Haidian (海淀 Hǎidiàn) is a large district in the north-west of Beijing.
Haidian has been a major beneficiary of the recent subway expansions: lines 4, 10, and 13 make it easier to reach Haidian's busier areas by public transport. Taxis from the central Beijing districts may take 30–45 minutes; buses even longer.
- 1 The Summer Palace (颐和园 Yíhéyuán) (Take metro line 4 to Beigongmen (北宫门) station), ☏ . 06:30-20:00 (April 1st-October 31st), 07:00-19:00 off-season. Last admission 18:00 (17:00 in off-season). Extensive gardens and palaces constructed by the Qing emperors that are a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 1860, foreign soldiers damaged much of what was then known as the "Garden of Clear Ripples", but the area would be rebuilt and renamed by the Empress Dowager Cixi, using funds intended for modernizing the Qing navy. To arrive, take the 4 subway to Beigongmen. This is adjacent to the north park entrance, north of a steep hill. It is highly recommended to walk around this hill (or over the top) on one of the many trails, to see the royal buildings which are scattered around the palace grounds. The ferry rides on the large lake (south of the hill) are very fun. Admission ¥50, ¥10 one way on boat.
- 2 The Old Summer Palace (圆明园 Yuánmíngyuán), 28 Qinghua West Road 清华西路28号 (exit Yuanminyuan Park Station), ☏ . Built in the 18th and early 19th centuries, these gardens were home to the emperors and Qing court. They were looted and destroyed in 1860 on the orders of Lord Elgin, head of an Anglo-French expedition to Beijing (the French protested the order but made sure to get their share of the loot) and have never been restored. Many see this as yet another example of the evils of imperialism. To Elgin it was a carefully chosen punishment for a series of Chinese outrages, notably the torture and murder of a number of prisoners; he could have burned Beijing or executed people, but he chose to destroy an upper-class playground instead. The Chinese government continues to maintain it in a ruined state as a reminder of the humiliation China suffered at the hands of foreign powers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Bus 690 from Tian'anmen will also get you here. ¥10 entrance.
- 3 Fragrant Hills (香山 Xiāng Shān) (in the northwest of Beijing). A good place for weekend outings and picnics. Formerly a Qing imperial garden, today Fragrant Hills makes an easy short climb in the suburbs of Beijing. It's also home to the Fragrant Hills Hotel, designed by noted architect I.M. Pei (Louvre Museum Pyramid). Take buses 331, 360 or 634 to the last stop. Adults ¥10, students ¥5.
- 4 Beijing Botanical Garden (北京植物园 Běijīng Zhíwù Yuán) (Take buses 331, 726). Steps away from the east gate of Fragrant Hill. Acres of greenery and flowers for those tired of urban smog and traffic noise. Sir Johnston, teacher of the last emperor Puyi, had a villa in Cherry Glen, a silent and beautiful retreat in the Gardens. In the spring, the gardens hosts special exhibits of tulips, peach and plum blossoms, peonies, and the like. Adults ¥10, students ¥5.
- 5 Tsinghua University (清华大学 Qīnghuá Dàxué). Tsinghua university is essentially a tiny city. Walls separate the university from the city outside, and most of the students, staff and faculty live in the campus. The campus was part of the Old Summer Palace and there are lots of greens and a lake. In addition to the facilities of most other universities, there are grocery markets, banks, two post offices, one hospital, and a full affiliated hierarchy of kindergarten, elementary and middle school. All within a single campus. There was even a shut-downed coal power plant. Restaurant and dining halls provide food service range from less than ¥10 to hundreds yuan every meal. Most students are fluent English speakers and there is a university history museum. It is an interesting place where you will see the future of China mixed with traces of history with a little Soviet taste.
- 6 Five Pagoda Temple (五塔寺 Wǔtǎ Sì, also known as Zhenjue Temple), 24 Waitaisi Cun, Baishiqiao 白石桥五塔寺村24号. The "Five Pagoda Temple" is the popular name of the Diamond-Throne Tower that is at the heart of the Temple of the Great Righteous Awakening (大真觉寺 Dàzhēnjiào Sì). Most of the wooden temple was burnt down in 1860 and 1900, but the beautiful brick and marble Diamond-Throne Tower, which dates back to the late fifteenth century, survived. The temple area is now used to house the Beijing Art Museum of Stone Carvings. Right on the southern border of Haidian, north-west of the Zoo across the Changhe River. Take the subway to Xizhimen, and then take Bus 106 to Beijing Library and walk 500m east.
