Blogs from Xuanwu District, Beijing, China, Asia


Asia » China » Beijing » Xuanwu District September 6th 2013

Precruise Day Two Day Friday 6 September-Beijing Xuanwu district. Tried to have a big sleep in but by 7-30am China time I was awake and making use of the free wifi, but alas not facebook. We are staying at The Holiday Inn Express Temple of Heaven, Nanwei Lu, which is a short walk away from TheTemple of Heaven in the Xuanwu district of Beijing. It's a typical western style hotel with western toilet and bathroom facilities and a free buffet breakfast each morning in theGreat Room which has lovely views of the surrounding gardens. The buffet is a mix of western (or an attempt at this style) plus Chinese food, juices, fresh fruit,yoghurt, cereals etc. No fridge in room but tea making facilities, free bottled water, fresh white towels and hard Chinese beds! A ... read more
Taoranting Park
artist at work
The street

Asia » China » Beijing » Xuanwu District September 5th 2013

Precruise Day One Another overseas holiday begins today with a 6am wake up and a short work to Central train station in Sydney to catch the airport train to the International airport. We stayed at The Great southern Hotel on George St, which is a great heritage listed hotel right in behind China town. Arrival at the international airport required a long walk to the farthest ticket counter to board our flight with China Southern airlines to firstly Guangzhou and then on to Beijing. Modern well fitted out plane, but as usual with things Chinese some things don't work and that's that, take it or leave it. This pretty much describes the service or lack of it for the flight. Personal viewing screens worked for only half the flight, luckily I had a good ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Xuanwu District October 8th 2012

Day 29 (Thurs 4thOct) So the first task of the morning was to get the money back that the housekeeper had stolen. On waking up I packed my bags and headed to reception. I handed them my key and asked for my money, which I was given in full along with the 3 days I had paid for and wasn’t going to be staying there for. So off I go to my new hostel, which is actually a hotel but the top floor has some dorms in it instead, it’s far nicer than the previous hostel so I’ve fallen on my feet here. First major problem on the road overcome and time to enjoy the rest of Beijing. With it being early afternoon by the time I got settled into new surroundings, I decided to head ... read more
Summer Palace
Tian'anmen Square
Donghuamen Night Market

Asia » China » Beijing » Xuanwu District August 30th 2012

Two months of travelling... what does that mean to us? Well personally, as I have already shared with a few close friends, I recently felt this "calm" come over me. Back home, I micromanaged most of my life (and others) and small details were very important. This month I was much more patient. I have been able to accept when things don't go exactly as planned and it's decreased the amount of stress in my life a lot! When travelling in a foreign country it's really important (for me anyway) to not sweat the small stuff. With the small stuff set aside, I've had much more time to stop and smell the roses and truly enjoy every moment. I don't want to miss a single thing on this journey and I remind myself of that every ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Xuanwu District April 3rd 2012

We met at the airport on Sunday morning at 9 am and had a very long day of travelling, it took us about 20 hours altogether. Waiting for us in the arrivals lounge were 5 of the teachers from Honglian primary school, they were all really friendly and very excited to see us. They dropped us off at the hotel and told us we had 30 minutes to get ready and we were going to be taken out for lunch! We checked in to our hotel which is on the 12th floor, had a quick shower and freshen up and then set off for our meal. We arrived at the restaurant which looked like a small temple and were ushered to a private room upstairs, where were greeted by the headteacher and treated to an exquisite ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Xuanwu District January 24th 2012

Griff and I arrived in Beijing Saturday afternoon. Getting through customs and everything was quite simple. Like Seoul, Beijing has a subway train within the airport for you to take from customs to luggage pick-up. We exchanged some money, and then headed to the taxi queue. I had meant to see if I could find a Chinese translation of the hotel name online to show the driver ahead of time, but didn't get a chance to. That's unfortunate, considering we then dealt with language barriers trying to get a cab. In hindsight we ended up overpaying by local standards (300¥), but when you consider we were in the taxi for more than an hour, that's close to what I would pay back home. Griff has a nasty cold, which he (and many of the other HAFS ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Xuanwu District December 20th 2011

The Muslim population in Beijing is quite large. There are many mosques around the city, one on Wangfujing street and a whole areas around the Xuanwu district. As a Muslim I read about the Niujie mosque in history books. One of the oldest mosques in Asia, it was built in the year 996 by an Arabian scholar Nasurutan. I was expecting to see s huge domed structure to indicate the mosque. I remember when the taxi dropped us to the mosque I thought were in the wrong place! I walked up to a gate where I saw a series of Chinese style houses. On the gate there was a sign welcoming us to Niujie Mosque. It was a real pleasant surprise. The grounds are quite and calming. A man came out to greet us in limited ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Xuanwu District December 17th 2011

When I was at home, my husband and I watched a documentary on Walmart. Part of the documentary was how Walmart launched in China. We were intrigued to see how see for ourselves what this store was like and if it was well received. Just outside the city centre; in the district of Xuanwu there are few huge shopping complexes. This area is more geared for locals, so be prepared if you go there… no English here. If you take the subway you can either come off at Cashi Kou or Xuanwu Men station. Beijing subways are easy to use and very clean and efficient. The subways have big clear signs that point you the major attractions. If you get off at Xuanwu Men station you will see a big sign called Walmart Superstore. Take that ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Xuanwu District October 24th 2011

We spent our last full day in Beijing exploring the area near our hostel. This district, between Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven, seems to be one of the last parts of the city to retain the old development pattern wherein low houses with interior courtyards are grouped together into hutongs, forming what are effectively villages within the city. This development plan dates back to the Mongol days when the capital was moved here. In fact hutong is derived from a Mongolian word, and this term is not used for alleys or back streets any place but Beijing. In modern times, and especially since 1949, most of the city's hutongs have been torn down to make way for grand government buildings, tall apartment houses, and, more recently, modern retail development. In the core tourist area ... read more
Hutong haircut
Tea shop in hutong
Commercial hutong area

Asia » China » Beijing » Xuanwu District September 2nd 2010

Date Saturday 28th August 2010 Cities Daegu - Seoul - Hong Kong - Beijing Language Korean - Cantonese - Mandarin Currency Korean Won - 850 = NZ$1, Canadian dollar in Hong Kong and Chinese Yuan Climate airport and plane temperatures all day! The alarm woke us at 5am! A quick shower and we were out the door to meet our cab to the airport. A day of travel was before us and all went really well. Three flights and two cab rides later we were at the hotel in Beijing. What a huge city! Looking forward to exploring it over the next few days Date Sunday 29th August 2010 City Beijing Language Mandarin Currency Chinese Yuan 4.79Y = NZ$1.00 Climate low 21c - high 32c We’re staying at a hotel with a mouthful of a name: ... read more
Temple of Heaven
Qianmen Gate
One of the Olymic Pandas relaxing

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