One Weekend in Beijing
As a traveller, you always have places you would visit when you frequent the same country.
During my second visit to Beijing, I found myself spending time at this two particular places again : 798 and Sanlitun. On the other hand, I also found new places to venture. This is my recommendation on places to visit if you only have a weekend in Beijing.
Sanlitun Village in Chaoyang District is where you can find all the fashion, food and bars happening in one place. It has 2 parts; The Village South and The Village North. The Village South is where you find Apple, Adidas, Uniqlo and the first Holister store which is due to open this year. The Village North is more upmarket with Prada, Alexander Wang and Balenciaga . They are separated by an upscale boutique hotel, The Opposite House (www.theoppositehouse.com)
Just spend one hour on a normal Saturday afternoon in a cafe at the most fashionable district in Beijing, you will be in for a treat to see the most fashionable people in Beijing. People watching eventually will turn into fashion spotting. There are people who would dress up (or even dress down in just sleeveless t-shirts and skirts in winter) and parade around as if they are waiting to be photographed. The restaurants and cafes in The Village North are always fully booked on weekends.
Next up, we have the 798 Art District, where you do not have to be an art lover to appreciate the place as it is amazing. Factories, railways and warehouses are converted into art galleries, shops, cafes, design studios and many more. Yearly design festivals and fashion events are held here as well. It is a great place to spend an afternoon at and definitely worth your while.
This trip, I even managed to go to the Beijing Olympic Village. The Bird’s Nest stadium and the Water Cube aquatic pool, are two iconic buildings you have to include in your list of places-to-visit-before-you-die.
Still within Chaoyang District, Fangcaode/Parkview Green(http://www.parkviewgreen.com) is the latest addition to the hundreds of shopping malls in Beijing. And what is the deal about this one you may ask? For starters, the building is an architectural landmark ans is the first building in China to receive a certificate for Green Building. The outer pyramid shape of the mall is made of glass; the same material as the Olympic Water Cube. Parkview Green also houses the luxurious Hotel Eclat(http://www.eclathotels.com/), and the home of some of the most unique art pieces.
A tip for a tourist, you would probably want to visit Nanlinlouxiang, although you have to squeeze through the crowded and narrow walkways. And please do not forget that you must try Beijing’s Peking Duck and Da Dong Roast Duck.
Although I have been to Beijing twice, I have yet to visit the Forbidden City and the Great World of China! Well, i guess that calls for another trip!
Text & Images by: Paul Khor
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