7 Most Fun and Free Things to Do in Beijing

7-most-fun-free-things-to-do-in-beijing-china

Shanghai is larger than Beijing in population, but Beijing is China’s capital. The city was the last of four great capitals of ancient China and has now been the center of the nation’s political heart for the last 8 centuries. With a history such as this and a population of over 21 million, there is obviously a lot of attractions and places to visit in the city as any traveling blog site will tell you. Although some of these attractions cost money to see, there are still plenty of free attractions for those visitors that may be on a budget 7 of the more popular ones are listed below.
1. Tiananmen Square

tiananmen square, china

This is the largest public square in the world and is located in the center of the city. The square is surrounded by many sights, like the Great Hall on the west of the square, Chairman Memorial Hall on the south, museums on the east and People’s Heroes Monument in the center.
2. 798 Space, 798 Art Zone

798 Space Art Zone

Sometimes also referred to as Factory 798, this is Beijing’s equivalent of Greenwich Village and houses the artistic community. Nestled in an old military complex, this has now developed into Beijing’s most famous art community where exhibits of Chinese porcelain and other art works can be seen either in the large exhibition hall or in the small squares.
3. Wangfujing Street

Wangfujing-Street

Although this street is only 1,000 meters in length, it has become known as China’s First Street. With a collection of different department stores lining the street and it has now become a sister street to Paris’ Champs Elysees. You can find almost anything in this street including food and drink as in the summer there is an abundance of beer festivals and open air cafes.
4. Shichahai

shichahai

Hai means lake and Shichahai is the name given to an area that comprises 3 lakes, Beihai, Shanghai and Nanha; Bei meaning north, Zhong meaning middle and Nan means south. These lakes are known to have been the site of 10 temples, of which at least 4 still remain and its bar is an ideal place for visitors to take a drink in the evenings. {This reminds me of Thale Noi in Thailand. -Ed.}
5. Silk Market

silk market

After the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, this is probably on a par with Beijing Roast Duck as a visitor’s must see. Although starting only 20 years ago when people set up open air stores next to the Embassy district, this now has a 30,000 square meters new building called New Silk Alley Market, with 1,600 booths.
6. Panjiayuan Market

panjiayuan market
This is a flea market that has 4,000 businesses located within its 48,500 square meters area and includes some from 8 different provinces. Although the businesses are mainly concerned with crafts, collectibles and decorations, the market is divided into 6 areas, a food service area, a modern collection area, a classical furniture area, an ancient room area, a stone carving area and a stall area. This is Beijing’s largest flea market and is located at the southeast corner of the third ring road.
7. Museums

Museum-China

Most museums in Beijing are free to visit, but you may have to pay a fee if you require a guide. Although there are many museums in the city, the 3 most popular are: The National Museum of China, Beijing Museum of Natural History and the Beijing Theatre Museum.

  • National Museum of China – Throughout the year this museum holds large exhibits, which include Ancient Buddhist Sculptures, Ancient Chinese Jade, Ancient Chinese Bronze Art,Ancient Chinese Porcelain Art and Ancient Chinese Currency.
  • Beijing Museum of Natural History – This museum has a rich collection of exhibits that include paleontology, and the Mystery of Humanity, plus a vivid display of animals for children to enjoy.
  • Beijing Theatre Museum – This museum shows the development of the Peking Opera and has some very exquisite costumes on display.

Safe Travel Tips for Young Travelers

Safety Tips for Travelers

Young travelers can be seen anywhere, the population of backpackers are generally young, fearless, and sometimes out of hand.  I’ve seen a lot of accidents during my travels that I thought can be avoided if only they aren’t too reckless, you might say “That’s the point of that holiday, being young, wild, and free!”.  Sure it’s fun, but it won’t be when you fall sick from eating exotic food adventure, or ended up in the hospital for broken bones (those are lucky situations). Here are some safe travel tips that would help you be safe (or at least a reminder) for real young travelers and at heart.

OVERVIEW ON TRAVEL SAFETY

When teenagers embark on a journey, many risks lie ahead of them. They may get lost before reaching their desired destination, they can run out of gas and cash in the middle of nowhere and others are involved in very serious road accidents.

Worse of all, young people can fall sick due to change of weather or even change of environment. Another problem that is often encountered by young people as they travel around is communication barrier. With no communication, it becomes extremely difficult to move around freely.

Some of these tragedies can be avoided if some of the following things are considered before travelling.

ENSURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY

Money is very crucial when it comes to planning any travel adventure. All teenagers are advised to have enough cash to enable them fulfill all their desires. It is not advised to carry huge sums of cash while travelling because an incident like robbery would mean disaster.

It is good to ensure that one can access money via several reliable means. Before embarking on any journey, teenagers are encouraged to have access to an online bank or credit card that can be used anywhere as long as there is internet connectivity.

