Friday, May 30, 2008

Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open

The Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open event at Beijing's National Stadium took place last Thursday 22 - Sunday 25 May.

Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open

The competition was a trial run for this summer's Olympic Games and involved over 900 athletes competing in 42 Olympic and 4 Paralympic events.

The stadium and atmosphere were praised by British athlete David Weir who won the 5,000 meter wheelchair race: "The crowd was great....there was a brilliant atmosphere."

Thousands of people have flocked to the morning and evening events to enjoy the spectacle of watching world record holders compete in their chosen sports. Many have also attended to simply experience the amazing new National Stadium (Bird's Nest) sports venue.

On Friday night the 50,000 or so spectators were treated to seeing the great Liu Xiang, current world record holder of the Men's Open 110m Hurdles compete against other aspiring athletes. The crowd was not disappointed as Liu Xiang both acknowledged the standing ovation he received as he entered the stadium and then competed in his unique fleet footed style, flying over the hurdles like they didn't exist. One couldn't help but feel elated at his magnificent win and privileged to there to witness the event.

Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open

As organizers prepare the incredible and fascinating venue for the Olympics and become familiar with procedures and protocols they have to be congratulated on their preparations and the smooth way in which they were able to host the enthusiastic crowd last night.

However in their excitement to see Liu Xiang, the crowd rose expectantly and excitedly to their feet to welcome him into the stadium and show their support. This caused many anxious guards to rush in concern and control the crowd as they shouted commands for all to sit down.

Naturally, the well meaning spectators quickly sat down to avoid any conflict with the anxious guards. It does however make one wonder how both guards and crowds from many cultures will relate in an even more excited situation during Olympic contests.

Knowing how much work has gone into the event and preparations to provide the best Olympic venues it is highly likely we will see this sort of situation overcome with a little more training of the security guards. No doubt they will be helped to recognize the difference between excited support, interest and enthusiasm and crowd rioting.

Good Luck Beijing 2008 China Athletics Open

Spectators were treated to a wide selection of athletic events including hurdles, women's heptathlon, javelin, high jump, shot put, long jump, 100m sprints, 400m, 800m and 1500m.

Facilities at the stadium catered well for the crowd with ample assistants to guide people to their seats, food & drink outlets charging very fair prices (prices paid at any local street food and drink outlet), good views of events, and many clean and spacious bathroom facilities.

If you are attending the Olympic Games be aware that you will not be permitted to take drinks and camera tripods through security.

Books on China and Beijing

Book the Fujian Hotel Beijing Book the Beijing Qianyuan International Business Hotel

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jiu Chang Art Complex

Jiu Chang Art ComplexArt in Beijing

A very newly developed collection of art galleries can be found at Jiu Chang Art Complex on An Wai Bei Yuan Lu, Chao Yang District Beijing.

This area using factory buildings from a recently demolished hutong makes for a fascinating wander among many different galleries displaying photography, pencil sketches, oil paintings and sculpture. New restaurants and coffee shops are also springing up amongst the galleries to make this a delightful addition to visiting many of Beijing’s well known art areas and galleries. You are far more likely to pick up an affordable piece of quality work in this area.

Visit the Shi Tang Art Complex or International Art Garden displayed at (C 9001) galleries currently exhibiting photography by Keary Liu and Zhang Zhaoming respectively. Keary presents an excellent range of photos from around Beijing and China. Zhang exhibits a unique style of work combining wedding photography and Beijing cityscapes, including the National Stadiums as his backdrops. Zhang’s work is titled One World, One Dream and provides a fascinating insight into views of China and its place in the world.

Qiu Jie presents an interesting collection of enormous pencil drawings depicting elements from his new home in Switzerland and his original home in China. His work portrays elegance and humour and sadness. Many of his drawings even feature a surprising portrait of Mao. Look for Arario Beijing Space 2 Gallery.

Oil paintings can be found at Idea Zone and C1005 – 2 Room Gallery where a range of art is on display from a number of different artists. C1005 – 2 Room features the work of Gelong. Gelong also presents a range of ink pen drawings in his exhibition.

