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Discovering Beijing

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Part One Facts
Ⅰ Districts

Ⅱ Health
    Though Beijing's air quality and seasonal sandstorms bear potential threats of some respiratory illnesses, health levels are generally high, with life expectancy nearing 80. Pharmacies, clinics and emergency centers can be found throughout the city, at many tourist attractions and at large hotels. Pharmacies often stock many Western brand medicines. Look out for the sign "药店" (yaodian), meaning pharmacy. A recommended chain is Golden Elephant Pharmacy (金象大药房).
Medical Services

    Beijing has a wide range of medical services encompassing traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine, public Chinese hospitals and international hospitals. Many hospitals provide excellent care, with doctors of both TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Western medicine. Examples include the People's Hospital (人民医院) and Beijing Chinese Medicine Hospital (北京中医医院). In Chinese hospitals the important thing is to find someone to translate for you, and be prepared to stand in multiple lines and at various locations, as you make your way through the registration, testing, diagnosis, treatment and account settling procedures. This can be energy-draining and time-consuming. Alternatively, international hospitals with English-speaking staff, advanced treatment and equipment will ease your mind, but they can be very expensive for anyone without good medical insurance.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
    Traditional Chinese medicine (TMC) has a history of more than 2,500 years and still plays an important role in China's healthcare. Most Chinese people, especially seniors, prefer Chinese medicine to Western medicine, as they believe herbs have fewer side effects.A mystery to the outside world for a long time, TCM has gradually established its name in the international world by fighting some chronic diseases, such as cancer. Increasingly more foreign students and doctors come to China to study TCM, and the new millennium has seen more joint treatment using Chinese and Western medicines. Chinese medicine comes in sachets, liquid form, tablets or as the herb itself. It may look, taste and smell unpleasant, and may need to be taken in large dosages over potentially longer periods, but if your Western medicine is falling you, why not give it a try?
    Where to call in emergency
    First Aid/Ambulance: 120
    International SOS Assistance: 64629100
International hospitals
Peking Union Medical College Hospital 北京协和医院
Hours: 24-hour emergency care
No.1, Shuaifuyuan, Wangfujing, Dongcheng District. (Foreign patient reception is behind and to the left of the main building)
Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital 北京中日友好医院
Hours: 24-hour
Yinghua Donglu,Heping Beikou, Hepingli, Chaoyang District (Foreign patient reception is inside the east gate) 

Bayley & Jackson Medical Center 庇利积臣医疗中心
Hours: 8am-6pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-4pm (Sat), doctors on call (Sun)
No.7, Ritan Donglu, Chaoyang District. (86-10-85629998 during working hours, 85629990 out of hours)
Beijing International SOS Clinic 北京国际救援中心
Hours: daily 9am-5.30pm (Chinese and foreign doctors), after 5pm (Chinese doctor only)
Building C,BITIC jingyi Plaza, No. 5, Sanlitun Xiwu Jie, Chaoyang District. (86-10-64629112; 24-hour service: 64629100)
Beijing United Family Hospital 北京和睦家医院
Hours: daily 9am-5pm; 24-hour emergency care
No.2m Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District (close to Holiday Inn Lido).(86-10-64333960; 24-hour service: 64332345)
Hong Kong International Medical Clinic 香港国际医务诊所
Hours: daily 9am-9pm; 24-hour emergency care
9/F, office building of the Swisshotel, No.2, Chaoyangmen Beidajie, Chaoyang District.
International Medical Center (IMC) 北京国际医疗中心
Hours: daily 24 houors
S106, 1/F, Lufthansa Center, No.50, Liangmahe Lu, Chaoyang District.
Beijing Massage Hospital 北京按摩医院
Hours: daily 7.30am-11.45am, 1.30pm-9.30pm
No.7, Baochan Hutong, Xicheng District.
Beijing Tongren Hospital 北京同仁眼科医院
Hours: 8am-12pm, 1pm-5pm (Sat and Sun afternoons off); 24-hour emergency care
No.1, Dongjiaominxiang, Dongcheng District. (86-10-58269911)
Elite Dental Clinic 精致口腔
Hours: daily 9am-5pm
Room 206, Building 2, New Start Garden, No.5, Changchunqiao Lu, Haidian District.
Chinese Massage
    Chinese massage (推拿 tuina) is one of the earliest medical treatments in the world. Dating back over 2,000 years, its earliest form was to rub, press, knead, pound or stamp in order to keep out cold, get rid of discomfort and treat various injuries. Today, it has developed into a practical therapy that involves pressing at certain acupuncture points and/or manipulating joints so as to relieve stress and treat illness. Rhythmic thumping, clapping and pounding over parts of your body are also often part of the experience.

