Category: China

Hong Kong Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Hong Kong Travel Deals 

A – Overview

Whether flying over the city or navigating into the port via the temperamental South China Sea, the magnificent islands suddenly take form as if in a mirage, enticing the traveler to a closer look at this oasis of ancient tradition commingled with sleek, corporate towers . 

 Hong kong overview

Hong Kong Island, (originally named Victoria Island in honor of the queen), covers only 30 square miles and has a population of 7 million.  Its two islands, Hong Kong and Kowloon are separated by Victoria Harbor.  Most of the cultural attractions, restaurants, and shopping areas are located along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island and at Kowloon’s southern tip.  Between Hong Kong and the border with the rest of China are the New Territories which provide a mountainous scenic backdrop to a number of modern suburban towns.    The other major islands in the area are Lamma, Cheung, Chau, and Lantau (site of Hong Kong’s vast and impressive airport as well as Hong Kong Disneyland.  Beyond these is Macau.  There are actually more than 266 islands in all. 

 

With 150 years of British colonial influence woven into 5,000 years of Chinese culture, Hong Kong is a city of contrasts. From the ancient Chinese temples, to an upbeat entertainment district with its karaoke bars, Hong Kong truly enchants visitors with everything from food, art, architecture, to the traditional festivals. Since reunification with China, Hong Kong has been classified as a Special Zone operated by China under a “one country, two systems policy.”  This has eased the transition and has kept the economy thriving. 

 

The Central District of Hong Kong is a glittering, modern business center.   It features the stock exchange, deluxe hotels, and up market shops. The Western District is filled with visitor delights such as bountiful markets, shopping, restaurants, and traditional shop houses.

 

Rising high above downtown is Victoria Peak, an exclusive residential area located on the highest (1,805 feet) range of hills on the island. The Peak offers visitors a varied selection of restaurants and spectacular views. Ride the 1888 tram to the summit.  Located east of the Central district is the Wanchai District, famed for its nightlife and the perfect place for a night on the town.

 

The city is built on steep terrain offering many outstanding views as well as walking challenges.    One of the city’s most unusual commuter routes is a half-mile series of escalators known as the Mid-Levels Escalator Link which brings workers from he Mid-Levels district to the Central district in the morning and back at night.  The route passes the green Jaima Mosque and fashionable Staunton Street.

 

The Hong Kong Museum of Art displays a fine collection of Chinese art and Man Mo Temple is a classic Taoist temple dedicated to Man, a god of literature and Mo, a god of war.  Located on the northeast corner of the island, the area offers a wide range of markets, cafes, and a ferry pier. While visiting Hong Kong, make an escape to the beaches of Shek O. Shek O, a pleasant seaside village, offers hiking excursions on hilly trails and a stunning view of the coast.

 

There is simply is no other place quite like Hong Kong! The sounds, scents, and excitement will leave a vivid impression. Hong Kong has a reputation as one of the world’s greatest shopping cities and is an amazing urban bazaar and  a shopper’s paradise. Hong Kong offers a rich nightlife, diverse sightseeing, and a tradition of cultural heritage.

 

Experience a journey to Hong Kong, and be sure to plan to spend at least a week to explore its wonders.  You will partake of a mosaic of thrilling experiences, memorable adventures, and pure serenity

B – City information

Population: 7 million

Time Zone:  Hong Kong is 13 hours ahead of New York City and 16 hours ahead of Los Angeles.  When it is 12:00 noon in New York City, it is 1:00AM the following day in Hong Kong. 

 

Average Temperatures:

 

 Average Temperatures:

Month

High

Low

January

64F

56F

February

63F

55F

March

67F

60F

April

75F

67F

May

82F

74F

June

85F

78F

July

87F

78F

August

87F

78F

September

87F

78F

October

81F

73F

November

74F

65F

December

68F

59F

 

When to Visit

From October to mid-December, the days are warm and the nights are cool and comfortable.  From June to September the weather is very hot and humid, and typhoons sometimes develop from July-September. There s an average of nearly 16 inches of rain during this time. January- March brings pleasant, slightly cooler weather with occasional cold spells.  From March-June the weather is warm, but it is often rainy. 

 

Holidays

 

January 1                      New Year’s Day

January/February:          Chinese Lunar New Year

Spring                          Good Friday; Easter Monday

April or Early May:         Birthday of Lord Buddha

Early April                     Ching Ming Festival

1 May:                          Labor Day

Mid-Late June               Dragon Boat Festival

1 July                           Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Establishment Day

Early-mid August           Sino Japanese War Victory Day

Late Sept./early Oct.      Mid-Autumn Festival

1 and 2 October            China National Day

Mid-late October           Cheung Yeung Festival

25 and 26 December     Christmas Day and Boxing Day

 

Opening Hours:  Offices are open Monday-Friday from 9-5 and on Saturday 9-1.

Banks are open Mon.-Fri. 9-4:30 and Sat. 9-12:30.

Post Offices Mon-Fri. 8-6; Saturday 8-2.

Stores:  Daily 10-6 and often 10-9 in tourist areas

 

Currency

The unit of currency is the Hong Kong dollar and comes in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000.  Coins are in 10, 20, and 50 cents. 

hong-kong-currency

Electricity

The current is 200/220.  US appliances require a converter and a plug adapter.

 

Emergencies:  Call 999

Language:  Hong Kong has two official languages:  Cantonese and English.  While English is spoken widely in business and in tourist areas, it is not always understood by taxi drivers, bus drivers, or when asking directions.  It is advisable to ask the hotel receptionist or concierge to write out your destination in Chinese. 

 

Getting There

By Air

All flights land at Chek Lap Kok Airport on Lantau Island, 24 miles west of Hong Kong City.  The ultra modern facility consists of eight floors and includes three banks, a money changing facility, several ATMs, a tourist information office, and literally acres of restaurants, shops, and bars.

Airport Express

The Airport Express train (2881 8888) is an efficient and pleasant way of getting into the city.  Trains depart every 10 minutes from 5:50AM to 12:50AM for a low fare.  A same day return costs  the same as a one-way fare. 

By Bus

There is bus service to and from Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, and the New Territories.

By Cruise Ship

Cruise ships dock in Victoria Harbor on the island of Kowloon near the Star Ferry Pier and the Ocean Terminal. 

By Train

High-speed trains travel from Hung Hom station to Guangzhou several times a day.  There are also rail links to Shanghai and Beijing.  Tickets can be booked up to 60 days in advance from the station in Hung Hom or by phone.

 

Getting Around    

MTR Train

The MTR train network is fast and easy to use.  Stations have instructions in English and Chinese.  MTR maps are readily available at hotels, the airport, and at the cruise teminal.

 

Star Ferry:  Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon).  Edinburgh Place, Central (Hong Kong Island).  Sea Front Road, Wan Chai.  The ferry has operated since 1898 and can travel between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island in less than 10 minutes.  The views of the city are spectacular.  Daily 6:30AM-11:30PM.

 

Trams

Trams run only on Hong Kong Island’s north side.  Destinations are marked on the front in English as well as in Chinese.

 

Buses

Traveling on buses is not recommended as MTR and Ferry service are said to be more efficient and safer.  If a bus is taken, be sure to have correct fare as change is not given.

C – Attractions & Things To Do

Victoria Harbor

+852 2807 6543

One of Hong Kong’s star attractions and one of the deepest container ports in the world, the harbor is shielded on both sides by stunning skyline:  by skyscrapers and Victoria Peak on one side, and the Tsim Sha Tsui shoreline on the other. Everyday, hundreds of ferries, tugs, junks, speedboats, cruise ships, and barges pass up and down the shore, carrying people and cargo and only pausing briefly for typhoons. Each evening the harbor is the vantage point for an 18 minute (8PM-8:18PM) Symphony of Lights.  The exteriors of 18 buildings along the waterfront glow with a wide range of colors from architectural lights designed to draw the eye along the waterfront.  A narration and music accompany the display.  The narration is in English on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Fireworks sometimes accompany the show.

 hong-kong-harbor

Victoria Peak  (Che Kei Shan)

+852 2849 7654

Peak Tram runs 7:00AM-Midnight

All visitors to Hong Kong usually go to the Peak for panoramic views of the city, which are among the most spectacular in the world, especially at night. A walk around the Peak reveals further scenic vistas over the greener western parts of Hong Kong Island, and the viewing platforms on top of the Peak Tower and Peak Galleria are a must. A tram takes you to the top. The prices depend  on the kind of ticket purchased.

 

Peak Tram

+852 2849 7654

Peak Tram runs 7:00AM-Midnight

The Peak Tram (funicular) ascends the steep incline of Victoria Peak, offering visitors a convenient way of getting to the peak and all its sightseeing amenities. The Tram, which is itself an attraction, dates back to 1888.  New, larger cars were installed in 1989. Passengers sit back for a literally vertical ride enjoying panoramic views as the car steadily makes its way to the top. Trams leave every 10-15 minutes from the Peak Tram Station between 7am and midnight. Admission charged.

 

Disneyland Hong Kong

Lantau Island

+852 1 830 830

Located on Lantau Island (as is the airport), Disneyland Hong Kong opened  for business in the Fall of 2005. Mickey Mouse, along with his friends Donald Duck, Aladdin, Peter Pan, and Buzz Lightyear, offer something different for travelers in Hong Kong: a Disneyland theme park.  Rides include Space Mountain, Jungle River Cruise, and the twirling Tea Cups . A Magic kingdom with an  Eastern flair,  the park is designed with the principles of feng shui in mind and  is filled with waterfalls and fountains. Experience the magic of Disneyland, Hong Kong.

 hong-kong-disneyland

Star Ferry

+852 2366 2576

The Star Ferry takes just ten minute to cross Victoria Harbor, either to the Kowloon or Central side. Enjoy Hong Kong’s majestic skyline as you travel.   The nighttime views, when Hong Kong glitters, are dramatic

 

Nathan Road

+852 2807 6543

Nathan Road, named after governor Sir Matthew Nathan, runs directly up to Boundary Street, the northern limit of the British colony prior to the leasing of the New Territories in 1898.  Nathan Road was once known as “Nathan’s Folly.”  Today, it is one of the busiest commercial roads in Hong Kong.  The lower end of the road is known as the Golden Mile because of the many storefront neon signs. A walk along Nathan Road leads to many boutiques, camera shops, street markets and restaurants side-by-side, occupying every inch of available space.

