2019 Top 10: Our Most Popular Posts of the Year

Writing this, I can’t believe how quickly the year 2019 has gone by. I can say this year has been absolutely busy.

In 2019 we published almost 100 new pieces of content, ranging from Beijing travel guide, Great Wall hiking tips, Fengshui, and Beijing layover tips to photography tips.

At the end of this year, I checked my analytics so that I can let you know what was popular.

And among all those wonderful posts, these 10 were our absolute most popular based on the number of page views— the ones you all loved most. Also you can scroll down for a general recap of the year.

Top 10 in 2019

1: Where Is the Best Location to Stay in Beijing

Over the recent years, Beijing has cemented its authority as the perfect destination for business and pleasure. The city boasts of a diverse culture, embodied in a blend of modern architecture and authentic ancient heritage. No wonder many revelers and tourists crowd the mystic city to relish its natural and man-made attractions. Read more…

2: Climbing the Great Wall of China–Where Do I Start?

Which part of the wall is the best for you to visit? The answer to this question varies from person to person. You must, therefore, do your research and plan carefully the areas you wish to explore. Answering the following questions can help you determine where to travel. Read more..

3: Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall is around 1.5 hours of driving from downtown Beijing, or 1 hour 20 minutes if you are coming from the airport by road. It is a good alternative for Badaling. Read more…

4: Airport to Great Wall, How to Get There?

Getting from airport to Great Wall straightly is a memorable journey if you have more than 9 hours stop over in Beijing. On a 24 hour Beijing visa free stopover, you are allowed to reach Great Wall from the airport by using taxis, private car / van. Read more...

5: How Long You Should Stay in Beijing

Beijing has a unique fizzing energy that few other cities around the world can match. The city boasts of magnificent architecture, fabulous Imperial palaces, exciting shopping Malls, attractive walkways, and mystical ancient alleys, all blending seamlessly together to complement the majestic Great Wall. Read more…

6: 14 Things You Should Know Before Visiting the Great Wall of China

What do you need to know before you visit the Great Wall? Well… a lot! Before you set out on your fantasy trip, read this quick and handy guide to make sure you have the best Great Wall trip! And keep these 14 tips in mind to make your Great Wall tour easier when you get there! Read more…

7: 8 Absolutely Brilliant Gifts to Bring Home From Your Beijing Trip

Visiting Beijing for the first time? lots of photos and some great stories may not fully suffice as souvenirs for your friends and family back home? Then authentic Chinese gifts are the ideal souvenir to bring back after a trip to Beijing. Read more…

8: When is the Best Time to Visit the Great Wall

If you are intending to have the best of time on your holiday at Great Wall of China, planning ahead is what you need to do. Planning will involve you to determine which part of the wall you will visit and what season will be most favorable for you. Read more…

9: How far is the Great Wall from Beijing Airport (PEK)?

If you’re flying into Beijing airport and have your sights set on visiting the Great Wall of China, continue reading to discover how far it is from the airport to the Great Wall. Read more…

10: Mutianyu Great Wall Vs Badaling Great Wall – Which Is Better?

The Great Wall is absolutely a ‘must-see’ when you visit China. Two popular choices among tourists are the Mutianyu Great Wall and the Badaling Great Wall. Each has its own unique advantages. Below, we will be going over some of the pros and cons of each to help you plan your trip. Read more…

General Stats

2019 was an epic year for us. Here are some fun stats for the year:

  • 300k unique visitors

  • 500k page views

  • 30k followers on Facebook

  • 1560 followers on Instagram

That’s it from us for this year! Thank you for reading, for sharing, for your corrections and comments, and touring Beijing with us. We’ll do our best to continue to give you the kind of service in the future.

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Best Hospitals in Beijing: A Guide for International Travelers

Health Care Tips for Travelers to Beijing

When you visit Beijing, you hope that you and your loved ones will remain healthy and happy throughout the duration of your trip.

Medical issues can easily arise, however, and when they do, you want to feel confident that you can find quality care.

No worries — Beijing boasts some of the world’s finest facilities and medical professionals. Should you need to visit a hospital, you’ll find an impressive standard of care at these locations:

Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics

As China’s first international standard hospital, the Beijing United Family Hospital enjoys a strong reputation all around the world.

Bringing a Western-style to China’s healthcare industry, this facility features imported medical equipment and is home to one of the nation’s finest teams of healthcare professionals.