    In recent years, blind massage and foot massage have become very popular. Blind massage is usually done by blind masseurs who are renowned for their keen sense of the joints and muscles. And what could be nicer than a foot massage after a hard day pounding the streets? There are establishments all over town which also offer other forms of massage, like Thai-style. One-hand full-body (feet excluded) massages cost about RMB50. But the quality varies, with some places even using fake blind masseurs. One of the reputable locations is Aibosen Blindman Massage (爱博森盲人按摩院 No.11 Liufang Beili, Chaoyang District , 86-10-64652044/64661247 朝阳区柳芳北里11号) where the massage receive rigorous training.
    As part of TCM therapy, acupuncture has been used to diagnose, treat and prevent illness for over 2,000 years. It's especially effective for treating a variety of pains and some special needle treatment is claimed to even help you lose weight. Those needles may look scary, but they are actually very safe and you will be surprised to find the treatment quite relaxing. You may feel a tingling or warmth while the needle is inserted.
    Acupuncture treatment can be found in many Chinese medicine hospitals. If you visit a private clinic, make sure you check the therapist's license before receiving treatment.

    The approval of the World Health Organization has resulted in wider acceptance and practice of acupuncture in other countries.
III Useful Numbers
Emergency call
Fire 119
Police 110
First Aid 120
District Emergency Station
Beijing Emergency Centre 120/65255678
DongCheng District Emergency Station 64034567
Chaouang District Emergency Station 65024214
Xuanwu District Emergency Station 63464404
Shinjingshan District Emergency Station 62551759
Shijingshan District Emergency Station 68878956
Fengtai District Emergency Station 63823477
Beijing Power Station 95598
Repair Service 112
DD operator Register 113
Information 114
IDD Register 115
DD Operator inquiries 116
Time of Day 117
Weather Forecast 121
Traffic Accident 122
Radio Paging Station 126
Beijing Gas Co. 65022414
Dongcheng District 64019433
Chongwen District 670117987
Xicheng Distrit 66034930
Chaoyang District 64661205
Xuanwu District 63034143
Haidian District 62550451
IV Transportation
IC Cards for public transportation

Two in three people in Beijing now have the card.
                                                                             Where to buy: Bus terminals, metro stations
Public Bus
    About 23,000 public buses run on nearly 700 routes in Beijing. With IC card (gongjiao yikatong,traffic cards to take public buses and subways), adults may enjoy a discount of 60 percent and students a discount of 80 percent. Generally, the buses operate between 6 am and 10 pm to midnight. Their frequency varies but a bus should arrive every five to ten minutes.
    Beijing bus information:
    Public traffic service hotline: 96166
Beijing Subway

    The Beijing Subway has seen unprecedented construction in recent years, greatly easing traffic congestion in the Chinese capital. 

    By the end of 2013, the city boasts a network of 20 lines, covering 11 districts. 

    The Beijing Subway is the busiest on the Chinese mainland in terms of passenger volume, and the largest in terms of operational length.

    It is estimated the total operational length of the Beijing system will reach 1,050 km by the end of 2020, with 30 lines and some 450 stations, according to the Beijing government.