 

Mid-levels Escalator

+852 2807 6543

This 800-metre hillside escalator starts from Connaught Road Central, runs to the Hang Seng Bank Building on Des Voeux Road Central, then passes through the Central Market and continues to climb past Hollywood Road to the prime Mid-levels residential district. The free ride from Central to Conduit Road takes about 20 minutes and is much faster than walking and climbing.  This is the longest covered outdoor escalator system in the world, and it took two and a half years and more than HKD205 million to build.

 

Stanley Street

+852 2508 1234

Home to Stanley Market, famous for the wide variety of relatively inexpensive goods such as Chinese souvenirs, rattan products, handicrafts and designer labels,  Stanley offers more than just shopping. It also has a relaxing beach, numerous waterfront restaurants and bars, and the 18th century Tin Hau Temple. Stanley Prison, which is still in use today, is also historically important, as this is where Hong Kong civilians were held during the Second World War.

 

Mongkok

+852 2508 1234

No matter what the time of day, this marketplace is always full of people. It is the center of bargain shopping and trendy products. Bargains to be had include electronic appliances, CDs and DVDs, backpacks, travel gear and sports shoes. There is also a Tung Choi Street Ladies’ Market and other specialty shops selling all the latest fashion in town. The Bird, Goldfish and Flower Markets are also in this area.

 

Lan Kwai Fong

+852 2807 6543

Lan Kwai Fong was once an “expatriate hangout” but locals have gradually joined in the party fun. Centered around an L-shaped cobble-stoned lane just above the Central business area, Lan Kwai Fong houses some of the trendiest pubs and entertainment hangouts in town. Every year, during Christmas, New Years, and Halloween, many people dress in costume and parade through the streets, but whatever time of year, Lan Kwai Fong is definitely a  place to see and to be seen.

 

Sam Tung UK Museum

2 Kwu UK Lane

New Territories

Tseun Wan, New Territories

 

Wong Tai Sin Temple

+852 2320 2883

Probably the best known and busiest temple in the city, Wong Tai Sin was built in 1973 on the site of a previous temple dating back to 1921. The current temple is an excellent example of a traditional Chinese temple. Wong Tai Sin himself was a shepherd boy from Zhejiang province in China, who was thought to have mystical healing powers. Most people visiting the temple come to assess their fortune by using fortune sticks, and there are even some English speaking “seers” who can help visitors interpret the fortune sticks. Admission: Free (donations welcome).

 

Po Lin Buddha

Lantau Island

Temple and Museum open daily 10:30-5.

Monastery open daily 9-6

Ferry from Queen’s Pier (45 minutes)

+852 2805 1234

Although this is some distance from central Hong Kong (a ferry trip and a long, at times frightening, bus ride), it is well worth the excursion. A taxi could be considered for the journey. If the goal is to view the Buddha and the monastery without climbing the 288 steps, it would be worthwhile to hire a taxi and have the driver wait while the Buddha is viewed and photos are taken. Envisioned by the community of monks on Lantau Island, it took more than ten years to build. It is 112 feet tall, made entirely of metal and consists of a steel framework covered by a steel and bronze skin, as well as over one ton of gold amalgam. It weighs 250 tons.  Note, however,  that there are 268 steps to get to the Buddha.

 

Ngong Ping Tea Gardens

Located above Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island

This is Hong Kong’s only tea plantation. It’s on top of a mountain with only one road up and down. It offers horseback riding, barbecue pits and a roller-skating rink. The ferry for Lantau Island leaves from the Outlying Islands Ferry Pier, west of the Star Ferry terminal in Central. On the island, directions to the Tea Gardens are available at the ferry pier.

 

Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens

+852 2530 0154

Located near the Old Government House, the Zoological and Botanical Gardens is a popular place for parents to bring their children on the weekends. The gardens are divided into two main areas: plants and aviaries in one area and animals in the other. Although the zoo is not large, it is one of the world’s leading centers for careful breeding and nurturing of endangered species.  It is also a great place to take pictures of the family with the various animals on display.

Family Attractions

 

Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village

+852 2568 7455

The first holiday village in an urban area, Lei Yue Mun Park offers both day and overnight accommodation for campers. It provides a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, such as soccer, gate ball, basketball, tennis, archery, indoor bowls, a swimming pool, climbing, and badminton, plus barbecue sites. There is also a horse-riding school.

 

Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Gardens

+852 2488 1317

Set at the foot of Tai Mo Shan this farm consists of more than just a few fields and some livestock. In the late 1940s, brothers Sir Horace and Lord Lawrence Kadoorie, set up what was to become the current farm and botanical gardens. As well as helping with local and international aid projects, the organization is involved in pioneering organic farming and educating about the environment. A multitude of displays and refreshment areas, as well as a beautiful location, make this worth a visit for kids and adults alike.

 

Mai Po Marshes

Shenzen

+852 2471 8272

Open daily 9-6

Make a reservation in advance as numbers are limited. 

The marsh, on the edge of Deep Bay, in the northwest of the New Territories covers about 3,706 acres of wetlands.  A 939 acre nature reserve attracts as many as 300 species of migratory birds.  The visitor center provides a tour and maps explaining he ecology and history of the site.

 

Bird Market

Hong Lok St, Mongkok, Kowloon

This street market specializing in birds, singing crickets and intricate cages gives a glimpse into the traditional Chinese way of life. Note: Visits to the Bird Market are not recommended at this time due to the possible threat of Avian Flu.

 

Cheung Chau Island

Cheung Chau

This little island offers walks, temples and traditional fishing villages, as well as markets and seafront, seafood restaurants.

 

Museum of Art:  Hong Kong Cultural Centre

10 Salisbury Rd, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon

Art Museum featuring Calligraphy, scrolls and colonial-era art, as well as an excellent, well-presented collection of Chinese antiquities.

 

Wong Tai Sin Temple:  Taoist temple

Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon

Huge, colorful Taoist temple dedicated to a god of healing. A constant throng of petitioners and fortunetellers.

 

Ocean Park

On the south side of Hong Kong Island, near Aberdeen.

Ocean Park Road

2552-0291

Open daily 10-6

An amusement park where a cable car takes you to the best rides: the Dragon roller coaster, the Octopus and the Crazy Galleon. Or you may enjoy the Raging River, a lovely cruise on a sturdy boat. Ocean Park also contains the Shark Aquarium, the Japanese Garden for relaxing and the Ocean Theatre, where killer whales, seals and dolphins act out high-quality drama.

 

Space Museum

10 Salisbury Road

Hong Kong

2734-2722

Open Mon, Wed-Fri 1-8 (longer on Fri.) and Sat,Sun 10-9.

This museum has one of the largest and most advanced planetariums in the world.  It has many hands-on exhibits including the actual Mercury space capsule piloted by Scott Carpenter in 1962.  The Space Museum is the massive white dome in Tsim Sha Tsui, a short walk

from the Star Ferry. It’s in three parts: Planetarium, Exhibition Hall and Hall of Solar Sciences. Short films run in the theater.

 

Government House

Central, on Upper Albert Road

The Government House is the official residence of the governor of Hong Kong under British rule. The tower was added during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in World War II. The Chief Executive of the SAR (Special Administrative Region) has elected not to live in the building.

 

Hong Kong Museum of History

100 Chatham Road South

Kowloon Park, Tsim Sha Tsui,

2367-1124

Open Mon-Wed. 10-6; Sunday 10-7

This museum set in a park includes a replica of a sampan, the interior of a Hakka home, and a full scale replica of a street in the City of Victoria (as Central was once called).  The exhibits bring history to life.  Also an excellent collection of local photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

Botanical Gardens

Albany Road

Hong Kong

2530-0154.

The Botanic Gardens are also above Central, but to the west. Lively monkeys and

orangutans enjoy watching their visitors.

 

 

Middle Kingdom

2555-3554

Middle Kingdom offers replicas of temples, pagodas and street scenes, as well as exhibits and demonstration stalls. Get your name written in Chinese characters and see the Lion Dance in front of you!

 

St. John’s Cathedral

On Garden Road

Central, Hong Kong

St. John’s Cathedral is a handsome building, the oldest Anglican church in East Asia. It was constructed in1849.

 

Tsui Museum of Art

2A Des Voeux Rd.

Central, Hong Kong

2868-2688.

Rotating exhibitions drawn from its collection of more than 3,000 Chinese antiquities, predominantly Chinese ceramics.

 

Water World

Ocean Park Road

Aberdeen, Hong Kong

2555-6055

Contains water slides (you plunge down at 28 mph/45 kph), a wave pool, the Lazy River and a children’s area for those under age 6.

 

Hong Kong Science Museum

2 Science Museum Rd

Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon

2732-3232.

Hands-on exhibits that will interest adults as well as children.

