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Gateway Běijīng

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© Lonely Planet Publications
79
GATEWAY BĚIJĪNG

Gateway Běijīng
北京
In China, all roads and railways lead to Běijīng. There are flights to just about every domestic
city of note, as well as air links to most major cities around the world. Unsurprisingly, many
people choose to start or end their trip to China in the political and cultural capital, home to
some of the country’s most essential sights. It’s here that you’ll find the Forbidden City, the
Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven, while close by is the Great Wall. Even if you’re
only in the city for a couple of days, that’s enough time to get a taste of Běijīng. If you do
decide to return, Lonely Planet’s Beijing city guide will point you in the right direction.
A vast, sprawling city at first sight, Běijīng is actually a fairly easy place to get around.
Five ring roads cut through the city, subway lines and overland rail links connect the centre
to the far-flung suburbs, and buses and taxis are cheap and plentiful. Běijīng has some of
the best restaurants in the country, a huge array of shops to stock up on essentials for
your trip and an ever-improving selection of bars and nightlife. Short-term travellers should
stay in the area bordered by the third ring road. Sānlǐtún in Cháoyáng District is home to
embassies and a wide range of hotels, restaurants, shops and bars. To the west of Sānlǐtún
is Dōngchéng District, the heart of old Běijīng with most of the city’s remaining hútòng –
ancient alleyways that crisscross the area. At the southernmost end of Dōngchéng is
Wángfǔjǐng, Běijīng’s premier shopping district. The areas of Qiánmén and Chóngwén, south
of Tiananmen Sq, are convenient for many of Běijīng’s most famous sights, but less so for
restaurants and nightlife.
The climate in Běijīng is harsh. Summers are hot and humid, while the winter is bitterly
cold. Severe air pollution is a problem all year round, but especially at these times, and
spring is sandstorm season. The short autumn is the most pleasant time to visit.

INFORMATION
Bookshops

Foreign Languages Bookstore (外文书店;
Wàiwén Shūdiàn; %6512 6911, 6512 6838; 235
Wangfujing Dajie; 王府井大街235号; h9am10pm; bWangfujing) An ever-increasing range of
English-language novels, nonfiction books and some
Lonely Planet guides are available here, as well as maps
of Běijīng and beyond.
Wangfujing Bookstore (王府井书店; Wángfǔjǐng
Shūdiàn; %6525 2592; 218 Wangfujing Dajie; 王府
井大街218号; h9am-9pm; bWangfujing) The
ground floor of this vast place has a good select...
GATEWAY BĚ IJĪ NG
In China, all roads and railways lead to Běijīng. There are flights to just about every domestic
city of note, as well as air links to most major cities around the world. Unsurprisingly, many
people choose to start or end their trip to China in the political and cultural capital, home to
some of the country’s most essential sights. It’s here that you’ll find the Forbidden City, the
Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven, while close by is the Great Wall. Even if you’re
only in the city for a couple of days, that’s enough time to get a taste of Běijīng. If you do
decide to return, Lonely Planet’s Beijing city guide will point you in the right direction.
A vast, sprawling city at first sight, Běijīng is actually a fairly easy place to get around.
Five ring roads cut through the city, subway lines and overland rail links connect the centre
to the far-flung suburbs, and buses and taxis are cheap and plentiful. Běijīng has some of
the best restaurants in the country, a huge array of shops to stock up on essentials for
your trip and an ever-improving selection of bars and nightlife. Short-term travellers should
stay in the area bordered by the third ring road. Sānlǐtún in Cháoyáng District is home to
embassies and a wide range of hotels, restaurants, shops and bars. To the west of Sānlǐtún
is Dōngchéng District, the heart of old Běijīng with most of the city’s remaining hútòng
ancient alleyways that crisscross the area. At the southernmost end of Dōngchéng is
Wángfǔjǐng, Běijīng’s premier shopping district. The areas of Qiánmén and Chóngwén, south
of Tiananmen Sq, are convenient for many of Běijīng’s most famous sights, but less so for
restaurants and nightlife.
The climate in Běijīng is harsh. Summers are hot and humid, while the winter is bitterly
cold. Severe air pollution is a problem all year round, but especially at these times, and
spring is sandstorm season. The short autumn is the most pleasant time to visit.
Gateway Běijīng
北京
INFORMATION
Bookshops
Foreign Languages Bookstore (外文书店;
Wàiwén Shūdiàn;
%
6512 6911, 6512 6838; 235
Wangfujing Dajie; 王府井大街235;
h
9am-
10pm;
b
Wangfujing) An ever-increasing range of
English-language novels, nonfiction books and some
Lonely Planet guides are available here, as well as maps
of Běijīng and beyond.
Wangfujing Bookstore (王府井书店; Wángfǔjǐng
Shūdiàn;
%
6525 2592; 218 Wangfujing Dajie; 王府
井大街218;
h
9am-9pm;
b
Wangfujing) The
ground floor of this vast place has a good selection of
maps. On the 3rd floor there’s a limited range of English-
language novels.
Emergency
Ambulance (
%
120)
Fire (
%
119)
Police (
%
110)
Public Security Bureau (foreigners’ section;
%
8402
0101)
Internet Access
You can access the internet at any number
of places around town. Most cafés and some
bars have wi-fi access.
Beijing Huohu Shiji Internet Café (Běijīng Huǒ
Shìjì Wǎngbā; Chunxiu Lu;
h
8am-midnight)
FA S T FAC TS
Area code:
%
010
Population: 15.38 million
Area: 16,808 sq km
79
© Lonely Planet Publications
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Gateway Běijīng 9 10 542