Jiu Chang Art ComplexFor something totally different from the above wander on down to PYO Gallery Beijing at the back of the art gallery complex, just by the large red ‘lego’ David sculpture. See or visit to view to view information about He Long the current exhibiter in this gallery. PYO Gallery is also currently exhibiting work by Li Dai Yun titled Polyscope. Both of these exhibits run until 1st June 2008.

The galleries described here are only an introduction to the many galleries opening up in this new art area for visitors to enjoy.

Keep your eyes open for some rather interesting outdoor sculpture displays as you wander from gallery to gallery. Look up, look down, look all around to discover some of the not so obvious pieces of interest.

Jiu Chang Art Complex
Bei Hu Qu Lu
An Wai Bei Yuan Lu
Chao Yang District

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beijing Update Subway Line 10

Qianmen Renovations

For those wanting to revisit the ancient city area of Qianmen just south of Tianmen Square the long wait is coming to an end. The much anticipated reopening of Qianmen is due to take place in early July. The huge renovations will deliver us a street returning to the 1920’s style featuring an two old trolley cars from that era. Many of the popular and famous old shops like Quanjude and its delicious roast duck along with new stores like Starbucks will be available.

Subway Line 10

The 25 km long Subway Line 10 is scheduled to open on June 1st. This line will follow the east 3rd Ring Road for much of its route and allow passengers much quicker access to venues in that area than travel by bus or car. Line 10 also brings travelers so close to Olympic Park they can either take a healthy walk or a short taxi ride to reach the famed Olympic area.


Books on China and Beijing

Monday, May 26, 2008

Liu Xiang


Liu Xiang, the 110-meter hurdler is a great hope for a gold medal for China at this summer's Beijing Olympics.

Liu Xiang

The 25-year-old, Shanghai-born Liu Xiang is the current Olympic and world champion as well as the current world record holder with a time of 12.88 seconds.

Liu Xiang is a hero in his homeland and the first Chinese athlete to hold the "triple crown" of Olympic and world titles and the world record time.

Liu Xiang is under tremendous pressure to repeat his 2004 Athens triumph in his homeland. Since his win in Greece four years ago, the hurdler has shot to super-stardom and needs to travel incognito to avoid his adoring fans. Liu carried the Olympic torch in Tiananmen Square and is worshipped by his fans for becoming the first Chinese athlete to win a track and field Olympic gold.

Liu Xiang

The son of a truck driver father and factory worker mother, Liu dedicated his World University Games gold medal to his dying grandmother and recently donated 70,000 USD to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake, further enhancing his image with his fans.

Liu lists his hobbies as chatting on the internet and playing pool.

Hotels in Beijing

Buy 2008 Beijing Olympics Tickets

Books on China and Beijing

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Beijing Flag Image

China's flag will be much in evidence come the 2008 Beijing Olympics in August.

China Red Flag

The Chinese people have a tremendous pride in their country and this will be demonstrated to the outside world in the summer Olympics.


Books on China and Beijing

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

CCTV Headquarters Nears Completion

The CCTV Headquarters in downtown Beijing is nearing completion. Only the upper sections are yet to be coated in glass. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren the 234m-tall building will be ready in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and will have 51 floors.

CCTV Tower Nears Completion

Set to become an iconic structure in China's capital, the 400,000 square meters of office space will house studios, production facilities and a hotel.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Beijing: Kafé Peranakan

Kafé Peranakan

This excellent Malay restaurant located behind the Kuntai Hotel is popular with many of its regular clientele and also with visitors from the nearby Kuntai Hotel and busy Ritan, Landau and Fulllink shopping areas. Those expats ‘in the know’ also cherish a regular meal at this specialist restaurant with its exquisite flavours of Malay cooking.

Kafé Peranakan specializes particularly in Nyonya cooking style. This is a combination of Malay and Chinese cuisine originating from the Malacca area of Malaysia in particular. It is a favourite cuisine of thousands of people developed over 400 years.