 

Temple of 10,000 Buddhas

Close to Tai Pau Street, New Territories

Above Shatin railway station (go by Kowloon Canton Railway). 30 minutes outside Hong Kong

Open daily 8-6

To reach the Temple there is a climb of 431 steps.  Known locally as “Man Fat Sze  Temple”, this Buddhist shrine was built in the 1950s.  Grateful worshippers have donated thousands of small statues over the years.  Each shows the Buddha in a different pose.  From the edge of the courtyard there are magnificent views over Sha Tin.  The courtyard contains a beautiful tiered pagoda. Higher up is a set of four temples.  One contains Hong Kong’s second tallest Buddha statue; another the embalmed remains of Yuet Kai who founded the monastery.

 

University Museum and Art Gallery

University of Hong Kong,

94 Bonham Road Hong Kong Island

+852 2859-2114.

Open Mon-Sat 9:30-6; Sunday 1:30-5:30.  Closed on public holidays.

Large collection of bronze ware from the Yuan Dynasty as well as artifacts from the Warring States Period and Indian Buddhist sculpture. The museum houses an enormous collection of ceramics dating back as far as Neolithic times. 

 

Kat Hing Wai

Kam Tin

Kat Hing Wai also known as Kam Tin Walled Village is the original 10th-century homestead of the Tang clan, the first of the Cantonese “Five Great Clans” to migrate to the New Territories from China. The village may be modern inside, but it’s still surrounded by a moat and walls with four corner guardhouse towers. Contributions to the donations box are expected, as are handouts to the costumed Hake women before camera shutters can be pressed.

 

Hong Kong Arts Centre Pao Galleries

2 Harbour Rd.

Wanchai

2582-0200

Hong Kong Arts Centre Pao Galleries showcase for contemporary art, with major international and local exhibitions of paintings, photography, crafts and design staged regularly.

Flagstaff House, Museum of Tea Ware

 

Lei Cheng UK Branch Museum

41 Tonkin St., Sham Shui Po,

Kowloon

2386-2863

Lei Cheng UK Branch Museum is the Han Dynasty tomb dating back some 2,000 years, the oldest historical monument in Hong Kong. Also a Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) exhibition of dress

D – Family Fun Attractions

Peak Tram

+852 2849 7654

Peak Tram runs 7:00AM-Midnight

The Peak Tram (funicular) ascends the steep incline of Victoria Peak, offering visitors a convenient way of getting to the peak and all its sightseeing amenities. The Tram, which is itself an attraction, dates back to 1888.  New, larger cars were installed in 1989. Passengers sit back for a literally vertical ride enjoying panoramic views as the car steadily makes its way to the top. Trams leave every 10-15 minutes from the Peak Tram Station between 7am and midnight. Admission charged.

 

Bird Market

Hong Lok St, Mongkok, Kowloon.

This street market specializing in birds, singing crickets and intricate cages gives a glimpse into the traditional Chinese way of life. Visits to the Bird Market are not recommended at the present time, due to bird flu concerns.

 hongkong-bird-market

Botanical Gardens

Albany Road

Hong Kong

2530-0154

The Botanic Gardens are also above Central, but to the west. Lively monkeys and

orangutans enjoy watching their visitors.

 

Space Museum

10 Salisbury Road

Hong Kong

2734-2722

Open Mon, Wed-Fri 1-8 (longer on Fri.) and Sat,Sun 10-9.

This museum has one of the largest and most advanced planetariums in the world.  It has many hands-on exhibits including the actual Mercury space capsule piloted by Scott Carpenter in 1962.  The Space Museum is the massive white dome in Tsim Sha Tsui, a short walk

from the Star Ferry. It’s in three parts: Planetarium, Exhibition Hall and Hall of Solar Sciences. Short films run in the theater.

 

Hong Kong Science Museum

2 Science Museum Rd

Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon

2732-3232

Hands-on exhibits that will interest adults as well as children.

 

The Ngong Ping Tea Gardens

Located above Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island

This is Hong Kong’s only tea plantation. It’s on top of a mountain with only one road up and down. It offers horseback riding, barbecue pits and a roller-skating rink. The ferry for Lantau Island leaves from the Outlying Islands Ferry Pier, west of the Star Ferry terminal in Central. On the island, directions to the Tea Gardens are available at the ferry pier.

Lantau Island

 

Disneyland Hong Kong

+852 1 830 830

Located on Lantau Island (as is the airport), Disneyland Hong Kong opened  for business in the Fall of 2005. Mickey Mouse, along with his friends Donald Duck, Aladdin, Peter Pan, and Buzz Lightyear, offer something different for travelers in Hong Kong: a Disneyland theme park.  Rides include Space Mountain, Jungle River Cruise, and the twirling Tea Cups . A Magic kingdom with an  Eastern flair,  the park is designed with the principles of feng shui in mind and  is filled with waterfalls and fountains. Experience the magic of Disneyland, Hong Kong.

E – Events & Entertainments

Late Jan

Chinese New Year Parade in Hong Kong

One of the best places in the world to celebrate Chinese New Year has to be the island of Hong Kong. Dragon dancers are the star attraction, as the annual Chinese New Year Parade hits Wan Chai Harborfront with a cavalcade of colorful floats, accompanied by performers from all over the world.

Decorated floats, performers, street entertainers, music and dance take over the picturesque harborfront, spilling out into the streets throughout the city.  Fireworks over Victoria Harbor mark the end of the parade.

There are also amazing flower displays all over the city, with other parades and markets taking place in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island and Fahui Park in Mong Kok on Kowloon.

+852 2807 6543

 

Early Feb

Spring Lantern Festival (Yuen Siu)

The people of Hong Kong believe that during Full Moon in February (the first of the Chinese New Year) various spirits swoop above the ground. To avoid being snatched by the ghosts, hundreds of locals take to the streets with lanterns, representing everything from dragons to Michael Jackson. 

Many believe that the lanterns help guide the spirits back to the world of the dead safely, while a separate tradition tells of the Jade Emperor (the Emperor of Heaven), who wanted to exact revenge on a man who had killed his precious goose. The Emperor planned to torch the man’s property but a good spirit warned the man, telling him to hang lanterns out at the first full moon of the year: the Emperor thought the place was already on fire and left it alone.

All of these traditions celebrate good fortune, and the self-made lanterns often come with riddles attached.

+852 2807 6543

 

Early Feb-Early Mar

Hong Kong Arts Festival

The Hong Kong Arts Festival – first held in 1973 – is the premier arts event of the year, featuring dance, visual art, theatre and music. Each spring a wealth of international artists, as well as the best Asian and local performers, makes this one of the most vibrant and exciting festivals in the world.

Highlights for 2006 include a nod in the direction of Mozart’s 250th birthday. Iván Fischer brings the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for two mostly Mozart concerts (3 & 4 March), while

+852 2734 9011

 

Late March-Early Apr

Hong Kong Sevens.

International Sevens was born in 1975 as a result of an idea of the then-chairman of the HKRFU and an imaginative marketing executive – with the first game actually taking place on 28 March 1976. Initially the Twickenham-based RFU were dismissive of the tournament, so it began life as a club competition, but was soon legitimized as a national tour and has grown in stature ever since. Hong Kong’s glamorous surroundings only add to the excitement of the event.

+852 2504 8311

 

Early April

Tomb Sweeping Day

China’s Tomb Sweeping Day, every year in April, is a day for worshipping ancestors; people visit the graves of their departed relatives and burn “ghost money” (money for use in the afterworld) in their honor.

Also called Qingming Day, this tradition is observed by millions of Chinese all across the world. It has its roots partly in the half-legendary huge resettlements that were ordered during the Ming Dynasty, when thousands of families were ordered first to Konglong county before being sent to their final destinations.

Thus, to this day, many Chinese believe their ancestors came from that county. The event also appeals to many overseas Chinese who identify their own diaspora with that of the people who suffered under the Ming rulers.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Early April

The Clear and Bright Festival (Ching Ming)

This ancient Chinese festival takes place 106 days after the Winter Solstice in the cemeteries of Hong Kong, where families pay respect to their ancestors with various offerings.

One of the most important parts of Chinese culture (and one which has been all but forgotten in Western society) is the veneration and honoring of the dead. To honor your dead you must provide a long line of family, hence the importance of the family in Chinese culture. Among the offerings, “spirit money” (paper money) is often burnt, and it is said that during Ching Ming some true devotees actually scrub the bones of their loved ones.

+852 2807 6543

 

Early–Mid April

Hong Kong International Film Festival

The Hong Kong International Film Festival is a large, non-competitive event playing over the Easter holidays at a number of venues. With over 200 films every year, the program is large enough to accommodate a focus on Hong Kong cinema as well as the usual international festival-circuit fare. It also includes retrospectives, an award for upcoming Asian directors and a number of themed exhibitions, gala presentations and other events. In 2006 there are special celebrations for the 30th festival.

The festival was founded in 1977 by the Hong Kong Urban Council and responsibility passed to the newly-formed Leisure and Cultural Services Department in 2000. As well as showcasing the astonishingly creative and energetic local cinema industry, the retrospective section brings out an annual themed program of treasures from the archives. The festival is non-competitive and is split into four main sections; Asian Cinema, Hong Kong Panorama, World Cinema and the archive section.

The mainstay of the festival consists of local and international premières, adhering to the trademark combination of Asian Vision and Global Vision as the twin strands. For the 30th festival, to encourage filmmaking at university, there is the Fresh Wave Joint-U Short Film Competition which, following workshops at the end of 2005, will see student films shown at the festival.

+852 2970 3300

 

Early May

Tin Hau Festival

Tin Hau is the Chinese goddess of the sea, making her particularly significant to the sea-dominated city of Hong Kong. The fishing town of Sai Kung is at the heart of the celebrations for the goddess’ birthday, although the festivities reverberate around the towns and villages of Hong Kong.

Every year traditional rites are observed at community temples, but more eye-catching are the colorful parades of floats, fireworks and lion dances and the sailing of hundreds of multicolored junks and sampans in Victoria Bay and beyond. Tin Hau’s birthday is celebrated to bring safety, fine weather and full nets to the fishermen, who adorn their boats with colorful ribbons, offerings and other symbols of devotion.

