Beijing

  • cg220

    Posts: 208

    Jan 25, 2011 2:39 AM GMT
    Have any of you guys spent much time in Beijing? I am there for a couple of days and wondered what any highlights are. I have been before so seen the wall, palaces, etc. I was just wondering if anyone has any hidden gems. I doubt there would be much of a gay scene here but who knows.

    Thanks for any tips
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 25, 2011 2:53 AM GMT
    I don't know of any hidden gems but when I was there some of the best times I had were getting on a bike and just exploring - going into little shops and interacting with people in neighborhoods where tourists rarely wandered.

    This was twenty years ago though. I hear the city is not as bicycle friendly as it was then.
  • TheIStrat

    Posts: 777

    Jan 25, 2011 2:56 AM GMT
    There is a gay bar there called Destination. I went. It was awesome.

    Try the Peking duck, and some hot pot.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Jan 25, 2011 2:57 AM GMT
    I've lived in Beijing for almost two years, and there are lots of things to do there. I just came home stateside for the next few weeks, though, so here are a few tips:

    There is a very vibrant gay scene, albeit concentrated around one spot called Destination on Gongti Xilu. It's very crowded and mostly Chinese. There is a really classy and nice gay night on Thursdays at Mesh, the bar of The Opposite House Hotel on Sanlitun Beilu, frequented by the expat community. There's a new gay venue apparently but I haven't heard much about it (like name, place, vibe).

    As for hidden gems, you need to walk around the hutong and the Siheyuan near Houhai and Beihai. They're really beautiful, and in the process of disappearing.

    The best part of the Great Wall is Simatai. Last I knew it was under renovation, but the section next to it is still open and nearly as breathtaking, called Jinshanling. You can arrange a driver to take you from Beijing there and back for around 500-600 kuai (renminbi). Bring warm clothes because it's COLD right now.

    The 798 Art District, especially the UCCA, is a must-see if you like art, especially modern art.

    To go Alameda for lunch during the week, it's exquisite, on Sanlitun Beilu, but look online for the precise address because it's kind of down an alley and around a corner, if you don't have help finding it you might not.

    Get a drink at Apothecary in the Nali Patio, Sanlitun Beilu, 3rd floor, they have the most amazing cocktails in the city. Sanlitun Nanlu also has a nice cozy place called the Bookworm with good jazz and wine on Friday nights until 11.

    Go for Peking Duck at Dadong or Quanjude. Both are very tasty, and Peking Duck is something you must try while in Beijing.

    Gee I'm having trouble thinking of everything worth doing! Beijing is a city that always has something going on, so pick up Time Out of The Beijinger or Agenda (they're all free and you can get them almost anywhere) to find out what's on the calendar. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
  • cg220

    Posts: 208

    Jan 25, 2011 3:38 AM GMT
    Great info guys, thank you!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 25, 2011 3:42 AM GMT
    My highlights when I was there was Peking Duck (as people have mentioned already), the Great Wall and the Silk Market (if you want like haggling).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 25, 2011 4:11 AM GMT
    The area called Dashanzi Art District or Zone 798 as already mentioned. It is filled with loads of cool galleries. If you are into art and want to check out the bleeding edge of avant garde art in Beijing head into this area. Also lots of nice cafes where you can just hang out - enjoy!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 25, 2011 4:14 AM GMT
    Bunjamon saidI've lived in Beijing for almost two years, and there are lots of things to do there. I just came home stateside for the next few weeks, though, so here are a few tips:

    There is a very vibrant gay scene, albeit concentrated around one spot called Destination on Gongti Xilu. It's very crowded and mostly Chinese. There is a really classy and nice gay night on Thursdays at Mesh, the bar of The Opposite House Hotel on Sanlitun Beilu, frequented by the expat community. There's a new gay venue apparently but I haven't heard much about it (like name, place, vibe).

    As for hidden gems, you need to walk around the hutong and the Siheyuan near Houhai and Beihai. They're really beautiful, and in the process of disappearing.