    Subway/light-rail trains arrive every few minutes, generally speaking from 5:15 a.m. to 11:40 p.m. Route signs are bilingual; useful maps showing station exits are located at the center of every platform, and all stops are announced on the trains in English and Chinese.                                                    
Part Two Attractions
The Palace Museum (故宫博物院)
Introduction:The Forbidden City was the seat of Imperial power for 500 years, and it is now one of China's major tourist attractions.
Address: No. 4 Jingshan Front Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Key words:Very interesting relics | Top Beijing museum
The Temple of Heaven (天坛公园) Rating:AAAAA
Introduction:It is China's largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings.
Address: No. 1, Tiantan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Mansion of Prince Gong (恭王府)
Introduction:Prince Gong's Mansion is the most well preserved mansion in Beijing.
Address: No. 17, Qianhaixi Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
The Summer Palace (颐和园)
Introduction:Being the largest and most well preserved royal park in China, it greatly influences Chinese horticulture and landscaping with its famous natural vistas and points of cultural interest.
Address: No. 19, Xinjiangongmen Road, Haidian District, Beijing
Badaling Great Wall (八达岭长城风景名胜区)
Introduction:Badaling Great Wall was officially opened to tourists in 1958. It was the earliest section of the Great Wall to be opened to tourists and receives the largest number of visitors.
Address: In the southwestern part of Yanqing County, Beijing
Ming Tombs (Thirteen Tombs of Ming Dynasty) (明十三陵)
Introduction:Of the 16 emperors ruling China during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), 13 are buried in a box canyon at the southern foot of Tianshou Shan (hence the Chinese name Shisan Ling, the 13 Tombs)
Address: Foot of Tianshou Mountain, Changping District, Beijing
The Great Wall at Mutianyu (慕田峪长城)
Introduction:Despite the hundreds of buses that visit daily, the Great Wall at Mutianyu is not as crowded as the nearby Badaling or Juyongguan sections of the Wall.
Address:Mutianyu Village, Bohai Town, Huairou District, Beijing
Shichahai Scenic Area (什刹海风景区)
Introduction:This scenic area contains the largest and best-preserved age-old block in the city.
Address: Opposite the north gate of Beihai Park, Di’anmen West Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
Beihai Park (北海公园)
Introduction:Beihai Park is one of the oldest, largest, and best-preserved of all the ancient imperial gardens in China.
Address: No. 1 Wenjin Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
Jingshan Park (景山公园)
Introduction:Jingshan Park is the best place in downtown Beijing to have a panoramic view of Beijing and the Forbidden City.
Address: No. 44 Jingshan West Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
Ethnic Culture Park & Museum of China(中华民族园)
Introduction:It is a large-scale tourist attraction focused on the heritage, cultural relics and everyday life of 56 ethnic Chinese groups.
Address: No. 1, Minzuyuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 
The Old Summer Palace (圆明园遗址公园)
Introduction:The Old Summer Palace blends some architecture styles like the European Revival of Learning era and the Chinese Daoism architectures and perfectly integrates several different architecture styles into one.
Address: No. 28, Qinghua west Road, Haidian District, Beijing
Fragrant Hills Park (香山公园)
Introduction:Different scenic spots can be seen in different seasons: flowers in Spring, green trees in Summer, red leaves in Autumn and snow in Winter.
Address: No. 40, Fragrant Hill Maimai Street, Haidian District, Beijing
Central Radio and TV tower (中央广播电视塔)
Introduction: It feels really cool to view Beijing from the 238-meter-high outdoor observatory tower.
Address: No. 11, Middle Road of West Third Ring, Haidian District, Beijing
Beigong National Forest Park (北宫国家森林公园)
Introduction:The special and unique scenic spot there fully reflects the beautiful landscape of the harmony between human beings and nature.
Address: No. 55 Dahuichang East Road, Changxindian Town, Fengtai District, Beijing
Part Three Culture
    Up to now, there has been a recorded history of over 3000 years and it has developed prosperously. Evidence of human ancestry dating back to 700,000 years ago has been found in such places as Zhoukoudian in the southwest part of Beijing, where the remains known as 'Peking Man' were found.