Whether you’re currently dealing with a mild or severe condition, you can find prompt treatment from a team that will likely include multiple English speakers.

Address: 2 Jiangtai Rd, Chaoyang,

China-Japan Friendship Hospital

As a cooperative effort between the governments of China and Japan, the China-Japan Friendship Hospital boasts a vast complex that includes nearly sixty departments.

As the teaching hospital for the Beijing University Medical School, the China-Japan Friendship Hospital employs a unique approach involving the integration of eastern and western medicinal therapies.

Address: 2 Yinghuayuan E St, Chaoyang

Cancer Institute & Hospital

Specializing in cancer treatment and research, Beijing’s Cancer Institute & Hospital advocates for the use of multiple disciplines in treating some of today’s deadliest diseases and conditions.

Top treatments pursued at this hospital include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and laser therapy, among others.

Address: 52 Fucheng Rd, Wu Ke Song, Haidian District,

Beijing An Ding Hospital

Affiliated with Capital Medical University, Beijing An Ding Hospital has held a strong reputation throughout China for over a century.

Today, the hospital is home to specialized clinics that treat patients suffering from a variety of illnesses and conditions, including mental health issues as eating disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and addiction.

Address: 5 Ankang Hutong, Beitaipingzhuang, Xicheng District,

Capital City Dermatology Hospital of Beijing

As its name suggests, the Capital City Dermatology Hospital of Beijing primarily treats skin conditions ranging in severity from mild acne to serious STDs.

The hospital utilizes some of today’s most advanced skin treatment technologies and procedures, including laser depilation, video beam lasers, and epidermic grafting.

The hospital’s staff strives to create a warm environment in which patients feel comfortable and confident.

Address: Chaoping road,Chaoyang

Sekwa Eye Hospital

As one of China’s top private medical facilities, Sekwa Eye Hospital boasts strong partnerships with institutions based all around the world.

The hospital treats cataracts, glaucoma, and a range of other eye conditions. Rehabilitation services are available in the hospital’s Vision Care Center.

Address: Bei Tai Ping Zhuang, Xicheng Qu

International Medical Center

Situated among the many foreign enterprises of the Lufthansa Business Circle, the Beijing International Medical Center serves both a medical and a diplomatic function.

The hospital’s stated mission involves “excellence in foreign-related medical services.” To achieve this end, the facility offers a variety of services, ranging from surgery to obstetrics and even traditional Chinese medicine.

Address: 50 Liangmaqiao Rd, Chaoyang

Map of the Best Hospitals in Beijing

Final Thoughts

No matter the urgency of your medical condition, you deserve care from a team of highly regarded healthcare professionals. You’ll find exactly that at Beijing’s top hospitals, and ideally, English speakers who can help you navigate the nation’s healthcare system. Don’t hesitate to seek medical assistance as soon as you become aware of any issues that could place your health or wellbeing at risk.

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Latest Updates of Coronavirus in Beijing (to be continued)

Latest updates at 10am on Feb 5th:. It’s confirmed that 24363 people have contracted the New Coronavirus (+3892 compared yesterday ), 491 deaths (+66 compared yesterday ), 892 recovered(+260 compared yesterday). There are 253 confirmed cases in Beijing.

Latest updates at 10am on Jan 28th: Beijing will delay reopening the city’s kindergartens, schools and universities. The measures are aimed at preventing the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. Separately, the Beijing government said it will not lock down the city.

Latest updates at 10am on Jan 26th: Beijing is suspending bus movements in checking virus today–all passenger transport by road that crosses in and out of Beijing is suspended starting Sunday to control the potential spread of the virus,

Latest updates at 7pm on Jan 25th: Jinshanling Great Wall will be closing Saturday, Jan 26 as a measure to control the potential spread of the virus and will remain closed until further notice.

Latest updates at 4pm on Jan 25th: A range of Lunar New Year festivities have been cancelled to try to contain the virus, and Beijing’s Forbidden City and Shanghai’s Disneyland have also been closed temporarily.

The Ming Tombs and Yinshan Pagoda will also be closed from Saturday, the authority that oversees the sites said, while the Bird’s Nest stadium — the site of the 2008 Olympic Games — was shuttered from Friday till January 30.

The Juyongguan section will close. The Great Wall temple fair was cancelled at the Simatai section.