    The best part of the Great Wall is Simatai. Last I knew it was under renovation, but the section next to it is still open and nearly as breathtaking, called Jinshanling. You can arrange a driver to take you from Beijing there and back for around 500-600 kuai (renminbi). Bring warm clothes because it's COLD right now.

    The 798 Art District, especially the UCCA, is a must-see if you like art, especially modern art.

    To go Alameda for lunch during the week, it's exquisite, on Sanlitun Beilu, but look online for the precise address because it's kind of down an alley and around a corner, if you don't have help finding it you might not.

    Get a drink at Apothecary in the Nali Patio, Sanlitun Beilu, 3rd floor, they have the most amazing cocktails in the city. Sanlitun Nanlu also has a nice cozy place called the Bookworm with good jazz and wine on Friday nights until 11.

    Go for Peking Duck at Dadong or Quanjude. Both are very tasty, and Peking Duck is something you must try while in Beijing.

    Gee I'm having trouble thinking of everything worth doing! Beijing is a city that always has something going on, so pick up Time Out of The Beijinger or Agenda (they're all free and you can get them almost anywhere) to find out what's on the calendar. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!


    Damn, Bunjamon is fast! He's hit every thing I would've told you and more. Don't pass up a one of those for anything--they're not idle suggestions. Oh! You should really get up early to walk around the Temple of Heaven grounds and watch the morning Taiji, Qigong, Wu Shu, etc. practitioners if you get the chance, as well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 25, 2011 5:27 AM GMT
    Just went there in September. Second (third?) the recommendation for Destination. It's smoky, but that's China. There is one area upstairs that is designated non-smoking, but it's just one room IIRC. I didn't spend much time there anyway because I was busy working the pole in the downstairs dance area. icon_smile.gif The DJ upstairs in the bar was playing much better music than the downstairs DJ, IMHO, but that could have been just that one night. Getting a drink is a bit odd - you don't interact directly with the bartender; there's a go-between who takes your order and then relays it to the bartender.

    Definitely get Peking Duck.

    If you want a grittier, more authentic shopping experience, then find the glitzed-up pedestrian mall over near Tiananmen Square/Forbidden Palace - we found it just kind of wandering and asking people questions in my fledgling Mandarin, but I think it might be Wangfujing Street. Just past the entrance (there should be a Starbucks on the right), duck through the gap between buildings to the right and you should find yourself in an alleyway filled with local vendors. This is where the fun is! Haggle away and get some great deals. Some of the T-shirts are hysterical.

    The subway at rush hour is an experience - there are two people at every set of doors; one's job is to push people in to pack as many as possible.

    Have fun!
  • trevchaser

    Posts: 237

    Jan 25, 2011 6:14 AM GMT
    I only did a layover in Beijing which I wish was longer. All those tours to China's historic places look amazing! Make sure you spend some time wandering the new airport terminal. It's amazing! Who knew such a large ceiling could hold up and just suspend itself creating a nice clean atmosphere inside. I would love to take a highspeed train somwhere! As the plane was landing I watched a white bullet train matching velocity making highspeed highway traffic looked stopped. The contrasts between poverty and rich are life changing and to see how the people conduct themselves is an experience in itself. Learn the main things like, Thank you and hello which you can use google translate to listen to how it sounds.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 25, 2011 10:36 AM GMT
    Go to Wangfujing Lu and eat a fried scorpion. Also, Chaoyang park has these guys that will zip you up in a plastic bubble and push you out on to a lake where you can run around like a gerbil or just lay there and relax.

    There's a restaurant called Medicine House on the campus of Peking Uni. that has the best Kungpao chicken (gong bao ji ding) and Sweet and sour pork (gu lao rou) I've ever had.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 27, 2011 4:39 AM GMT
    I loved hanging out in the Temple of Heaven park in the mornings - before 11:00. There are all kinds of people doing Tai Chi, practicing martial arts, singing in groups or on their own, playing musical instruments, dancing, etc - it's a great cultural experience.
  • alphatop

    Posts: 1955

    Feb 24, 2011 5:24 AM GMT
    There was "White rabbit" club (techno, gay friendly ) in the Lucky street ( Hao yun jie ), but I am not sure is it still working...
    Oh, and for that Destination club...My friends used to call it Desperation, so you go figure...