The boats, clad in gaily-colored decorations and streaming pennants, make their way toward the many Tin Hau temples. Most of the flotilla heads towards the biggest temple, Da Miao (the Great Temple) in Joss House Bay in the New Territories. There they make their offerings, pay their respects and pray for a bountiful and safe year ahead.

The origins of Tin Hau are diffuse but popular belief is that she was born the sixth and youngest daughter of a Sung dynasty (AD 960-1279) mandarin named Mo Niang, lived in a small fishing village called Pu Tien in the Fukien Province on the south-eastern coast of China and is supposed to have endeared herself to sailors from a very young age through an uncanny ability to predict the weather. Born in the eighth year of Emperor Yuen Yan’s reign (1098), it wasn’t until early days of the Ch’ng dynasty (1644-1912), about 600 years after her death, that the benevolent Emperor K’ang-hsi (1654-1722) canonized her with the title “Queen of Heaven” and mother of all boat people and sailors.

Tin Hau is supposed to quell the seas, allowing bountiful hauls for fishermen and keeping sickness away from all seafaring types. It is said that Mo Niang could walk on water if supplied with a straw mat, so elaborate mats are woven as offerings for this day.

+852 2807 6543

 

Mid May

Bun Festival

Cheung Chau is Hong Kong’s largest fishing island and each May sees floating children and towers of lucky buns; the world’s only Bun Festival.

The origins of this Taoist rite can be traced back hundreds of years to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), when Cheung Chau was devastated by a storm, followed by an outbreak of the plague which claimed many lives. Believing the island to be haunted, the locals performed a sacrificial ceremony to placate the Gods and pray for their favor. The festival is now timed to coincide with Buddha’s birthday.

No Chinese festival is complete without lion and dragon dancers, but this island’s quirk is the children dressed as mythological and modern heroes suspended above the crowds on the tips of swords and paper fans. They form the float procession of Piaose and are all safely secured within steel frames, though they appear to glide through the air. The airborne children hardly move and their eyes can be half closed, not because they are in a state of Nirvana but because they are often drugged so as to endure the ceremonies. Though such treatment of children may be disturbing to a Western mindset it is such a unique festival that anthropologists are drawn to it every year and parents consider it a great honour for their offspring to be part of the procession.

At a quarter to midnight a paper effigy of the King of the Ghosts is set on fire, giant incense sticks are lit and the buns are harvested and distributed to the villagers, who, delighted to be sharing in this auspicious good fortune, celebrate late into the night.

+852 2807 6543

 

Mid May

Birthday of Lord Buddha

Buddha’s birthday is celebrated throughout Hong Kong (and officially, since 1999), though prime sites are the Po Lin monastery on Lantau Island (home to the world’s largest seated outdoor Buddha), the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Sha Tin and the Miu Fat Monastery in Tuen Mun.

Worshippers show their devotion by bathing the Buddha statues and feasting on sumptuous vegetarian dishes. Though a day of great reverence, non-Buddhist visitors are welcome and it is an opportunity to visit Hong Kong’s Buddhist monks and monasteries.

+852 807 6543

 

Mid May

Tam Kung Birthday Festival

Tam Kung is an important patron deity of seafarers. His birthday festival, which coincides with Buddha’s, is celebrated with considerable devotion and fanfare at the Tam Kung Temple, built in 1905 in the Shau Kei Wan district on Hong Kong Island. Shau Kei Wan is also known as Ah Kung Yam, or “Ancestor’s Rocky Hill”.

Tam Kung is a local Taoist boy-god said to control the weather. He can calm storms by throwing peas into the air, or cause them by throwing water. His cult is strong in coastal areas like Hong Kong and Macau. Little is known about this cryptic figure except that he was of human origin, born in Guangdong province during the Ching dynasty, and that he is the object of devotion and veneration for boatsmen and seafarers in the region, who invoke him for the protection of their livelihood.

+852 807 6543

 

Early June

Tuen Ng (Dragon Boat Festival)

These dragon boat races were first held in 1976 as part of the 2000-year-old Tuen Ng Festival and have now become an annual event. Over 100 teams from across the globe participate in the waters around Hong Kong and its islands. After the locals have raced, the event becomes an international open. The main competitions take place on Shing Mun River, at Sha Tin in the New Territories.

The teams race the elaborately-decorated boats to the beat of heavy drums. The boats, more than ten meters in length, have ornately-carved and painted dragon heads and tails.   Each carries a crew of 20-22 paddlers. Sitting two abreast, with a steersman at the back and a drummer at the front, the paddlers are urged on by the pounding drums and the roar of the crowds.

The festival commemorates the death of a popular Chinese national hero, Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River during the 3rd century BC, in protest against a corrupt government. Legend has it that as locals attempted to rescue him, they beat drums to scare fish away and threw dumplings into the sea to keep the fish from eating his body. During the festival period, people eat rice-and-meat dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and many look forward to swimming, or even simply dipping their hands in the water, to symbolize trying to save him.

There is also a  Bathtub Race:  one of the most fun-filled competitions of the day. Each bathtub can have two paddlers and handsome prizes are promised to the winners.

+852 2807 6543

 

Mid July

Hong Kong Book Fair

A high-profile event in the Hong Kong calendar, the annual Book Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center goes well beyond books and into the realms of electronic publishing, educational software and audio-visual learning aids.  There are journals, newspapers and, of course, a variety of books from a wide range of Hong Kong publishers.

There are more than 350 exhibitors and visitor numbers reach an impressive 500,000 over the course of the event.  The festivities and reading materials are in Chinese.

+852 2582 8888

 

Mid August

Hong Kong Food Expo

Organized by the Trade Development Council at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, this annual expo celebrates and promotes the island’s food industry to both trade and consumers. Visitors get to enjoy entertainment, demonstrations, food sampling, and kitchen tips during this five-day event.

Over 200 suppliers from Australia, the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and the United States showcase their latest products. Included are gourmet and celebrity chefs’ cooking demonstrations.

+852 2582 8888

 

Mid September

Mid-Autumn Moon Cake Festival

An ancient Chinese tradition, the Mid-Autumn Moon Cake Festival a time in which families gather to relax, give thanks, celebrate family unity and view the full moon, and a celebratory banquet is typically held at midnight.

During the festival people eat special yuek beng (moon cakes) containing any ingredients from ground lotus and sesame to various sugary fillings. In Shanghai red bean paste has always been a favorite filling for revelers.

Another feature of the festival is  the colored Chinese paper lanterns, traditionally in the shapes of animals, which decorate almost every house. Festival altars are also adorned with five dishes of round fruits:  apples, peaches etc., as these symbolize the moon, as well as family unity.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Early December

Hong Kong Open Golf Championships

Set amidst the stunning scenery of Fanling, the Hong Kong Open Golf Championship is the longest-running professional sporting event, with many great players waiting to take up the challenge.

+852 2807 6543

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Shanghai Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Shanghai Travel Deals

A – Overview

Known in years past as the “Paris of the East” and “Queen of the Orient”, Shanghai is China’s most populous and sophisticated city.  Its infamous Great World Entertainment Center has been transformed into a modern state-of-the-art theater and Shanghai Youth Center. The wide boulevard known as the Bund was the centerpiece of colonial Shanghai and is a major part of the 21st century showcase that Shanghai has become. 

 Shanghai overview

Shanghai (Chinese for on the sea) is a city in eastern China that is situated on the Huannpu River, a tributary of the Yangtze, near the Yangtze River’s mouth to the East China Sea.  Shanghai is China’s main port, commercial hub, and industrial center. 

 

The words most frequently used to describe contemporary Shanghai are:   prosperous and sophisticated.  Its buildings and atmosphere are reminiscent of New York, London, and Paris.  The old and the new dwell in harmony.  Historic avenues and beautiful parks surround busy harbors and crowded streets.  Pagodas, temples, museums, and cultural centers are all part of this bustling city.  Shanghai recently hosted a Millionaires’ Conference for its many residents who now enjoy that income status.

 

Modern Shanghai still retains many reminders of the past.   Rich Eastern charm and Western flavor coexist in the best of both worlds.  The population continues to rise, as people are attracted by Shanghai’s cultural opportunities, by her history, as well as by the pulse and the vigor which this world class metropolis displays.

 

Opera, classical music, jazz, rock, jazz, theater, acrobatics, and dance are all featured on Shanghai’s cultural scene. Shanghai is the birthplace of the Chinese movie and hosts nine annual film festivals.  The Shanghai symphony orchestra has long been held in high regard, and is one of the oldest symphony orchestras in Asia.   The venues are striking in appearance and in capacity.  The Grand Theatre and the Oriental Arts Centre have attracted top international productions.  Traditional Chinese entertainment in the area of Chinese opera and acrobatics continue to delight large audiences as well. 

 

Recent years have brought dramatic changes to nightlife in Shanghai.  New bars and clubs open almost weekly.  A process of sorting has been occurring by which many new offerings are tried and tested with some closing soon after opening, only to be replaced by others (or reopened under new management) within a short period of time.  Sports bars, comedy clubs, theme bars (Egyptian, Irish, glamour and fashion, Middle East, colonial, and others) are all part of the wide array of choices.     

 

The world’s third tallest broadcasting tower, Oriental Pearl Tower, dominates the city skyline from its height of more than 1500 feet.  From its observation deck, visitors can enjoy spectacular views.  Modern Shanghai Museum Park houses one of the most noteworthy collections of the Middle Kingdom and ranks among China’s four largest museums.  Ming and Qing dynasty art are also displayed, along with fine porcelain exhibits. 