{Ensure you have knowledge and skills that can be another resource of travel income, this is something no one can steal.  Read my tips on How to Travel Cheap to help you figure… –Ed.}

safe tips for  travelers with kids

HAVE RELIABLE SOURCE OF COMMUNICATION

A domestic cell phone carrier may be a good idea but when long distances are involved, it becomes difficult or impossible to communicate with friends and relatives. Fortunately in our modern days, there are lots of options that a teen can decide to keep in touch.

Some of the most common ways to keep in touch is through the internet. The internet allows teenagers to communicate through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Skype also offers video chats that are very important as teens can communicate with parents as though they are in the same room.

{Buy a local sim card, it’s way cheaper than using a roaming sim you have from your country. –Ed.}

PERSONAL SAFETY IS IMPORTANT

When travelling to an unknown place, it is important to ensure that all persona effects are well looked after. Wallets should not be left hanging in the back pockets and the bags should not be left unattended to.

It is also not advisable to travel alone because some simple problems may require more than one person to solve them. Two people are also able to motivate each other when a crisis arises.

{If you’re travelling solo, bundle up with other cool travel friends you’ve met, just be vigilant and smart all the time. Keep safe. –Ed.}

safe travel tips for young travelers

DO A THOROUGH RESEARCH

It is good to know the basic things about the place that one intends to visit. Some of the things to consider is the language used, currency that the locals are using, mode of transport and the security of the place. These facts enable one to make special arrangements like looking for a translator, when and where to visit, where to lodge and where to look for help if need be

DON’T BREAK THE LAW

Recent research shows that many teenagers are arrested by law enforcers while they are away travelling. One of the greatest mistake that young people make is driving under the influence of alcohol. In most countries in the world, it is against the law to drink and drive. This can attract huge fines or deportation and this cuts short the planned journey.

Hence all teenagers are advised to adhere to the laws of the country they are in.

These are some of the things that all teenagers should keep in mind before embarking on any journey. They should also remember to carry their national identification cards or passports for ease of movement.

Cheap International Calls To The Philippines

 

How to make cheap International Calls to the Philippines?  Few weeks ago, we were having huge comparison in International call charges to Thailand versus Philippines which I know was really expensive calling the latter, talking about the experience of working overseas and calling home everyday to at least ease your homesickness costs a lot.

Now, there is a cheaper way to call your friends and loved ones in the Philippines if you are from countries like:

  • USA
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • UK

international-calls-to-philippines

Yes, all you need to do is make sure that your friends or loved ones you wish to call in the Philippines are using Globe/TM Network and you can register for $1 (Php45)/month to get your Globe/TM mobile number and you can surely call Philippines like making a local call.  Read how to register and more details on how to make Cheap International Calls To The Philippines.  The catch is that, the promo runs only until the 31st of October 2014.  I registered just now and tried it if it even work, it did! I hope you get the chance to get this promotion because Christmas season is around the corner.

Taylor Swift’s Welcoming You to New York

welcome-to-new-york-taylor-swift

Everyone is talking about the new Taylor Swift’s single called ‘Welcome to New York’, some people don’t like it and some think it’s ‘okay’… But it went viral which means it is better than what most people think. She actually describes what to expect or see in New York in the eyes of a naive young first time visitor to New York City.

I’m not a fan of Swift but I’m a fan of music, and I do appreciate every genre.  I personally think it isn’t bad and if it catches our attention to listen to this then it will be catching more attention on ads, on the dance floor, on the video theme.  I must say though, it’s not her usual country sound, it’s more like a pop-techno but it’s still good.  Honestly, not bad to play on my iTunes while on a trip to New York City.  Listen and have your say…

Orchestra Under The Stars in Ephesus

ephesus-orchestra0

EPHESUS – An ancient Greek city in Turkey, you might ask why Greek?  It’s because it was built by Greek colonists and settlers during that period. The cobble stone floors, the delicate old walls, pillars that the archeologists are delicately digging were the mute witnesses of Cleopatra and Marc Anthony’s love story. It  truly is one of the finest destinations in Turkey.

ephesus-orchestra

The history it was telling didn’t stop there, our cruise ship would not stop as well to surprise us with a wonderful orchestra performed for us all.  While your brain could not stop imagining what did happen where you were standing ages ago, seeing the ancient city of Ephesus glowing at night while watching the orchestra play and  being served with cocktails and wine were astounding.  We were serenaded under the stars with the Ephesus ruins at the background is so special (or I want to say, Magical!).  Let me share to you a short video clip so you can tell me what you think.

ephesus-orchestra1

Turkish people should also be proud of their traditional cuisine, it was nothing I thought Turkish cuisine was.