Start your meal with the mouth watering nyonya spring rolls and their tangy sauce or the chicken pakora. The traditional nyonya chicken curry is something very special to order as you can enjoy its popular and authentic delicate curry and coconut flavours. Assam fish, banana leaf grilled cod, deep fried fish with shrimp paste and kangkong belacan will have you craving to come back and enjoy more of this outstanding cuisine. Who would want to miss the famous Rendang dry beef curry or Malay satay, all just too much to enjoy in one meal! That is without mentioning the Penang fried rice noodles which are simply sumptuous with their prawns and sweet pork coupled with their Malay spices. Many visits are needed to experience other flavours like the Nyonya prawn noodles, Mamak fried noodles or curry chicken with coconut.

Desserts and drinks will also tempt you with their tropical coconut and mango flavours. Bubor Cha Cha, Malaysian Cha Cha or the refreshing assortment of flavours you mix together from the special Malaysian ice mix of agar, red beans and mango are others to refresh your palate. Calling from the drinks list are the sharp refreshing tastes of fresh lime juice, healthy fresh orange juice or the ever popular tea tarik especially served for you at your table as the chef whips the milk tea into a delicious frothing drink poured in great style. Take your camera!

As the bill arrives at your table you will also be surprised by the fair prices charged for such fine food.

# 17 Kuntai International Center
Chaowai Dajie
Chao Yang District
Telephone: 5879 0370

Books on China and Beijing

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Beijing Taxi Driver

The vast majority of taxi drivers in Beijing do not speak much English. This can make traveling a little less convenient when trying to get around in the city. Of course many taxi drivers who don’t speak English are still as helpful as they can be, but they cannot give you the same sense of knowing that everything is okay as an English speaking driver.

Tom - Beijing Taxi Driver

For this reason you may like to use a reliable and helpful taxi driver with a good knowledge of English. While many drivers have enough English to say a few words Tom has enough English to converse and offer advice about things to do and see in and around Beijing.

Traveling around Beijing with Tom is not stressful because you know he will have the patience to wait for you while you sort yourself out with addresses. He will even call a number for you and find out where to go if you don't have the address.

Tom has a new and reliable car which he keeps immaculately clean, both inside and out.

Contact Tom on 13683242408

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sichuan Earthquake Map


The epicenter of the recent earthquake in Sichuan was in Wenchuan county, 80 kilometres north west of Chengdu, the provincial capital.

Sichuan Earthquake Map

The Wenchuan earthquake was the worst earthquake to hit China since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, when over 200,000 were killed.

Books on China and Beijing

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Beijing Recycling

Beijing recyclingConsider the Environment

Let’s celebrate! Many magazines and newspapers have been reporting China’s decision to ban those free thin plastic supermarket bags. Starting in June customers will be asked to use cloth bags, other recyclable bags or even baskets.

Not only will this decision help to slow down the rising number of plastic bags flying gracefully around Beijing on windy days, flapping madly on the branches of trees, or clinging tightly to fences, but it will also reduce the amount of oil China needs to import to make these bags. Think of the impact that will have on our environment through reductions in oil drilling pollution, shipping pollution, transport to shops and litter in our beautiful country, China. No doubt there are many more positive impacts as well.

More good news is evident as one moves around Beijing and witnesses many recycling businesses collecting and sorting all kinds of ‘rubbish’. Many examples of this collection of materials for recycling can be seen along the streets as tricycle riders load up with all manner of materials to be recycled. This growing industry fits well with supporting moves to reduce the burial and burning of plastics.

China’s environmental consciousness is a very positive step toward making China and the World a better place to be for our future generations.

Hotels in Beijing

Books on China and Beijing

Friday, May 16, 2008

Learn Mandarin Podcast

Listen to this learn Mandarin podcast featuring how to introduce yourself, the colors in Chinese, plus useful phrases for finding an apartment and talking about furniture and rooms.

Books on China and Beijing

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wenchuan Earthquake

A major earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, has hit a number of cities and counties in the southwest of China on 12th May and has left countless numbers of people helpless.

Following the enormous devastation of lives, homes, communications, factories and farmland in Sichuan province, Gansu province and other areas of China, the management and staff of Beijing Visitor extend deep sympathy to all people involved in the disaster and to people touched by this natural calamity.

Wenchuan Earthquake; Copyright AP

Image Copyright © AP

During such times people feel powerless to respond when they are separated from the situation by distance, but a listening ear and a kind word of care or concern to those feeling troubled makes a difference. This attitude brings people together as they recognize that their needs are the same no matter what race or religion they are from.

