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beijing less publicised activites ?


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Hello, I am a kiwi with a decent grasp of mandarin. I have been to bejing twice and done all the touristy things such as Yiheyuan, Zijinchang, Changcheng, Wangfujing, Tiantan etc. etc.etc.

I am off again this year for a third time, but I dont want to do all the same stuff.

What I am asking is can anyone ecommend some other interesting activities or places to go in Beijing that are not commonly promoted to the tourists.

Please tell me what some of your favourite or more interesting activites / venues are in Beijing that are not on the tourist route.

Thanks guys.

(I also love restaurants, always looking for off-the-wall restaurants or restaurants that totally immerse you in a theme)

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  • 4 weeks later...

It all depends on what you're into. If you ar at all interested in modern art then the best places to go are the Red Gate Gallery (http://www.redgategallery.com/) and East Gate Gallery, both have some fascinating pieces that give some good insight into contemporary Chinese culture in stunning surroundings (old wall gates).

If you do go see if you can get someone to tell you about the 798 factory (since it's tricky to find, http://www.chinesecontemporary.com/ may help), it's an industrial site where many of the artists are based. There's a few galleries and shops, and if you (or someone with you) can speak passable conversational Mandarin you can find yourself wandering into a studio by accident (it's a bit of a maze) and chatting to the artists about the art scene in China.

Pretentious, moi?

Also worth hunting out is the underground city. Built during the 70s it's a huge network of tunnels designed as bomb shelters. The official tour is a little underwhelming and there's the obligatory moderately-hard sell giftshop but it's a pretty unique piece of history. Details at http://www.china.org.cn/english/travel/125961.htm

On the restaurant front Li Qun is by far away the best place for Beijing duck, cooked the traditional way in an old Hutong house. It's tricky to find, and you need a reservation (67025681) since it gets ridiculously busy but it's well worth it. If it's theming you want then Afunti's your best bet. It's a Xinjiang restaurant with belly dancing, traditional music and good food. A little pricey but definite imersion.

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