- 7 Purple Bamboo Park (紫竹院公园; Zǐzhúyuàn Gōngyuán), 45 Baishiqiao Road (白石桥路45号; Báishíqiáolù) (Just southwest of National Library (国家图书馆; Guojia Tushuguan) subway stop (lines 4,9)), ☏ . Summer 06:00-18:00; winter 06:00-20:00. One of the larger parks in Beijing, this is centered around three lakes. As the name indicates, there is an outstanding variety of bamboo groves here. A superb place for a stroll and, since it's a favorite spot for locals to relax and exercise, a splendid opportunity to get away from the tourist draws and experience ordinary life in Beijing. ¥5.
- 8 Wanshou Temple (万寿寺 Wànshòu Sì), Xihuan Huanbeilu 西环环北路, ☏ . Built in 1577, this Ming-era temple now houses the Beijing Art Museum (北京艺术博物馆 Běijīng Yìshù Bówùguǎn), which has a sizable collection of ancient artwork. Just north-west of Purple Bamboo Park; from Xizhimen take Bus 362 to Purple Bamboo Bridge North (紫竹桥北 Zǐzhú Qiáo Běi).
- Great Bell Temple & Museum (大钟寺古钟博物馆 Dàzhōng Sì Gǔzhōng Bówùguǎn). Also known as the Temple of Awakening Life (觉生寺 Juéshēng Sì). Home to the 15th-century Yongle Great Bell which, at 6.94 m tall 46.5 tons, is the largest bell in China. The 227,000 Chinese characters inscribed on it spell out Buddhist sutras. Subway Line 13 to Dazhongsi, and then walk 400 m west.
- 9 Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution (中国人民革命军事博物馆 Zhōngguó Rénmín Gémìng Jūnshì Bówùguǎn), 9 Fuxing Lu 海淀区复兴路9号, ☏ . A great place to read the official Chinese version of what happened in Chinese military history, from ancient times up to 1949. There are also airplanes, boats, guns, missiles, rockets and vehicles on display (including U.S. military hardware evidently seized during the Korean conflict). You can pay an extra ¥5 to take a picture in a 1980s era Chinese tank. Very few signs are translated to English. Entrance fee is free with passport.
- 10 Yuyuantan Park (玉渊潭公园; Yùyuāntán Gōngyuán; also known as Jade Lake Park), Sanlihe Road, West Ring Road Three (西三环路三里河路; Xīsānhuánlù Sānlǐhélù) (Just inside West Ring Road Three, across from the CCVT tower, northeast of Gongzhufen Metro Station (line 1)), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 06:00-22:30. Huge park with cherry blossoms, tulips, lake with boats for rent, water park and playgrounds. Popular for picnic or kite flying. ¥2.
- 11 Beijing World Art Museum (500 m north of Military Museum subway station). Art museum with calligraphy and other paintings. Check the China Millennium Monument, the huge sundial on top with great views. Free.
- Tour the University District. Peking and Tsinghua universities are the two most prestigious in China, and have attractive campuses next to one another at the center of Beijing's university district. Not many tourists visit, and so during the summer vacation months they can be relatively tranquil spots amidst Beijing busyness. Take subway line 4 to East Gate of Peking University (北京大学东门 Běijīng Dàxué Dōngmén).
- 1 Read about China at the National Library (国家图书馆 Guójiā Túshūguǎn), 33 Zhongguancun Nadajie 海淀区中关村南大街33号, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The National Library has a large collection of books in English about China. Day-passes can obtained for a small fee.
- Haidian Theater (海淀剧院 Hǎidiànjùyuàn), 28 Zhongguancun Dajie, 中关村大街28号 (get off at Haidian Huangzhuang stop, lines 4 and 10, Exit B). 13:30-20:50. Modern theater with quality equipment, holding a large 1000-seat hall as well as two smaller halls. Foreign movies are usually screened in the respective language with Chinese subtitles. Besides movies there are various other performances, including concerts, opera, ballet, dance, plays and more.
- Golden Resources Shopping Mall (金源时代购物中心 Jīnyuán Shídài Gòuwù Zhōngxīn), near Yuanda Bridge / Yuanda Road off the West Fourth Ring Road in Haidian District. The mall covers 680.000 square meters, and is the second largest in Asia. Multiple stories, snaking alleys, infinite shopping opportunities... you get the gist.
