Do's and Don't
- Always carry with you paper toilet. Most WC won't have them. You can
always save the day going to a nice hotel's bathroom, whenever possible.
- If before you arrive at a restaurant, someone tells you it is full, but
you can go to their "other branch", double check with the restaurant if it is
true !!! Some people stay 10 meters from the restaurant, just to drive you
away from it, and send you to their restaurant. This happened going to the
Famous Quanjude restaurant.
- Always discuss the prices. It is not exceptional for a price to drop 10
folds, like from 1500 Yuan to 20 Yuan... Think in terms of what it costs in
China, not what you would pay for it in your own country ! You will often hear
"You kill me" or "I loose money". Forget about these.... Maximum, tell the
vendor if he does not want to sell at your price that you will check if you
can get the price you want, at a different store and if not possible, then you
will come back to him.
- Highly recommended to use Walkie Talkies, it helps a lot in markets, or
places when you split
- In some shopping markets, watch your bags, especially when someone is
talking with you, well, like any country.
- Buy books about Beijing, BEFORE your trip. This will save you a lot of
precious time. Also, make sure one of them, at least, has the name of the
places you want to go, and their addresses, written in Chinese as most English
names won't help at all the Taxi drivers.
- A Phrase book looks nice, but is usually useless. Just go for a simple
dictionnary, English-Chinese/Chinese-english. 1 word is usually enough to get
to your point
- The best dictionnary for shopping is a calculator. Buy a simple one, you
will always carry with you. All Chinese know how to operate them and show the
the price they want to sell. Then you take it, write your offering price, and
so on... Very easy and efficient !
- Most VISA card will offer you up to 7500 Yuan per day, to withdraw from
teller machines. Should be enough but if you plan to need more, get Chinese
money before you fly. Most Hotel would offer you to exchange Cash with Yuan
- To move around Beijing, Taxis are the easiest. Pretty cheap also. Just
tell them the magic word "METER" as if not, they could charge you whatever
they could feel like.
- The Subway is well done, easy and clean, but it does not cover, for the
moment, a lot of places. This will change soon with the Olympics coming.
- Renting a car is a good option to go to outside city areas. You rent the
car, with a driver, as up till now, it is not allowed to foreigners to driver
alone. Another possible cheap solution is to bargain the price with a taxi.
This is usually cheaper and more convenient than renting a car