The Bird’s Nest will be closed until January 30 in order to “prevent and control” the spread of the virus, authorities said. An ice and snow show taking place on the pitch will be closed.

Coronavirus Live Updates

I encountered SARS in April 2003 in Beijing, it was a very difficult time and I know what it was like to experience a new SARS-like virus this year.

The early cases of this new infection were traced to the South China Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan city. So far (1/24 8:46am) there are 26 confirmed cases in Beijing and the risk is deemed to be low in Beijing.

The Confucius Temple and Lama Temple are both closing. Forbidden City will be closing Saturday, Jan 25 as a measure to control the potential spread of the virus and will remain closed until further notice. Prince Gong’s Mansion, another popular tourist spot, also announced they are closing immediately until further notice. Other city attractions that have announced closure include the National Art Museum, National Library, Zhokoudian, the Birds Nest and the Beijing Observatory.

Based on currently available information, the World Health Organization has NOT recommended any restrictions on travel or trade. It’s advisable to re-check the latest travel advice online before you depart.

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How to Get to Hefangkou Great Wall

Hefangkou Great Wall is located at Hefangkou village, Huairou county, about 75km (46miles) away northeastern of Beijing.

Hefangkou is quiet, easily accessible, yet it attracts far fewer visitors than Badaling Great Wall. It’s an ideal site for hiking and short excursions. Originally built during the North Qi Dynasty (550-577), most of the Walls were rebuilt during the Jiaqing reign of the Ming dynasty. It’s about 20km (13miles) in length with 23 watchtowers.

Hefangkou is famous for its jagged cliffs and steep drop-offs. This kind of ‘wild’ bit of the Wall is best done via a tour or hiring a vehicle.

If you are adventurous, you do it by public transport. In my opinion, how you actually do it probably depends on your budget.

By Car

Hiring a private car getting to Hefangkou is a good choice if your budget is not tight and want to avoid the crowds and traffic. If you are traveling with 3 or 4 people, this way is really good value for your money.

By Bus

Alternatively, Bus 936 is a good option to visit Hefangkou Great Wall. Bus 936 from Dongzhimen Outer that runs daily between 7:00am-19:00pm is the fastest, most direct way to reach Hefangkou by bus so far.

It takes around 2 hrs or 2.5 hrs from Dongzhimen Outer to Hefangkou and it costs around 4.8RMB by using Beijing IC Card/commuter pass and the full price is around 14RMB. Be sure to get off at Qinglongxiadaokou bus station where you can walk to Hefangkou.

Where is the 936 Bus Station in Beijing?

936 bus station is on the outside bus transfer depot at Dongzhimen Outer, which is also next to Mutianyu 867 bus station. The bus transfer depot is just outside of exit B of Dongzhimen Line 2 subway station.

There are signs, in English, throughout the subway station pointing you toward the bus transfer depot and exit B. Most of the buses are inside the bus transfer depot in a massive building.

While 936 bus station is on the outside bus transfer depot and a little bit difficult to find. The easiest way to find it is to go to the main entrance of Dongzhimen Outer bus transfer depot then walk anticlockwise around the block until you get to another bus station. Luckily, you can get there from Dongzhimen subway station within 20 minutes on foot.


12 Best Songs That Will Make You Want To Travel China (With Videos)

12 Songs Give You the Itch to Explore China

Music is an essential part of travel and daily life, but there are just some songs that put you in the mood to go out and get a plane ticket or hit the road. Chinese music is especially lovely, as it imparts feelings of serenity while also providing a powerful reminder of the empire’s vast and intriguing history. Here are 12 tracks that will make you want to explore China.

1. Jasmine Flower

茉莉花

The popular Chinese folk song Jasmine flower isn’t destination-specific. But it’s the perfect song about the many missed connections you’re sure to have on a lengthy journey to China.

The original Jasmine flower song was composed during the Qing Dynasty (AD 1616-1912) when musicians marveled at the beauty of the jasmine flower. The tune was first notated by British geographer John Barrow during his travels in China in the early 19th century.

The song’s tune depicts the purity of love between young people by highlighting the beauty of jasmine flowers. Giacomo Puccini’s famous opera “Turandot” made a Chinese folk melody “Jasmine flower” known to the world.

2. Evening Primrose

夜来香

The track Evening Primrose stands out for its instrumental focus, which instantly transports you to a dimly lit bar in Shanghai.