- New Wudaokou Clothing Market, 2 Qinghua Donglu, Golden Tower, 清华东路2号 金码大厦. 09:00-21:00. 4-storey market packet with clothing, footwear and accessorizes, especially popular with students from nearby universities. A lot of Korean and Japanese style fashion. Staff is not pushing, drinks/snacks are available on the top floor.
- Wudaokou Clothing Market, 261 Beisihuan Zhonglu, 北四环中路261号 (Xueyuan Bridge, in the northwestern corner of the crossing). 09:00-19:00.
- Zhongguancun (中关村 Zhōngguāncūn). For the more technologically-oriented tourist, is a must. Located directly south from Peking University and Tsinghua University (and accessible from Line 4 on the subway), this area is dubbed the "Silicon Valley of China." There are a number of large electronics malls that sell everything from phones to computer parts. Pirated software and DVDs are also not hard to find here. Many of the shady characters outside the malls shouting 'DVD!' also sell pornography (illegal in China). The largest and most well-known malls include:
- Hailong (海龙大厦 Hǎilóng Dàshà), 1 Zhongguancun Dajie, 中关村大街1号. 09:00-18:00.
- Dinghao (鼎好大厦 Dìnghǎo Dàshà), 3 Haidian dajie, 海淀大街3号. 09:00-21:00.
Haidian District is home to some of Beijing's largest bookstores that offer a wide selection of Chinese and foreign language books:
- Haidian Book City (海淀图书城 Hǎidiàntúshūchéng), 36 Haidian Xidajie, 海淀西大街36号. 09:00-18:00.
- Zhongguancun Book Building (中关村图书大厦 Zhōngguāncūn túshū dàshà), 68 Beisihuan Xilu, 北四环西路68号. 09:00-21:00.
- Disanji Bookstore (第三极书局 dìsān jí shūjú), 66 Beisihuan Xilu, 北四环西路66号 (5-8F inside Disanji Shopping Mall). 09:00-21:00.
- Beijing Language and Culture University Press Store (北京语言大学出版社 Běijīng yǔyán dàxué chūbǎnshè) (Just inside the University's south gate on the left side). M-Tu 09:00-17:00, Sa 09:00-176:00. One of the best stores to buy language learning books.
- Carrefour (家乐福 Jiālèfú), Zhongguancun Plaza, 中关村广场地. 08:00-22:30. Cheap French supermarket chain, selling everything from food, homeware, clothing to DVDs and electrical appliances. A bit pricier is their import section, offering food products from all over the world.
- Wal Mart (沃尔玛 Wò'ěrmǎ), 48 Zhichunlu, 知春路甲48号, ☏ .
- Dong Lai Shun (东来顺 Dōng Lái Shùn). Daily 11:00-14:00 and 17:00-21:00. This king of Beijing hotpot has been around since the 19th century. Founded by the Hui (ethnic Muslims), Donglaishun serves halal cuts of top-quality lamb and beef. Also serves cooked-by-chef dishes, including traditional Beijing sweets.
- Haidian branch, 25 Yiheyuan Lu, 颐和园路25号, Haidian.
- Din Tai Fung Restaurant (鼎泰丰 Dǐng Tài Fēng), 40 Zhongguancun Dajie, 中关村大街40号 (On 7F of Modern Plaza Shopping Mall), ☏ . 11:30-22:00. Famous Shanghai-style dumplings restaurant.
- Tairyo Teppanyaki (大渔铁板烧 Dà Yú Tiěbǎnshāo), 15 Wan Liu Zhong Lu, 万柳中路15号, ☏ . 11:00-23:00. Japanese Teppanyaki grill show. All you can eat offer for ¥168.
- Jardin de Jade (苏浙汇), North Bldg, Block C, Ronge Information Centre, 2 Acadamy Rd, ☏ . Daily 11:00-22:00. ¥70-150 per person.
Wudaokou (五道口 Wǔdàokǒu), where most of the foreign and local university students hang out. There are a number of bars and restaurants which serve a great variety of wine, beer and liquor for cheap. This area is also well known for its huge Korean population and a good place to find Korean food.
- Isshin Japanese Restaurant (一心日本料理 Yīxīn Rìběn Liàolǐ), Courtyard of 35 Chengfu Lu 成府路35号院. An inexpensive and tasty Japanese restaurant that is packed most nights. 25 m north-west of the Wudaokou subway station in a small courtyard.
- Jiaheyipin Congee Restaurant (嘉和一品 Jiāhéyīpǐn), 35 Chengfu Lu 成府路35号. Branches of this excellent congee restaurant can be found across Beijing. This one is just west of the Wudaokou subway station.