 

The Huangpu River divides Central Shanghai into two distinct areas: Pudong (east of the river) and Puxi (west of the river). The best known attractions of interest to visitors are in Puxi, including the Bund, the centerpiece of tourism, (though not the physical center of town). West of the Bund is the former International Settlement and one of Shanghai’s main shopping streets, East Nanjing Road. South of the Bund is Old Town, a maze of narrow lanes and landmarks of the heart of the original city of Shanghai. West of this Old Town and hidden in the backstreets north and south of Huaihai Road (Shanghai’s premier shopping street) is the former French Concession, with its tree-lined streets, 1930s architecture, cafes, and bars.  At its western end, in Xintiandi, is the more recently established collection of Western-style restaurants and bars. Continuing southeast, the way opens onto the massive shopping mall intersection of Xujiahui. Farther south is Shanghai Stadium.

 

Pudong’s extremely rapid rise as a special economic zone of banks, glass and steel skyscrapers, and upscale residential complexes has been called miraculous.  The spirit of this new area of Shanghai is best characterized by one of its modes of transportation:  the Maglev Train.  The Maglev travels at warp speed through an area that was farmland just 15 years ago.   There is no longer a hint of its rural roots in this burgeoning commercial and residential district of soaring towers and five star hotels.  World class museums such as Shanghai Municipal History Museum, Shanghai Aquarium, and the Science and Technology Museum are presided over by the lofty Oriental Pearl Tower.  Pudong, justifiably, aspires to be the Trade and Finance Center of the Far East.

 

Shanghai, the Eastern Pearl, is a welcoming and enchanting city and a fascinating vacation destination.

B – City information

Population: 17 million

Time Zone:  Shanghai (and all of China) is on Beijing time, which is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 8), 13 hours ahead of New York, 14 hours ahead of Chicago, and 16 hours ahead of Los Angeles. There’s no daylight saving time.  Subtract 1 hour in the summer.

shanghai-donghai-bridge 

Average Temperatures:

 

 Month  

   High

 Low

January  

   46F  

  33F

February

   47F

  34F

March  

   55F  

  40F

April  

   66F

  50F  

May  

   77F

  59F  

June  

   82F

  67F 

July  

   90F

  74F  

August  

   90F  

  74F

September  

   82F

  66F

October  

   74F

  57F

November  

   63F

  45F

December  

   53F

  36F

 

When to Visit

Shanghai has hot, rainy summers and dry, cool winters.  With an average daily temperature range of 32F to 90F, July is typically the hottest month.  The average daily temperature range in January, the coldest month, is 33-46F.  Shanghai has an average annual precipitation of 45 inches.  June is the wettest month, and December is the driest.

Holidays

Telephone:  Country Code:  Shanghai’s area code is 021; the country code is +86.

Currency:  Chinese yuan.

Business Hours:  8:30AM – 7:00 PM

 

Post Office:  Namjing Road

Internet Cafes:  Nanjing Road

Shopping Specialties:  Silk, cashmere, clothing, antiques, tea, electronics.

 

Getting There

By Air

Pudong Airport

With the opening of Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport on October 1, 1999, Shanghai became the first city in China to have two international airports. Pudong Airport is 40km from the city. 

Hongqiao Airport

Passengers can take a special airport bus from Pudong Airport to the downtown area and Hongqiao Airport.  Five bus lines  operate on that route.  There is also the Maglev train.. The bus travels from Pudong Airport to Hongqiao Airport; from Pudong Airport to the Shanghai Exhibition Center; from Pudong Airport to Zunyi Road; from Pudong Airport to Dongjiangwan Road; and from Pudong Airport to the Shanghai Railway Station. Buses operate from 6:00 to 19:00 in downtown areas and from 8:00 to 21:00 at Pudong Airport.

 

Hongqiao International Airport is located in the western suburbs of Shanghai, only 13 kilometers away from the city center. Since 1996, Hongqiao International Airport has consecutively won the first prize among airport group with an annual passenger count of over eight million.

 

Getting Around

 

The Shànghai subway system, an inexpensive and fast way to cover longer distances, is currently undergoing some much-needed expansion (from three, including the existing light rail line,  to eight lines. During morning and evening rush hours and on weekend afternoons, the system is so overburdened that it is best to avoid riding the subway at those times. The still incomplete Metro Line 2 runs in an east-west direction from Zhongshan Gongyuán across downtown Shànghai, under the Huángpu River, and through Pudong’s most developed areas to Lóngyáng Lù, where Maglev connections can be made to Pudong Airport. There are plans in the future to extend the line eastward and westward to connect to Shanghai’s two airports.

To locate subway entrances, look for the large signs with a letter “M”. . Subway platform signs in Chinese and pinyin indicate the station name and the name of the next station in each direction, and maps of the complete Metro system are posted in each station and inside the subway cars as well. In addition, English announcements of upcoming stops are made on trains. To determine your fare, consult the fare map posted near the ticket counters and on ticket vending kiosks.

 If you are going to be riding the subway often, purchase a rechargeable Jiaotong Card (Jiaotong Ka).  The card can also be used to pay for bus, ferry, and taxi rides, with your fare being automatically deducted from the amount remaining on the card.

 

Light Rail — By 2001 Shànghai had opened the first phase of its Pearl Mass Transit Light Rail line, which it plans to expand greatly by 2012.. Currently, its 19 stations encircle the western outskirts of the city, with stops at Shànghai Stadium to the south and at Shànghai Railway Station to the north of downtown. Phase two of the Light Rail will complete what’s started of this vast rail circle, extending the tracks across the river, through Pudong, and then back across the river into downtown Shànghai’s southern precincts. The aboveground Light Rail is clean, modern, and not heavily traveled except during rush hours. Ticketing is nearly identical to the Metro system’s. The Light Rail is seldom helpful for sightseeing, although it does stop near Lu Xùn Gongyuán (Hóngkou Stadium Station) and Duolún Lù cultural street (Baoxìn Lù Station) north of downtown, where the Metro lines do not extend. The Metro does usefully intersect with the Light Rail at the stations serving Shànghai Stadium, Zhongshan Park, and the Shànghai Railway Station.

 

By Taxi

With over 40,000 taxis in the streets, this is the most common means visitors use to get around Shànghai. Taxis congregate at leading hotels but can just as easily be hailed from street corners. Few drivers speak English. Most taxis now post a passenger’s “bill of rights” along the back of the front seat. Some of the “rights” include a smoke-free taxi and a driver not distracted by a mobile phone.

The general rule is never go with a driver who asks you your destination before you even get into the cab.

Always have your destination marked on a map or written down in Chinese, as well as a business card from your hotel with the address in Chinese so you can show it to the taxi driver when you want to get back.

Check to see that the supervision card, which includes the driver’s photo and identification number, is prominently displayed, as required by law. If not, find another cab.

Make sure the meter is visible, and that you see the driver reset it by pushing down the flag, If traveling by yourself, sit up front and take out your map so you can follow (or at least pretend to follow) the taxi’s route.

At the end of the trip, pay the indicated meter fare and no more. Tips are not expected.

 

By Bus

Public buses (gong gòng qì che are considerably more difficult to use, less comfortable than taxis or the Metro. Some buses have conductors but others only have money slots in the front of the bus with no change given. Be prepared to stand and be cramped during your expedition, and take care with backpacks and purses.

 

By Bicycle

Shànghai is not the best place to ride a bicycle. Prosperity has tremendously increased the number of cars.  The bicycle is still the main form of transportation for millions of Shànghai’s residents and bicycle riding is challenging, but not impossible.  A bicycle can be purchased at the large Malls.  Be sure to also purchase and use a lock.  Helmets are not required, but are advisable. 

 

By Bridge, Boat & Tunnel

Crossing the Huángpu River is necessary to enter the  Pudong New Area on the east side of the river. There are seven basic routes. Three are by bridge, each handling around 45,000 vehicles a day.  A fourth route (and the cheapest) is by water, via the passenger ferry.

The ferry terminal is at the southern end of the Bund on the west shore and at the southern end of Riverside Avenue at Dongchang Lù on the east shore.

Three more routes across the river make use of tunnels: The Yán’an Dong Lù Tunnel by car;  the  Metro Line 2 of the subway; and the Bund Sight-Seeing Tunnel (Wàitan Guanguang Suìdào) iby tram (daily 9am-9:30pm). 

By Foot

The best way to see Shànghai’s sights and experience life at street-level is on foot..

 

Areas of Shanghai

Pudong Located across the Huángpu River from the Bund:  Pudong was formerly farmland before 1990.   Today,  it is home to the Lùjiazui Financial District and includes the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jin Mào Tower, the Shànghai stock exchange, Asia’s largest department store, a riverside promenade, and the new Pudong International Airport.

 

Huángpu (Downtown Shànghai) The city center of old Shànghai lies in a compact sector west of the Huángpu River and south of Suzhou Creek. It extends west to Chéngdu Bei Lù (the North-South Elevated Hwy.), and encompasses the Bund, People’s Square (Rénmín Guangchang), and the Shànghai Museum.

 

Nánshì (Old Chinese City) Though officially part of Huángpu District, this area immediately south of downtown and the Bund, between the Huángpu River and Xizàng Nán Lù, differs in every way from the westernized areas.  Today’s old Chinese city (or Old Town) includes the Old Town Bazaar with its traditional shopping, Yù Yuán (Yù Garden), Shànghai’s old city wall, and the Confucian Temple.

 

Hóngkou (Northeast Shànghai) Immediately north of downtown Shànghai, across Suzhou Creek, this residential sector along the upper Huángpu River was originally the American sector before it became part of the International Settlement in colonial days. Today it is a developing neighborhood with a few sights.  There are the Ohel Moshe Synagogue, the Lu Xùn Museum, and the Duolún Lù Commercial Street.