    Alfa club (very near Workers stadium) is having Friday gay night. There is also newly opened gay club for bear lovers called Sobear. Just google it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 24, 2011 5:48 AM GMT
    Great tips and advice guys. What about Shanghai? I will be visiting both Beijing and Shanghai in two weeks for Spring Break....
  • The6Degrees

    Posts: 53

    Mar 18, 2011 11:11 AM GMT
    Had a terrible time at Destin-timidations.

    Rooms and rooms of semi-drunken, asleep out-of-town guys that travel in on the train just to spend all night passed out on the couches...got trolled....

    We used to go to the Boat...till they sold it a few months ago and it became a str8 joint...ewwwww

    I've heard decent things about Alfas gay Fridays...but only from str8 people...go figure.

    Anyway, don't miss YongHeGong or the Great Wall.

    M
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 01, 2011 8:03 AM GMT
    Alpha on Friday nights is definitely gay. Gets extremely packed, so be prepared to squeeze your way around.

    Another good dining option (or just a drink) is Capital M - at the edge of Tiananmen. Has an outdoor patio with great views of the square. Good for brunch or for a sunset dinner (hang around until they light up the square). Owned by the same people as M on the Bund in Shanghai.

    If you plan to head to Destination, Scarlett at Hotel G is just around the corner - has good food, atmosphere and decent wine list.

    This guy runs a good blog on Beijing food, wine, and bars in general.

    http://www.beijingboyce.com/

    As for Shanghai, Eddy's Bar is a good place to start.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 01, 2011 8:18 AM GMT
    time to just start trying the food.. they have amazing food in china, but not much of a gay scene.. dont bother with it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 14, 2013 3:27 AM GMT
    Destination is too smoky, but it's the most famous gay bar in China... It sucks that most of Chinese gay men are shy to flirt with strangers in bar...
  • covin

    Posts: 1

    Apr 17, 2013 11:35 PM GMT
    Bunjamon saidI've lived in Beijing for almost two years, and there are lots of things to do there. I just came home stateside for the next few weeks, though, so here are a few tips:

    There is a very vibrant gay scene, albeit concentrated around one spot called Destination on Gongti Xilu. It's very crowded and mostly Chinese. There is a really classy and nice gay night on Thursdays at Mesh, the bar of The Opposite House Hotel on Sanlitun Beilu, frequented by the expat community. There's a new gay venue apparently but I haven't heard much about it (like name, place, vibe).

    As for hidden gems, you need to walk around the hutong and the Siheyuan near Houhai and Beihai. They're really beautiful, and in the process of disappearing.

    The best part of the Great Wall is Simatai. Last I knew it was under renovation, but the section next to it is still open and nearly as breathtaking, called Jinshanling. You can arrange a driver to take you from Beijing there and back for around 500-600 kuai (renminbi). Bring warm clothes because it's COLD right now.

    The 798 Art District, especially the UCCA, is a must-see if you like art, especially modern art.

    To go Alameda for lunch during the week, it's exquisite, on Sanlitun Beilu, but look online for the precise address because it's kind of down an alley and around a corner, if you don't have help finding it you might not.

    Get a drink at Apothecary in the Nali Patio, Sanlitun Beilu, 3rd floor, they have the most amazing cocktails in the city. Sanlitun Nanlu also has a nice cozy place called the Bookworm with good jazz and wine on Friday nights until 11.

    Go for Peking Duck at Dadong or Quanjude. Both are very tasty, and Peking Duck is something you must try while in Beijing.

    Gee I'm having trouble thinking of everything worth doing! Beijing is a city that always has something going on, so pick up Time Out of The Beijinger or Agenda (they're all free and you can get them almost anywhere) to find out what's on the calendar. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!



    Travelling to Beijing on business. Was hoping to put some tourist-fun into it too! Really great tips here but I'd like to get people's thoughts on doing these things alone.icon_eek.gif

    Anywhere i can find a travel buddy perhaps?