- Ganges Indian Restaurant, 160 Chengfu Lu, 成府路160号 (Opposite south gate of Tshinghua University), ☏ . 11:00-15:00, 17:00-22:30.
- Dog Restaurant, 5th floor Youyi Shopping City.
- 1 Sugar Shack (密库披萨), Basement, Huaqing Jiayuan #12, Chengfu Rd 海淀区成府路华清嘉园12号楼B1, ☏ . 11:00 -23:00. Pizza restaurant and a haven for students ¥50-80 per person.
- 2 Tianchumiaoxiang Vegetarian (天厨妙香), Tsinghua University Sicence Park 海淀区清华科技园创业大厦110室, ☏ . The best in vegetarian cuisine following Buddhist traditions ¥40-150 per person.
- 3 Yummy Box (美盒披萨), 3rd floor Hua Qing Jia Yuan Dongmen, Wudaokou Haidian, ☏ . A great restaurant to visit, if you would like the taste of American style pizza. ¥50-100 per person.
Eat in the dining halls of Tsinghua University. Tsinghua is said to have the best dining halls among Chinese universities and there are nearly 20 dining halls in the campus, cost usually less than ¥10. On the lower levels, a prepaid card is needed to purchase anything but you can easily ask a student to swipe the card for you and you pay him cash. The stalls on the top floor accept cash outright. The dining halls could be very very crowded.
- Sculpting in Time (雕刻时光 Diāokè Shíguāng). Laid-back cafe with free wifi and a small menu of food. Popular with both locals and foreigners. They now have eight branches across Beijing.
- Wudaokou Branch, Fl. 2, Building 12, Huaqing Jiayuan 成府路华清嘉园12 号楼2 号3-4F, ☏ . South-west of the Wudaokou subway station.
- Fragrant Hills Branch, 50 Maimai Rd, Fragrant Hills 香山买卖街50号, ☏ . Just a little east from the main gate of the Fragrant Hills.
- 1 Lush, Level 2, Bld. 1, Huaqing Jiayuan, Wudaokou 五道口华清家园1号楼2层, ☏ . A very popular foreign student hangout, this bar has a pub quiz on Wednesdays and an open-mic night on Sundays.
- Propaganda, ☏ . Just south of Lush & Sculpting in Time, this bar/club is packed on weekends, with a mix of mainly Korean, Japanese, and Western students. Wednesday nights are all-you-can-drink for ¥80 or so (the price constantly changes, and it's lower if you're female).
- PekingUni International Youth Hostel (北京未名国际青年旅舍; Běijīng Wèimíng Guójìqīngniánlǚshè), 150 Chengfu Road (成府路150号; Chéngfǔlù) (close to Wudaokou Metro Station (line 13). Just head west for 800m and it's a large building with a sign on the 5th floor. Go around the right side where you'll see a Hostelling International logo), ☏ , fax: . Right smack in the university district, closest hostel to Olympic area. Free internet, guest kitchen and bike hire available. Restaurant and bar. Discounted rates for dorms (a bed in a shared room)/doubles without bathroom/doubles with bathroom from ¥60-410 without breakfast.
- Huayetianyuan Hotel (北京天缘惠达宾馆 (原华业天缘宾馆); Běijīngtiānyuánhuìdábīnguǎn (Yuánhuáyètiānyuánbīnguǎn)), 86 Westend of North Ring Road Three (西三环北路86号; Xīsānhuánběilù) (Gongzhufen Metro Station (line 1) and from there buses 374, 394, 437, 658, 704, 809, 944 or 968 to Hangtianqiao North Station (航天桥北)), ☏ , fax: . Rooms with free internet, aircon and fridge. Business center, beauty salon and ticket office available. Chinese restaurant. Listed rates for doubles including breakfast ¥228, discounted ¥163.
- Longwu Jingpin Hotel (北京隆屋精品酒店; Běijīnglóngwūjīngpǐnjiǔdiàn), 35 Enjili (恩济里35号; ēnjìlǐ) (Inside Northend of West Ring Road Four, bus 653 to Enjixijie Station (恩济西街)), ☏ , fax: . Rooms with free internet. The cheapest rooms are quite small. Business center, beauty salon, ticket office and laundry service available. Listed price for doubles from ¥250, discounted from ¥198; breakfast ¥20.