 

Lúwan (French Sector) Beginning at People’s Square (Xizàng Lù) and continuing west to Shanxi Nán Lù, this historic district was the domain of the French colonial community up until 1949. The French left their mark on the residential architecture.   Local attractions:  Fùxing Park, the Jin Jiang Hotel, the shops along Huáihai Zhong Lù, the new Xin Tiandì development, and the former residences of Sun Yat-sen and Zhou Enlái.

 

Jìng An (Northwest Shànghai) North of the French sector and part of the former International Settlement, this district has colonial architecture, as well as the modern Shànghai Centre. Two of the city’s top Buddhist shrines, Jìng An Sì and Yù Fó Sì (Jade Buddha Temple), are located here, as are a number of Shànghai’s top hotels and restaurants.

 

Xúhuì (Southwest Shànghai) West of the French sector and south along Héngshan Lù, this area is one of Shànghai’s leading locations for cafes, bars, and shops. Sights include the Xújiahuì Cathedral, Lónghuá Pagoda, the Shànghai Botanical Garden, and the former residence of Soong Chingling.

 

Chángníng (Hóngqiáo Development Zone:   Starting at Huáihai Xi Lù, directly west of the Xúhuì and Jìng An districts, this corridor of new international economic ventures extends far west of downtown, past Gubei New Town and the Shànghai Zoo, to the Hóngqiáo Airport.

C – Attractions & Things To Do

Nan Jing Road

One of the two major commercial streets in Shanghai (in addition to Huai Hai Road), Nan Jing Road spans 5.5 kilometers east to west. There are more than 600 shops and shopping centers, covering both sides of the road. Once the premier shopping street, it has undergone a total renovation in recent years. New shopping centers have been erected and a large section on the eastern side has been pedestrianized. There are some first class hotels scattered along the road including the Peace Hotel, and the Portman. In the evenings, the street is illuminated.

Shanghai zoo

Transportation is convenient as visitors can catch the metro at various points along the road.

 

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

+86 (0)21 5879 1888

2 Lujiazui Road

Lujiazui Metro or sightseeing Bus No. 3

Admission Charged.

Standing 468 meters high, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower is one of the highest towers in Asia. Tourists may climb the tower for panoramic views of the city. The ground floor features a shopping area, café, and an international city exhibit. It also offers deluxe conference rooms that have hosted leaders and VIPs from around the world. On clear days, the upper levels of this tower, measuring no less than 263 meters in height, offer spectacular views.

 

Yu Gardens

This area includes the streets around Fuyou Street, Dongtai Lu and Henan Lu.

+86 (0)21 6326 0830

Admission Charged

The 400-year-old Yu Gardens were built in the Ming Dynasty during the reign of Emperor Jia Jin. Recognized as a significant national heritage site, the Gardens are a remarkable representation of a southern Chinese-style garden. Visitor highlights include the Jade Exquisite:  one of the three most famous jade stones in East China. A bustling  shopping bazaar has developed around the attraction

 

Huai Hai Road

Built in 1901, the six-kilometer-long Huai Hai Road commemorates the Huai Hai Battle during Liberation. Today, this road has become synonymous with what is trendy and fashionable in Shanghai. While the stretch between Shan Xi Road and Xi Zang Road is the busiest section (and best for people-watching), this commercial street contains more than 400 shops, restaurants and businesses. The remnants of French architecture give the street its cosmopolitan charm. Many nearby attractions add to its appeal, including the proximity of Doctor Sun Yat-sen Former Residence and Memorial Hall.

 

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall

+86 21 6318 4477

This museum has five floors that detail the ambitious plans of Shanghai’s urban planners. Visitors are provided with a glimpse of how Shanghai will look in 20 years. The centerpiece on the third floor is a huge model of the city as it is now. The map on the first half floor, outlines the districts scheduled to be cleared for new construction.  Green areas are marked. In the basement, a model of old Shanghai is on display,  with house entrances, cobble stone ways, and operating shops and teahouses.

 

Shanghai Art Museum

325 Nanjing Xi Lu (at Huangpi Bei Lu),

Shanghai, China.

+86 (0)21 6327 2829

Admission charged.

The Museum occupies a heritage building, that once overlooked a racecourse. It is at the northwest corner of People’s Park. There are twelve exhibition halls on five floors showing modern and traditional fine art. The permanent collection includes paintings, calligraphy, and sculpture, but its rotating exhibitions have favored modern artwork. There is a museum store, café, and a rooftop restaurant.

 

People’s Square (Renmin Guang Chang)

People’s Square (Ren Min Guang Chang) is a vast public square surrounded by government buildings. Truly an urban park, it features manicured greenery and, at its heart, the architecturally impressive Shanghai Museum. Other features include a 320-square-meter water fountain, subway station and an underground shopping mall. Because the square attracts many people, it makes an ideal venue for people watching. Add a carefree afternoon of kite flying.   Kites are available at the square.

 

Shanghai Links Golf & Country Club

+86 (0)21 5897 5899

This luxurious golf course is a 40-minute taxi ride from downtown Shanghai.

 

Great World Entertainment Center

Huangpu district Tibet south road

+86 (0)21 6374 6703; +86 (0)21 6326 3760 ext 40

Admission Charged

The Great World Entertainment Center ranks among the oldest entertainment establishments in Shanghai. In existence since the 1920s, it used to cater towards the decadent tastes of some of the colonial settlers during that period and once housed a brothel and a gambling casino. Today, the entertainment is far more wholesome. Performances vary from Chinese gong fu to folk dancing to acrobatics and Beijing opera. A section for children’s entertainment keeps the children happy.

 

Shanghai Museum

+86 (0)21 6372 0276

Admission Charged

This museum boasts 120,000 Chinese art pieces and archeological findings. Permanent exhibits feature bronzes, ceramics and paintings, among other artifacts. Other facilities include a library with 20,000 books, a conservation laboratory and a lecture room. There is an impressive gift shop on the first floor, a non-smoking teahouse and several antique and curio stalls. An audio tour is available in English and Japanese. The building itself is an architectural showpiece, resembling an ancient tripod when viewed sideways. The rooftop with glassed dome is modeled on a Han Dynasty mirror.

 Shanghai-museum

Disc Go-Karting Club

+86 (0)21 6277 5641

Opened in 1997, this club features a spacious, 4,500 square-meter indoor track, so that speed racers get numerous chances to put their foot down on the gas pedal. Visitors can refuel and recharge at the trackside pub and cafe. Entry to the track is free, but there are costs to race.

 

Shanghai Grand Theater Gallery

+86 (0)6386 8686 ext 3103 or 3104

Formerly only showing the works of Shanghai’s popular modern artist, Ting Shao Kuang, the Gallery now showcases a wider range of artists. It is a branch of the AA Gallery, which has established a solid reputation locally (main branch is at the Shanghai Center).

The Gallery aims at popular mainstream tastes rather than the avant-garde. Exhibitions change frequently. Located next to the Shanghai Grand Theatre and near the Shanghai Art Museum, it also sells original paintings and reprints of Chinese artists as well as foreign ones.

 

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

158 Yincheng Bei Lu,

Pudong, China

021/5877-9988

Admission charged; children below 1.2 meters in height: free.

This new and modern indoor aquarium offers visitors a glimpse of life on the ocean floor. Access to the exhibits is through an entrance resembling an Inca Temple. Schools of colorful fish are viewed against a backdrop of themes, such as a sunken pirate ship, mountain stream and rainforest. There are penguins and species representing all 12 of the Chinese zodiac animals.  The aquarium features a touching pool, and tanks housing unusual crustaceans, sea horses, corals and anemones. The deep ocean and sea floor exhibit brings visitors face-to-face with sharks, sea snakes and other marine life.

 

Shanghai Library

+86 (0)21 6445 5555

This fairly new library is ranked among the ten largest in the world. It seats 3,000 readers and houses over 13 million books, newspapers, journals, rare Western books, family trees, correspondences, and stone inscriptions. It is also honored as one of the ten symbolic cultural buildings in Shanghai.

Technologically innovative, the library is the first in China to have an advanced information management system where coverage, cataloguing, circulation, continual publication and inquiry are done by computers. The library also provides online service for surfing the Internet or checking e-mail.

 

Jade Buddha Temple (Yufo Si)

170 Anyuan Road, Shanghai, China

021/6266-3668

This is one of the most venerated temples in Shanghai.  Famous for its white jade Buddha, the temple was built in 1882 when a Chinese monk brought the figure from Burma.  There are three ornately decorated main halls.  The highlight is the Jade Buddha Tower where the bejeweled white Buddha is displayed.  The massive figure weighs more than a ton. 

 

Bund Museum

(Waitan Bowuguan)

Unit A, 1 Zhongshan Erlu (The Bund)

Shanghai, China

No Phone

Open Daily 9-5

Admission Free.

The white and red observation tower has watched over the Huangpu River since 1884. The base, now home to this tiny museum, was built 19 years earlier. Photos along the walls present the Bund’s most famous buildings, both past and present.

D – Family Fun Attractions

People’s Square (Renmin Guang Chang)

People’s Square (Ren Min Guang Chang) is a vast public square surrounded by government buildings. Truly an urban park, it features manicured greenery and, at its heart, the architecturally impressive Shanghai Museum. Other features include a 320-square-meter water fountain, subway station and an underground shopping mall. Because the square attracts many people, it makes an ideal venue for people watching. Add a carefree afternoon of kite flying to your itinerary—great for the young and the young at heart. Kites are available for sale at the square.