    While the city's origins can be traced back to over 2,000 years ago, its true significance came about in the early years of the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC-771 BC). During this time the emperor gave the feudal, lords under his rule plots of land. One of these plots of land (or feod), called 'Ji City', was the capital of the kingdom 'Ji' at that time. This city was the earliest in Beijing history. By the time of the Eastern Zhou Period (476 BC-221 BC), the kingdom Ji no longer existed, being replaced by the kingdom 'Yan'. However, Ji was still the capital city at that time.
    From the time the Emperor Qin Shi Huang unified China in the year 221 BC, Beijing became a strategic place and local kaiserdom center in the northern part of China. From the year 581 to 618 (Sui Dynasty), Beijing was called 'Zhuo' and had a population of 130,000 people. From 618 to 907 (Tang Dynasty), Beijing was called 'You'. During these two dynasties, it was not only a strategic military place but also the major trade center.
    In the year 938 of Liao Dynasty (916-1125), the city became the alternate capital of the kingdom of 'Liao' which was founded by the minority ethnic group Qidan who lived in the northeast of China. Because Beijing of that time was located in the south part of their kingdom, it was renamed 'Nanjing' (in Chinese, 'Nan' means 'in the south place').
    In 1115, the Nvzhen ethnic nationality perished the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) to set up the Jin Dynasty (265-420) and founded its capital Beijing, which was called Zhongdu of Jin. The golden Imperial Palace, an extremely grand luxurious construction, was established in Zhongdu at that time. This was the first time in Beijing history that the city became a truly significant capital. The world-famous Marco Polo Bridge (Lugou Bridge) was built at that time during the Jin Dynasty.
    In 1267 Kublai Khan, the leader of the Mongolian ethnic minority, gave an order to construct a new city in the northeast suburbs of Zhongdu. Four years later, Kublai Khan, ascending the emperor's throne in the new city, under construction at that time, established the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The building of the city was finished in 1276 and became the capital of the Yuan Dynasty. The Italian traveler Marco Polo wrote in his travel notes that he considered it to be the 'incommensurable city even in the world'.
    The current name 'Beijing' comes from more than 500 years ago during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In 1403, Zhu Di captured the throne. After that, he moved the former capital to Beiping and then changed its name to Beijing. In 1406, the Ming Dynasty reconstructed Beijing city. The original imperial palace built during the Yuan Dynasty had been burned down during the time when Zhu Yuanzhang overthrew the Yuan Dynasty. The imperial palace reconstructed in the Ming Dynasty is the Forbidden City at present in Beijing. The construction, design, structure and other aspects of this building epitomize the excellent quality of Chinese architecture in ancient times.
    After the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) immediately seized hold of Beijing, the city was called 'Shuntian Prefectural Capital'. During this period, the botanical garden was constructed. The Summer Palace, Old Summer Palace and many other botanical gardens were built at that time. The Summer Palace, that has the beautiful views of rivers and lakes characteristic of small towns of northern China, has retained its appearance. On October 10, 1911, the Bourgeois Democracy Revolution erupted in China, and in next year's February, the emperor of Qing Dynasty was forced to announce his abdication thus ended the last Chinese feudal dynasty and the history of Beijing as the imperial capital was over.
    As the important gateway of China, Beijing was military land and the scene of many battles in Chinese history. The chaos caused by war was continuous and the sovereignty of the city was changed many times, making Beijing a city which has undergone much balefulness and adversity.
    On October 1, 1949, the People's Republic of China was established and Beijing once again became the newborn capital of China. The history of the old city had turned a new page. A city's history is the history of a country. As the imperial capital city of several generations and today's capital of China, Beijing is the miniature of Chinese history and present actuality. Beijing is an archaic city with 3,000 years' brilliant civilization but simultaneously is also a city that glows with beauty and youth. Now Beijing is appearing in the world in its grand, lovely, fresh and modernized guise, and changing with each passing day.
Beijing Local Products
Qi Pao