It is immensely reassuring to hear and see how the Chinese government, services, communities and the country as a whole have responded to the crisis. It is reassuring to those affected by the devastation to know that thousands of people are uniting and working together to save lives and solve the huge problems nature has thrown at China.

To our audience near and far, there are other ways you can become involved in supporting the thousands left destitute by this shocking disaster. You may donate to local or international aid agencies who are calling for donations. Donations of blood here in China are already in short supply as 5000 donors a day are being sought. Some people may wish to offer skills needed in dealing with the emergency or helping with the massive rebuilding project required. Be assured that your kindness and support will be gratefully accepted and fully appreciated.

Cash donations can be made to the Red Cross of China,
Telephone: 6402 8411
Email: rcsc[at]

Donations can also be made via this site:

Donations of blood can be made to: Beijing United Hospital, 2 Jiang Tai Road, Chao Yang District, Beijing 100016.
Telephone 6433 3960


Beijing Restaurant Saveurs

Saveurs RestaurantSaveurs de Coree

Located two-thirds of the way down Nanluoguxiang (from the Dianmen Dondgajie end), Saveurs de Coree, which opened nearly two years ago, is the alleyway’s first and so far only Korean restaurant. This stylish and sophisticated bistro has built up quite a reputation amongst Beijing’s Korean food lovers, offering authentic and nutritious Korean dishes in a contemporary setting. The owner, Kingtai, spent some years in England, and speaks fluent English, French, Mandarin, and Korea.

Saveurs de Coree is probably the classiest dining experience along Nanluoguxiang, with a light menu that’s heavy on subtle flavors. Most of the food is also very healthy - Kingtai points out that none of the restaurant’s dishes use MSG, and they’ve also deliberately reduced the salt, sugar and oil content. There are also a range of options for vegetarians.

Popular Saveurs de Coree dishes include the kimchi hobak (spick Korean kimchi in a sweet pumpkin boat – 38 RMB), the fantastic bulgogi (beef marinated in pear juice for a couple of days - 68 RMB), and the light-as-air dooboo boochim (crispy fried tofu with onion sauce - 18 RMB). The latter is very popular with vegetarians. Apart from the a la carte menu there are also some reasonably priced set menus from 38 RMB (four courses) to 78 RMB (six courses).

Like the Luogu Fusion restaurant, one of Saveurs de Coree’s highlights is its rooftop terrace, where diners (and drinkers) can soak up the hutong atmosphere in the afternoon or evening over iced cinnamon tea or a bottle of ginseng-flavored baekseju. The restaurant gets busy on Fridays and at the weekend so reservations are recommended - most of the staff speak at least a little English.

Address: 29 Nanluoguxiang
Tel: 6401 6083
Hours: 11am – 11pm
Price: 200 - 300 RMB (2 people)

Books on China and Beijing

Beijing Restaurant Luogu

drum&gong-1About 200 meters north from the Dianmen Dongdajie entrance to Nanluoguxiang, the Luogu Fusion restaurant is a favorite haunt of tourists, expats and locals. Serving up good value Asian fusion cuisine with an emphasis on Sichuan (spicy) flavors, Luogu’s dishes are prepared with local ingredients, and are sometimes combined with Western cooking techniques to give surprisingly tasty results (check out the gongbao jiding pizza).

Since one of the owners of Luogu is a long-term English expat, the restaurant has a very laowai-friendly environment, with a fully bilingual menu (plus some French) and friendly, helpful waiting staff that can all speak at least a little English. Dishes are also rated in the menu according to their spiciness. Perennial favorites include the steamed grass carp (36 RMB), stir fried beef with vegetables (32 RMB), chicken curry (34 RMB), and special Yunnan mushrooms (26 RMB).

One of Luogu’s best features is its cozy second floor terrace, which really comes into its own in the spring and summer. Start off with a couple of al fresco iced Tsingtao beers, and then sample some great Chinese food overlooking distinctive tiled rooftops and a bustling street scene below. When the weather’s warm reservations are recommended, especially on Fridays and over the weekend.

