT TO DO when you actually step inside the imperial walls. As always, these are just our tips so by all means, please add your own!
So without further ado, here is the Jaunted guide of What Not To Do In The Forbidden City: The Top 5 Tourist Mistakes.
5. Don't pay for your tickets with a credit card
Both locals and tourists mostly pay cash in the city, and the admission booths only had one window that accepted credit cards. Since we don't read or speak Mandarin or any other Asian language, there was a bit of back and forth with the cashiers about which one had the credit card machine. Save yourself the trouble and bring 40 RMB ($6.35) with you, per person.
Travel Snapshot / Wish You Were Here / China Travel / Beijing Travel / The Forbidden City / → All Tags
One of the most surreal moments we've had yet while traveling has to be our arrival the other day at The Forbidden City in Beijing.
Once the home for emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Imperial Palace today is now pretty much an outdoor museum for tourists (mostly Chinese) to walk through since many of the actual halls and rooms of the palace are off limits. You can peek into these various halls and take photos; however, be prepared for a mob of people attempting to do the very same thing.
But what actually moved us most about arriving at the Forbidden City was standing in Tiananmen Square, where we snapped this photo. We were young when the 1989 protests and subsequent killings happened but we do remember hearing about the uprising and even watching some of the news clips. We just never imagined in a million years we would actually go there one day. But that's the beauty of travel isn't it?
Does anyone even remember a time when passenger were allowed to bring such threatening items as scissors and full water bottles through airport security? We've had perfectly good bottles of bug spray and shaving cream thrown out for being .5 oz over the 3oz rule, and once witnessed a foreign traveler having his giant jug of very expensive pure maple syrup confiscated at Vermont's Burlington Airport. It's no fun, for sure, and a couple airports have stepped up to at least offer an alternative to the trash can: shipping your banned items home.
Singapore's Changi International pioneered the service, whereby travelers holding more than the allowances or with forgotten box cutters in their bags can now just ship it right from the airport to their home.
Following Changi's lead is Beijing International Airport, where Shanghaiist reports Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 2 is charging 20 RMB for items weighing less than 3kg shipped to Beijing addresses, and 100 RMB ($15.50) to be shipped anywhere else. Not too shabby at all! Everyone is getting Chinese ginseng and swords at Christmas this year!
[Photo: nemo's great uncle]
Tis the season for fresh museum exhibitions, and this year seems to be all about the blockbuster fashion brands. Alexander McQueen is the talk of the western hemisphere, with the giant Metropolitan Museum of Art show in New York, and it seems Louis Vuitton is set to he be the talk of the eastern hemisphere, when the Voyages exhibition opens at Beijing's National Museum of China on May 29.
The Louis Vuitton: Voyages exhibition will last from May 29-August 30 this year, tracing the highs of the Vuitton Maison since its establishment in 1854. As the name of the show suggest, the focus will be on the traveling heritage of the house, from the handmade trunks of the past to the modern globetrotting figures who continue to stand by the brand.
Important statistical news just in: the number of chocoholics found in China is rising. This could be bad news if we think of having to share the world's supply of chocolate with an increasing number of people, but the flipside is positive stuffChina's going to open a "world chocolate dream park" in Beijing next year.
The theme park will be housed in the Olympic Green (where the famous Olympics "Bird's Nest" stadium is) and will include five indoor pavilions and two outdoor sites full of chocolate-themed exhibits. They say this will include life-size, edible chocolate versions of the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army.
With the 60th anniversary of China becoming a communist republic approaching October 1, Claire Duffett took a jaunt around the country for the month of September, starting with Beijing. Nowhere does old and new China collide than in its Capital, and for the next five days, we'll share with you the most up-to-date tidbits on what to see and do, and how many yuan it will set you back.
The Olympic Park, with the unmistakable design of its main stadium, the Bird’s Nest, is perhaps the best example of Beijing’s frenetic but seemingly misguided development. With a sparklingly-new subway connecting it to the rest of the city, the area is a quiet amusement park where nothing really happens.
Walking around the grounds gave us the feeling that we were wandering through a cluttered living room after the last guest has departed from a really awesome party. The leftover confetti is just a tad depressing. There’s a ferris wheel and some snack vendors, but otherwise, activities in the area involve marveling at the strands of steel on the nest or the fake blue bubbles of the watersports complex. Even the tower, used only to display the rings and elevate people to the top for a veiw of Beijing, is now cordoned off.