    The name "cheongsam," stands for "long dress," comes from the dialect of China's Guangdong Province (Cantonese). In other parts of the country including Beijing, however, it is known as "Qipao".

    Easy and comfortable to wear, cheongsam fit the Chinese female figure well. Its high neck, closed collar, and its sleeves may be short, medium or full length, depending mainly on the season and wearer's taste. The dress is buttoned on the right or left side, with a loose chest, a fitted waist, and slits up either side, all of which combine to set off the beauty of the female form.
    Price Per Person: 1120 RMB
    Phone: +86 10 63035764
    Address: No. 5, Dazhalan Street, Qianmen Wai, Xicheng District(See the Map)
    Business Time: 9:30 - 20:00
    Cheongsam (Qipao) is a female dress with distinctive Chinese features and enjoys a growing popularity in the international world of fashion. This body-hugging dress for women in China originating from the Manchu in the early 17th century was modernized and improved upon in Shanghai around 1900.
Jade Ornaments
    Jade is a rare, colorful and hard stone, and it is usually polished and carved to make jade ware. Jade items are precious and rare treasures in China. Jade ornaments largely appeared in the post-Song period and prevalent during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. 
    Address: Xiaofeng Jewelry and Jade Shop,First Floor, Building Q, Huiyuan Gongyu, Yayun Village, Chaoyang District(See the Map)
    Business Time: 9:00 - 21:00
    The jade ornaments of the Ming Dynasty were tiny and usually became, playthings in the hands of the literati. The ornaments bore patterns such as landscapes, birds and flowers, or were made to resemble humans and animals. 
    The main raw materials included celadon jade, blue and white jade and yellow jade. The Qing Dynasty witnessed the emergence of large jade ornaments which were more complex and finer. In the Qing Dynasty the most reputed jade chipping center was Lane Zhuanzhu in Suzhou where the processed jade ware was quite exquisite and beautiful. 
    The jade workshops in Yangzhou were especially skillful in chipping large pieces of jade ware that usually weighed several thousand Jin, but could weigh over ten thousand Jin. Jade chipping in the Qing Dynasty excelled in combining the merits of traditional painting, carving, and handicraft arts as well as absorbing the artistic styles of foreign arts.
Facial Makeup in Peking Opera
    Peking Opera uses different colours in facial make-up to exaggerate or distort a performers' features, but originally, only three colours were used -- red, white and black - each with its own symbolic meaning. Red is the colour of loyalty, integrity and courage; black suggests a serious and taciturn disposition, including with it strength and roughness; white reveals a crafty and suspicious character. Later, other colours were gradually incorporated, such as purple -- a symbol of solemnity, serenity and a sense of justice; yellow, representing intelligence and calculation or bravery when used in warrior roles; blue shows uprightness and stubbornness; 
green indicates bravery and irascibility; and gold and silver are sometimes used on the faces of immortals, demons and monsters. Different colours also distinguish nobility from the common folk, goodness from evil or loyalty from treachery.
    Phone: +86 10 65288866-4021
    Address: Gongmei Building, No. 200, Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District(See the Map)
    Business Time: 9:30 - 21:30
    Of the four roles of Peking Opera -- sheng, dan, jing and chou, only the jing and chou roles have elaborate facial make-up. There are relatively few make-up patterns for a chou role -- the most common being a white nose for comic effect. The make-up pattern of jing-role patterns are much more complicated and varied, they include the "whole-face," "three-tile face," "quartered face," "six-division face," "tiny-flowered face" and "lopsided face." Each pattern is rooted in its ability to reflect subtle and interesting changes in a human facial expressions, and each pattern has its own symbolic meaning. In the case of Meng Liang, a warrior of the Song Dynasty, Red was the main colour of his facial make-up. On his forehead is the pattern of an inverted hulu (or gourd). This pattern represents a particular weapon called huohulu (or "gourd containing fire lighter") he uses.
    Although facial make-up is extremely stylized in terms of colours and patterns used, no two painted faces are alike. For instance, there are more than 100 face-painting styles designed for Xiang Yu, the hero of Farewell My Concubine, and each one is very different.
Chinese Clay Figurines