Chinese-born Japanese actress Yoshiko Yamaguchi -known by the stage name Li Xianglan-famously sang this lovely piece during the 1940s. The song has since been covered in both Japanese and Chinese by several artists, including famous singer Teresa Teng.

3. In That Place Wholly Faraway

在那遥远的地方

Inspired by a Kazakh folk song in Xinjiang, this piece was written following composer and music researcher Wang Luobin’s interactions with a Tibetan girl. This song is the perfect companion to any trip to Xinjiang.

The title holds numerous translations throughout the world, but the song itself always prompts listeners to sit up and take notice.

This song and “Jasmine Flower” are among the best known Chinese folk songs.

4. The Crescent Moon Rises

半个月亮爬上来

Another notable Wang Luobin composition, this serene song captures the incomparable beauty of the moon rising over the Chinese landscape.

This song will instantly transport you to Xinjiang. You’ll be listening intently to the otherwise innocuous sounds that surround you. It’s impossible to listen to this stunning tune without feeling at peace.

5. Kangding Love Song

康定情歌

This catchy folk song has long been popular throughout the Sichuan Province. It was scored and renamed by Paomao Liuliude Shanshang, and upon spreading across the nation, was famously performed by Soprano Yu Yixuan. The lyrics tell a captivating love story involving a blacksmith’s son and a woodcutter’s daughter.

It works whether you’re planning your first trip or making the inevitable return to Sichuan.

6. The Night of Grassland

草原之夜

This old Chinese song was written in 1959. Made popular as the theme song for a documentary film, this song has been performed by a variety of talented musicians, including Li Shuang Jiang and Yan Weiwen.

The prairie refers to the grassland in Inner-Mongolia, where folksong singers sing and play a special musical instrument called Ma Tou Qin (马头琴).

It’s probably best for listening to at night, while scrolling aruond the vast grassland in Inner-Mongolia.

7. Out of the West Pass

走西口

This ancient folk song describes a wave of immigration from Shanxi, in which the Han people were allowed to travel north of the Great Wall to work on Mongolian farmlands. The journey, however, was quite treacherous, as memorialized in this historic piece.

It’s the track you’ll listen to when you return home to remind you of those moments in Pingyao, Datong.

8. Ali Mountain Girl

阿里山的姑娘

Also known as “The Mountain Is Green” and “Ali-shan Girl,” this beautiful song is well-known as the theme for the film Storm Over Ali-shan Mountain.

This song has the ability to kick your travel plans into high gear, or if you’re already on the trip to Taiwan, transform your surroundings into a captivating real-life music video.

Ali mountain is in the central-southern region of Taiwan. Teresa Teng’s rendition is arguably the most beloved among the song’s modern renditions, but several other musicians have also performed it to great acclaim.

9. Meet in Yurt

敖包相会

Meet in Yurt describes two lovers’ rendezvous at a yurt. Adapted from a traditional Mongolian love song, “Meet in Yurt” became famous, like many folk songs, through film. The piece is also known locally as “Meeting in Ao Bao” or “Dating at the Yurt.”

Meet in Yurt sets the perfect upbeat tone for any rail trip across the grassland in Inner-Mongolia.

10. Joy at the Sunrise

太阳出来喜洋洋

A famous creation from Chongqing City, this folk song bursts with the energy that many lack early in the morning but often find upon witnessing the majesty of a Chinese sunrise. It can serve as the ultimate background music for the start of a wonderful day, making it an ideal travel companion.

11. Four Seasons

四季歌

Each season brings a unique form of beauty to China, as expressed in this song. Featured in the film Street Angel, the “Song of Four Seasons” has since been covered by a wide variety of artists, each of whom brings a unique take on the piece’s theme.

There’s a subdued magic to the track that will have you turning up the volume and imagining yourself exploring the photogenic streets, alleys and canals of Suzhou.

12. Wish We Live Long Lives

但愿人长久

Reflecting the sorrow of being separated from loved ones for long periods of time, this traditional song often plays a significant role in China’s Mid-Autumn Festival. It hails all the way to the Song Dynasty. Throughout the centuries, it has remained deeply relatable to those experiencing feelings of yearning or nostalgia.

Save this one when you pull out the laptop and plan your trip to China.

The right playlist can give you a whole new perspective on Chinese traditions. Take some time to listen to the nation’s most beautiful songs. They will grant you a greater appreciation for Chinese culture, while also preparing you for the journey of a lifetime.

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