 

Oriental Pearl TV Tower

+86 (0)21 5879 1888

Standing 468 meters high, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower is one of the highest towers in Asia. Tourists may climb the tower for panoramic views of the city. The ground floor features a shopping area, cafe and an international city exhibit. It also offers deluxe conference rooms that have hosted leaders and VIPs from around the world. On clear days, the upper levels of this tower, measuring no less than 263 meters in height, offer spectacular views of the city.

 

Great World Entertainment Center (and Youth Center)

+86 (0)21 6374 6703; +86 (0)21 6326 3760 ext 40

Admission

Performances vary from Chinese gong fu to folk dancing to acrobatics and Beijing opera. A children’s section provides activities for children and youth.

 

Zhen Yang Bowling Hall

+86 21 6439 1708

Zhen Yang is a large and relatively new complex in Shanghai. It has 32 lanes and is in operation 24 hours a day. Peak times are set between 7pm and 11pm.

 

Huang Pu River Tour

+86 (0)21 6374 4461

Taking a boat tour along the Huang Pu River gives visitors an opportunity to see many of Shanghai’s famous sites such as the People’s Hero Monument, the Bund (Wai Tan), the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the dramatic skyline of the Pu Dong business district. Also, in view from the river are the bustling International Passenger Station of Shanghai Harbor, the docks and the Wu Song ancient gun fort relics.

 

Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

158 Yincheng Bei Lu,

Pudong, China

021/5877-9988

Admission charged; children below 1.2 meters in height: free.

This new and modern indoor aquarium offers visitors a glimpse of life on the ocean floor. Access to the exhibits is through an entrance resembling an Inca Temple. Schools of colorful fish are viewed against a backdrop of themes, such as a sunken pirate ship, mountain stream and rainforest. There are penguins and species representing all 12 of the Chinese zodiac animals.  The aquarium features a touching pool, and tanks housing unusual crustaceans, sea horses, corals and anemones. The deep ocean and sea floor exhibit brings visitors face-to-face with sharks, sea snakes and other marine life.

E – Events & Entertainments

Late January

Chinese New Year (Spring Festival)

Chinese New Year is one of the best known, the most widely celebrated and certainly the oldest New Year festivals in the world. Chinese communities all over the globe have made it a big event in their respective communities, but there’s no better place to witness the start of the new lunar year than in China itself.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, falls on the first day of the first lunar month. The date changes in the Western calendar each year. The preparations start long before the event and the festivities last for around 15 days, ending with the Lantern Festival.

In China the New Year is widely celebrated, and everything closes down, officially, for four days. People jam the transport networks to get home to their families. Preparations begin about a month before the day itself, building up to huge house-cleaning sessions to sweep out bad luck. Doors and windows are freshly painted – the colors for the festival are red (for happiness) and gold (for wealth) – and decorative paper cut outs and paintings are put up. Poetic couplets expressing wishes for happiness and longevity, written on rolls of red paper, are traditionally put on gateposts and doors.

On the night itself, almost everyone in China holds a huge family dinner of seafood and dumplings, as well as the traditional New Year cakes. Then, at midnight, fireworks light up the skies all over the country. On the next day, people traditionally visit relatives, friends and neighbors with new year greetings (“Gong Xi Fa Cai”: “Happy and Prosperous New Year”), and married couples give Hong Bao (red packets of money) to children and unmarried adults. There are also high-energy dragon dances, lantern shows, and other entertainments throughout the celebrations.

+86 (0) 10 66 03 11 85

 

Lantern Festival

+86 (0)10 6601 1122

Admission is free.

The streets of Shanghai light up at night during this huge festival as revelers walk about holding Chinese lanterns. Legend claims that the lanterns protect citizens from being attacked and hauled away by evil spirits lurking in Shanghai’s air space..

 

January

Ringing of the Bell

One hundred eight honored Buddhists ascend the Drum Tower in Longhua Park to strike the temple bell at midnight on New Year’s Eve each year. According to ancient Buddhist doctrine, each stroke of the bell represents one kind of earthly happiness.

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, falls on the first day of the first lunar month – the date changes in the Western calendar each year. The Longhua Temple is a great place to head for the event – it has always done its own spectacular thing for local worshippers and tourists alike. The temple’s vegetarian dishes are very popular with tourists, but on New Year’s Eve “over-year noodles” are the only choice – a dish that represents wealth and success in the coming year.

+86 (0) 10 66 03 11 85

 

Early April

Tomb Sweeping Day

China’s Tomb Sweeping Day, every year in April, is a day for worshipping ancestors; people visit the graves of their departed relatives and burn “ghost money” (money for use in the afterworld) in their honor.

Also called Qingming Day, this tradition is observed by millions of Chinese all across the world. It has its roots partly in the half-legendary huge resettlements that were ordered during the Ming Dynasty, when thousands of families were ordered first to Konglong county before being sent to their final destinations.

Thus, to this day, many Chinese believe their ancestors came from that county. The event also appeals to many overseas Chinese who identify their own diaspora with that of the people who suffered under the Ming rulers.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Early April

Shanghai International Tea Culture Festival

Hundreds of thousands of tea lovers, experts and tea producers make it to Shanghai for the International Tea Culture Festival. As well as plenty of impressive tea ceremonies, visitors get to taste a good few brands as activities spread around town, attend seminars and visit famous tea spots.

The history of the tea culture festival goes back to when the Revolutionary History Exhibition Hall in Zhabei District opened the Songyuan Teahouse

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Early April

Longhua Temple Fair

Longhua Park is famous for its ancient temple, the Longhua Pagoda, its evening bell-striking ceremony and beautiful peach blossoms. It is especially worth visiting during the Longhua Temple fair, the largest in Shanghai and said to be the day when dragons visit the temple to help grant people’s wishes.

Stalls surround the temple and thousands of people go to the booths selling every kind of traditional Chinese food and crafts. The temple is decorated spectacularly, and lit at night to full effect.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Early-Mid June

Dragon Boat Festival

Every year, on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, a number of Chinese cities (as well as overseas Chinese all across the world) commemorate the death of poet Qu Yuan in ancient times by staging a Dragon Boat Festival. Usually celebrations go on before and after, but there’s one day of races.

Qu Yuan lived as a courtier in the court of the Chou Dynasty until one day he was thrown into the sea after maltreatment at the hands of a corrupt and evil official. When the local fishermen learnt of the poet’s demise, they apparently set to in their boats, trawling the waters to find him. Their efforts were unsuccessful so they threw rice dumplings into the sea, thumping the water with their paddles to prevent the poor poet being eaten by piranhas.

An important part of this timeless celebration is the eating of zongzi – the pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves.

+86 (0) 10 66 03 11 85

 

Mid June

Shanghai International Film Festival

The Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) fills various venues around the city, presenting over 900 official films from more than 60 countries. Founded in 1993, it is the only international film festival in China and has Grade-A international status.

The nine-day event is made up of four strands: the Jin Jue Award International Film Competition, the International Film Panorama, the International Film Market and the Jin Jue International Film Forum.

+86 (0) 10 66 03 11 85

 

Mid September

Chinese Moon Festival

Also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, China’s Moon Festival is celebrated around town and especially in people’s homes. Traditionally it marks the end of the harvest season.

The festival is marked by the making and eating of “moon cakes” – round pastries filled with sweet fillings. In Shanghai, the favorite filling is a red bean paste. Houses are decorated with colored animal-shaped paper lanterns and altars are piled with round fruits to symbolize the shape of the moon. The evening is spent moon-gazing in the company of family, before enjoying a feast at midnight.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Mid Sept-Early Oct

Shanghai Tourist Festival

The annual Shanghai Tourist Festival offers a huge amount of entertainment at venues across the city. Float parades, markets, a folklore tour of Shanghai Lanes, a Chinese Festival at Yu Garden,  and a Music Fireworks Festival in Century Park are part of the festivities.

 

Mid Oct-Mid Nov

Shanghai International Art Festival

Shanghai hosts a month-long arts festival every year with a varied program of more than 150 performances. This includes everything  from symphony orchestras, dance and opera to acrobatics, magic, and drama.

Also on the bill are an international piano competition, a magic festival and contest, an Asian music festiva,l and an arts and crafts fair.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

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Beijing Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links

A – Beijing Overview

B- Beijing Attractions and Things To Do

C- Family Fun Attractions

D- Beijing Travel Deals

 

A – Beijing Overview

Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and is the nation’s center of government, economy, culture, and international activities. It has 18 districts and counties, with an area of 16,800 square kilometers and a population of 11 million. Beijing (meaning Northern Capital ) is a place of both ancient history and dazzling modernity. The city itself is traversed by freeways and hundreds of flyovers. High-rises adorn the length of this city making it a major metropolis within China. Beijing, however, is a city of bewildering juxtapositions. Despite the urban construction that makes it modern, Beijing has a long history. It’s history started as early as 500 000 years ago, when Peking Man lived there. It is an ancient cultural city that served for more than 800 years as the capital of the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Beijing is now known for its many special places of interest.

Beijing overview

While the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square represent the heart of Beijing, Beijing is a sprawling city without a defined central downtown. The Chaoyang District makes up the northeast section of Beijing. The Sanlitun area features a few embassies, many foreign businesses and a variety of bars as well as nightclubs. It is regarded as the embodiment of nightlife in the city.

From the magnificent Forbidden City, with its stunning wealth of treasures, visitors can begin their journey through the streets and lanes of Beijing. Moving outside the center, one moves away from the hustle of daily life, and into the tranquil pace of ancient times and traditions. Palaces, parks, narrow alleyways and ancient sites such as the YongheGong, reveal a different side of Beijing. The Temple of Heaven’s vast grounds are a pleasure to visit year-round, and are enchanting during a snowstorm.