    From the perspective of the making process of clay figurines, they can be divided into two.Figurines can be made by molding, like toys. These tend to be mass-produced in larger quantities.Figurines can also be made-by-hand, like the Huishan clay figurines. The latter are more detailed, and often portray characters from folk tales. Appealing colors like red, green, blue, and yellow are often applied to these figurines to make them more eye-catching and attract customers. Many folk artists sell the Huishan clay figurines in the trade fairs or during festival seasons, and have even made a living from it.
    Phone: +86 10 67111381
    Address: Baigongfang, B12, Guangming Road, Dongcheng District(See the Map)
    Business Time: 9:00 – 17:00
    China has established many cultural centers for the display of clay figurines abroad. Clay figurines were very popular during the reign of the Qing and Ming dynasties. Some of the most famous pieces, amongst all, were the Huishan clay figurines, made in Wuxi of Jiangsu province, and the Zhang clay figurines, made in Tianjin. Zhang Mingshan, after learning the craft from his father, created Zhang clay figurines during Qing dynasty. Observing roles of the actors in local operas, famous people, and people of various walks of life, he designed his figurines to portray various expressive moods. Incorporating skills similar to those of Chinese wood engravings and paintings, he is known to have created more than 10,000 figurines. His products were so appealing that people entitled him as “Clay Figurine Zhang.” The Huishan clay figurines are of a different style and are usually sold with plates. They are also made of special clay, which is available in Huishan Mountain. The significance of the clay is said to be its excellent plasticity and smooth texture, which is perfect for sculpting. Huishan figurines reached the height of their development as well as production during the Qing dynasty from the reign of EmperorTongzhi to Emperor Guangxu. On the 60th birthday of empress Dowager Cixi, the local official of Huishan gave her a clay figurine set titled “Immortality Peach Gathering.” From then on, Huishan clay figurines have received recognition as articles unto the Imperial Court. Wuxi of Jiangsu province is renowned for his Huishan clay figurines. 
 Dough Figurine
    Dough Figurine is a famous Beijing handicraft. Dough modeling originated from the old custom of molding and steaming dough food as sacrificial offerings or birthday presents. Nearly every family in the city molded dough pieces during the Spring Festival. They looked nice and tasted good, representing a splendid harvest and wishes for good luck. They were also toys for children. Today, dough-modeling handicraftsmen have improved their techniques and turned the products into visual artworks.
    Price Per Person: 100 RMB
    Phone: +86 10 58176688
    Address: Floor B1, New Dong’an Market, No.138, Wangfujing Avenue, Dongcheng District(See the Map)
    Figurine is a simple folk handicraft demonstrating high artistic quality. It has a history over 1,340 years. The vivid figurine is made by skilled craftsmen from sticky rice dough mixed with pigments, honey and olefin. After cutting, slashing, pinching and twisting the dough, a lifelike child, beautiful girl or other creations will come out in the twinkling of an eye. You can witness the craftsmen making dough figurines along the exhibition streets in Beijing and you will be astonished by their excellent skills.
Zi Sha Pot
    Yi Xing is located on the boundary of Suzhou, Zhejiang and Anhui. It was a famous place for tea during the Tang dynasty. It is recorded that Gong Chun, an artist in the Ming dynasty, was the first best maker of Zi Sha pots. His works were named Gong Chun pot. Even then, there were comparisons between Gong Chun pots and treasures. Hence, the production of Zi Sha pot boomed.
    In the middle of the Qing dynasty, Cheng Hongshou, a well-known scholar, took part in the production of Zi Sha pots and integrated calligraphy, drawing and arts, which was accepted and affirmed by society and named the Man Sheng pot. This kind of pot was another milestone in the history of Zi Sha pot production. After that, many artists took part in the drawing and calligraphy of Zi Sha pots.
    Zi Sha Pot
    Phone: +86 10 87739538
    Address: China Snuff Bottle and Zi Sha Pot Museum, Folk Culture Street, Gaobeidian, Chaoyang District
    There is a long history of drinking tea in China. Ancient scholars used to drink tea together and regarded it as a great fun. Drinking tea played an important role in the lives of ancient people.
    In the Tang dynasty, there was no difference between tea wares and eating wares. Along with the popularization of drinking tea, the ideal teapot ─ the Zi Sha pot ─ appeared in the late of Tang dynasty. This kind of pot is made of mud named Zi Sha and its color is mauve. It has a simple and unsophisticated form, and was quite popular during the Song dynasty. The well-known poet Ou Yangxiu once wrote poems about the pot. During the period between the Song and Ming, Yi Xing became the production center of Zi Sha pots. Now, the Zi Sha pot made in Yi Xing is the best quality.
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