Address: 104 Nanluoguxiang
Tel: 8402 4729
Hours: 10am - 12pm
Price: 100-150 RMB (2 people)

Books on China and Beijing

Monday, May 12, 2008

Earthquake Causes Devastation in China

A powerful earthquake in Sichuan Province in south west China has caused thousands of fatalities after the tremor, with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter Scale, struck the densely populated area at 14.28 local time (06.28 GMT).

The epicentre of the earthquake was approximately 92km (57 miles) north west from Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan with a population of over 10m inhabitants.

The aftershocks of the massive quake were felt as far away as Beijing, Shanghai, Hanoi and even the Thai capital of Bangkok. Both the US and Japan have pledged emergency aid to the Chinese government.

Map of China showing Chengdu

Shopping in Beijing: Gaobadian and More

Beijing GaobadianLooking for small pieces of antique furniture but not bothered by how old it is? Some of Beijing’s old consignment stores might have just the thing. While Gaobadian has an enormous range of copied antique furniture these consignment stores are much more central for those not wanting to travel out to Gaobadian.

Stock varies but some consignment stores may have a range of both new and second hand goods for sale. You may find things like second hand electrical household goods, old cameras, antique furniture, antique style furniture, pianos, musical instruments, watches or used bicycles.

Prices for furniture range from a couple hundred yuan to thousands of yuan. Be sure to bargain over any prices on items for sale, everything is negotiable. This writer recently purchased 2 blue and white porcelain stools with traditional Chinese designs designed and made in Jingzhejen for 180rmb after bargaining.

Donghuamen Yimin Department Store (Electronics and other second hand items)
35 Donghuamen Dajie, Dongcheng District
Tel: 65255240
东华门 义民百货商场
35# 东华门大街,东城区

Jindian Xinqiao Consignment Store (Second hand Chinese and western musical instruments and cameras)
43 Dongsi Bei Dajie, Dongcheng District
Tel: 64045176 or 84021939
东城区 东四北大街 43号
电话:64045176 : 84021939

Beijing GaobadianHotels in Beijing

Buy 2008 Beijing Olympics Tickets

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Visiting Beijing Olympic Venues

As tourists continue to flock to Beijing there are some who are wondering how they can access the two most popular Olympic venues.

Tours are available with companies like Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch company. While the name sounds awkward when translated into English this company does provide tours at reasonable prices. A drawback for those wanting to plan ahead is that quite often the tours are not confirmed until the day of travel as the company requires a minimum of 15 bookings per bus.

An example of one tour is Line 3 taking in Shisanling, Ming Tombs, Olympic Stadiums and the Summer Palace for 170RMB per adult or 125RMB per child. Alternatively Line 1 tour stays more within the confines of Beijing and visits Temple of Heaven, CCTV Tower, Summer Palace and Olympic stadiums.

The company can be contacted on 8353-1111.

Another way to tour the Olympic Venues is to buy tickets to the Good Luck Beijing sporting events. The month of May offers athletics in the National Stadium on 23rd to 25th May.

Hotels in Beijing

Monday, May 05, 2008


We are holding a competition over on our Qatar website. To enter all you have do is to join our new Qatar forum and post, and you could win $50 dollars either as an Amazon voucher or as money sent to your Paypal account. All you have to do to enter is join the forum - and post! So, if you have ever been tempted to work in a country where there is no tax and petrol costs 10p a litre, or if you are curious about a country which, though just 100 miles long, is the second richest nation in the world head over to ask your questions.

Good Luck Beijing 2008

National Grand TheatreThe last of the events leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games continue this month. Visit Beijing 2008 to find dates of particular events like Athletics and Marathon swimming.

Both of these events will be held in new venues thus giving workers at the venues a chance to trial their skills working with eager Olympic crowds. For those people in doubt about attending the Olympic Games because they have not been able to secure tickets or because they are not sure if they can actually be in Beijing on the alloted dates for Olympic ticket collection this is one small way to become involved in the Olympic excitement. It is an excellent opportunity to help trial the new venues.

People lucky enough to be living in, or visiting, Beijing during the month of May have an excellent opportunity to enjoy high level sporting events in first class sporting venues.

Hotels in Beijing

Buy 2008 Beijing Olympics Tickets

Books on China and Beijing