Visitors can find refuge in the suburbs,in such places as the Summer Palaces and the Western Hills, which have been favored retreats since imperial times.
While visiting Beijing, take some time to hike outside of the city. Excursions may involve a visit to the Ming Tombs or perhaps a simple picnic amid the historic ruins. The Great Wall, a site not to be missed, encompasses many small villages. Visitors should also consider traveling into the countryside and taking a glimpse of village life. Overall, Beijing is a city that is fascinating and is rich in cultural treasures. It provides visitors with a cosmopolitan view of urban modernity, as well as imparting a deep respect for times past.

B- Beijing Attractions and Things To Do

The Summer Palace – Imperial gardens
Yiheyuan Street
Haidian District
6288-1077
The Summer Palace’s is known as one of the most tranquil places in the city of Beijing. Lakeside gardens and elegant pavilions adorn this grand imperial palace. It was originally built as a summer home for the emperor. Nowadays the gardens, pavilions, bridges, and towers receive hundreds to thousands of visitors. A curious feature in Summer Palace is the marble replica of a Mississippi steamboat.

Yonghe Gong – Tibetan Lama Temple
Yonghegong Dajie A little touristy, but worth the journey for the colorful halls, mandalas and notable display of statuary.

The Great Wall
Well recognized throughout the world, China’s Great Wall is a symbol of the ancient Chinese culture and civilization. Originally the wall was built as a means of defending the city.

Great Wall

Palace Museum of Beijing
The Forbidden City – Imperial palaces
6513-1892
Twenty-four emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties lived in this palace city, officially making it the home of China’s emperors for five centuries. The Palace Museum, formerly known as the Forbidden City, lies in the heart of modern Beijing. Built in the early 1400’s, the structure is impressive with more than 9,000 rooms and halls containing many precious relics – making it the largest architectural palace in the world.

Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs are located one an area measuring about 40 square kms. The mausoleum houses 13 Ming emperors. Of the tombs only two are actually open to the public. The most famous and perhaps the most thrilling is the Dingling. Curious enough, Dingling is practically an underground palace.

Tian’anmen Square
Tian’anmen Square is located in the heart of Beijing. Tian’anmen Square is noted as one of the largest parks as well as one of the largest city squares in the world. The history of the square dates back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, when Tian’anmen was the front gateway to the imperial palace.

The Temple of Heaven
Tiantan Road and Chongwenmenwai Street
Chongwen District
6702-8866
Located on Tiantan Park, this dazzling temple built in 1420 is said to be the place where emperors if the Ming and Qing dynasties would pray to Heaven. As stories tell it, the emperors would perform ceremonies in honor of the god of harvests – this would be done in order for good harvests that season. The Temple’s primary structure has become a well-recognized symbol of Beijing.

Yonghegong Lamasery
Yonghegong Lamasery was built in 1694. Its structure resides as one of the largest lamaseries in Beijing.

Coal Hill (Jing Shan Park)
A royal garden of the Ming and Qing dynasties, Jingshan Park was formed from the soil excavated to create the moat around the Forbidden City. It is one of the best places for a panoramic view of the whole city. The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion is located at its summit.

Beihai Park
Another imperial garden, the Beihai Park was the imperial garden of the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. It is noted as one of the oldest of the Chinese gardens.

Yuanmingyuan
Yuanmingyuan was once an impressive imperial palace built during the Qing Dynasty. Unfortunately, all that remains of the palace is ruins. The grounds of Yuanmingyuan are well preserved and open to the public.

Beijing Zoo
137 Xizhimenwai, Xicheng District
6831-4411
The Beijing Zoo is the oldest zoo in China. Some 5,000 animals live there and features a wide variety of animals. The panda house is the only place in Beijing where visitors can see giant pandas. Some of the animals that are featured are the golden monkey, the white-lipped deer, the red-crowned crane, and many other rare animals from all over the world.

Marco Polo Bridge
This structure was erected in 1189. It is the oldest and grandest arch bridge in Beijing

Hutongs
A hutong is a kind of street lined on both sides by courtyards containing compound houses. Hutongs are a special feature of downtown Beijing. The hutongs (alleyways) were created by the traditional Beijing courtyard-style architecture

Museum of Chinese History
6512-8986
Located just off the northeast corner of Tiananmen Square, this museum displays more than 9,000 ancient Chinese relics, including bronze pieces dating back 5,000 years. The museum shares the same building as the Museum of the Chinese Revolution. This museum features cultural artifacts from 1919 to 1949.

Beijing Amusement Park
1 Zuoanmennei Dajie
Chongwen District
6711-1155.
Beijing Amusement Park, in Longtan Park, has live entertainment, rides, a water-screen show, paddleboats, bumper cars and roller coasters.

Capital Museum (Confucius Temple)
Guozijian Jie, Andingmennei,
Dongcheng
6401-2118
In a former imperial temple and Confucian civil-service university, this was where China’s best and brightest came to serve the state

Blue Zoo Beijing
(Gongti Nanlu), Chaoyang District
6593-5263
This international-class aquarium is great for the kids. The main attraction is a 140-yard-/130-meter-long moving walkway that swirls around underneath the main tank, with sharks swimming overhead. The museum focuses on such marine issues in China as the damming of the Yangtze River and the slaughter of sharks for shark-fin soup.

Miraculous Amusement Palace
Chaoyang Park
Chaoyang District
6506-6382
Wax exhibitions and scenery depict episodes from the famous Chinese story A Journey to the West, featuring the monk, the pig, the monkey and the warrior.

Beijing Museum of Natural History
126 Tianqiao Nandajie
Chongwen District
6702-4431
The largest of its kind in China, this museum contains fossils or specimens of almost all plants and animals found in China.

The Central Park of Beijing
1 Wenjin St.,
Xicheng District
6404-0610.
Beihai Park has an 800-year history as the royal garden of the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The park is grand and sprawling, with some beautiful plantings, a lake and paddleboats for rent.

Beijing Recreation Center
Beisihuanzhong Road, Andingmenwai
6499-3434
Watery fun including a wave pool, simulated river, three slides and a “fast slippery dip” (a steep water slide). A sports complex provides bowling, squash, tennis, roller-skating, disco dancing, billiards and a sauna.

Chinese Geology Museum
15 Yangrou Hutong
Xisi Nandajie
6617-6387
Chinese Geology Museum displays minerals, gems and Paleozoic plants and plenty of animals. A great place for family fun!

China Art Gallery
China’s national museum of art has permanent displays of works by Chinese artists and frequent shows by foreign artists.

Contemporary Art Gallery
123 Longfusi St
6401-7659.
A great place to view the national museum’s collection of China’s leading contemporary artists.

White Cloud Temple
6 Baiyunguan JieXibianmenwai
Xuanwu District
6346-3531
White Cloud Temple also known as Tianchang Temple. It is the largest Taoist temple in Beijing and the center of Taoism in north China.

C- Family Fun Attractions

Beijing Zoo
137 Xizhimenwai, Xicheng District
6831-4411
The Beijing Zoo is the oldest zoo in China. Some 5,000 animals live there and features a wide variety of animals.  The panda house is the only place in Beijing where visitors can see giant pandas.  Some of the animals that are featured are the golden monkey, the white-lipped deer, the red-crowned crane, and many other rare animals from all over the world.

Beijing zoo 

Museum of Chinese History
6512-8986
Located just off the northeast corner of Tiananmen Square, this museum displays more than 9,000 ancient Chinese relics, including bronze pieces dating back 5,000 years. The museum shares the same building as the Museum of the Chinese Revolution. This museum features cultural artifacts from 1919 to 1949.

Beijing Amusement Park
1 Zuoanmennei Dajie
Chongwen District
6711-1155
Beijing Amusement Park, in Longtan Park, has live entertainment, rides, a water-screen show, paddleboats, bumper cars and roller coasters.

Blue Zoo Beijing
(Gongti Nanlu), Chaoyang District
6593-5263
This international-class aquarium is great for the kids. The main attraction is a 140-yard-/130-meter-long moving walkway that swirls around underneath the main tank, with sharks swimming overhead. The museum focuses on such marine issues in China as the damming of the Yangtze River and the slaughter of sharks for shark-fin soup.

Miraculous Amusement Palace
Chaoyang Park
Chaoyang District
6506-6382
Wax exhibitions and scenery depict episodes from the famous Chinese story A Journey to the West, featuring the monk, the pig, the monkey and the warrior.
 

Beijing Museum of Natural History
126 Tianqiao Nandajie
Chongwen District
6702-4431
The largest of its kind in China, this museum contains fossils or specimens of almost all plants and animals found in China.

Beijing Recreation Center
Beisihuanzhong Road, Andingmenwai
6499-3434
Watery fun including a wave pool, simulated river, three slides and a “fast slippery dip” (a steep water slide).  A sports complex provides bowling, squash, tennis, roller-skating, disco dancing, billiards and a sauna.

Chinese Geology Museum
15 Yangrou Hutong
Xisi Nandajie
6617-6387
Chinese Geology Museum displays minerals, gems and Paleozoic plants and plenty of animals.  A great place for family fun!

D – Beijing Travel Deals

We offer deeply discounted rates for Beijing travel vacation packages,
airline tickets, hotel rates and car rental services. Build your own trip now
through our travel products:

– Get cheap airline tickets from our "Seat Inventory" source, best price and
seats for your family.

– Find your cheap hotel rates from our "Best Rate Guarantee" at over 300000
global properties.

– Rent a car at the price you want to travel Beijing. We offer cheapest car
rental
service from wide selection of inventory rates

– Best travel deals for our cheap vacation packages or last minute travel
deals
. We offer best vacation package rates with deeply discounted prices (up to
70% of regular rates)

– Visit our home page for all travel deals such as:cheap airline tickets, hotel rates, car rental, vacation packages and tourist attractions. Why pay more? save your money now!