- Beijing Zhong Yu Century Grand Hotel (北京中裕世纪大酒店 Běijīng Zhōng Yù Shìjì Dàjiǔdiàn), 31 Lianhuachi East Road, Haidian District 西客站北广场莲花池东路31号, ☏ . Located in Haidian District, the second-largest district in the capital’s urban area. It offers 208 air-conditioned rooms and appointed with a cable TV, mini-bar, refrigerator, room safe, IDD/ DDD telephone and broadband Internet. From ¥360.
- Beijing Xinyuan Hotel, 6 Shifangyuan St, ☏ . Offers 361 air-conditioned guestrooms, all of which have cable TV, a hair dryer, and safe. High speed Internet access is also available. Some of its amenities include indoor swimming pool, gym and sauna, tennis court, and night club. Best rates on official website start at ¥664.
- Central Garden Hotel Beijing, No.18, Gaoliangqiao Xie Street, ☏ .
- Friendship Hotel (友谊宾馆 Yǒuyì Bīnguǎn), 1 Zhongguancun Nandajie 中关村南大街1号, ☏ . Built back in 1954 for foreign visitors to Beijing, this has been extensively modernized and remains a busy hotel.
- Royal King Hotel (融金国际酒店 Róngjīn Guójì Jiǔdiàn), 39 Xueyuan S Rd, Beixiaguan, ☏ . Located in Haidian District, and has convenient access to the country's so-called Silicon Valley, Zhongguancun, and many of the city's cultural and historic attractions. Their rooms are air-conditioned and fitted with free high-speed Internet access, LCD TV with satellite channels, a DDD/ IDD phone, and private toilet and bath with sprinkler shower. Among their facilities includes a health club that features steam bath, gymnasium, and jacuzzi, spa, beauty salon and barber shop, an indoor swimming pool, a dicso, and a bar.
- Sariz International Hotel, The Gate Building, 19 Zhongguancun Avenue, ☏ . This 5-star hotel is a 15-minute drive from the Bird's Nest stadium and Water Cube. It offers 224 air-conditioned guestrooms and is equipped with an LCD TV with cable, computer, broadband Internet, mini-bar, and refrigerator. It offers top class facilities and services such as Chinese and Western Restaurants, fitness center, health club, and three meeting rooms. Rates start at ¥620.05.
- Shanshui Trends Hotel (山水时尚酒店 (北京航天桥店); Shānshuǐshíshàngjiǔdiàn (Běijīnghángtiānqiáodiàn)), 10 Fucheng Road (阜成路10号; Fùchénglù) (Just east of West Ring Road Three, buses 37, 121, 603, 624, 631, 645, 846 to Hangtianqiaodong Station (航天桥东)), ☏ , fax: . Rooms with free internet and aircon. Gift shop, ticket office and laundry service available. Chinese restaurant and rooms service. Listed rates for doubles from ¥388, discounted ¥181; no breakfast available..
- Shen Zhou International Hotel, 31 Zhongguancun South Avenue, ☏ . Air-conditioned accommodations, all of which have cable TV, Internet access, telephone with voicemail, and electronic safe. Some of its amenities include grm, spa and Internet café. from ¥553.
- Somerset ZhongGuanCun Beijing (北京盛捷中关村服务公寓), No 15 Haidian Zhong St, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Kitchen and living areas and broadband internet access. From ¥568.
- Xinxing Hotel (北京新兴宾馆 Běijīng Xīnxīng Bīnguǎn), No.17 the 3rd Ring Rd Middle West 西三北中路17号, ☏ . Free internet access, but you need to ask for a room with it (you should also ask in advance too). The staff are friendly, but their English is minimal. It is mostly Chinese tourists and businessmen that stay here. Chinese breakfast is served on the second floor in the morning until 9AM. There is also a swimming pool in a separate building. About $50 per night.
- Crowne Plaza Beijing Zhongguancun (北京中关村皇冠假日酒店; Běijīng Zhōngguāncūnhuángguānjiàrì Jiǔdiàn), 106 Zhichun Road (知春路106号; Zhīchūnlù) (300m east of Haidianuangzhuang Metro Station (line 10)), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Rooms with internet access (against surcharge in cheaper rooms). Business center, fitness, swimming pool and sauna available. Chinese and Western restaurants as well as bar. The service is ok, but the level of English spoken here is a bit disappointing. The location is not very interesting, but the metro is not far away. Listed rates for doubles from ¥1,826, discounted rates from ¥772, breakfast ¥170 (included for more expensive rooms).