Category Archives: Beijing

Discover Beijing’s 798 Art Zone


The 798 Art Zone in Beijing wasn’t always this artsy. During the war times of decades past, this used to be a military factory district where weapons used to fight the Cold War were constructed.

Now, the complex has been re-purposed for constructions of a decidedly less lethal type- with cafes and galleries springing up to create a hip creative cluster that is perhaps the first of its kind in the Beijing art scene.

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Beijing Tokyo Art Projects (東京画廊), or B.T.A.P., was one of the original pioneering galleries that established itself in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone. Since its inception in 2002, more galleries have appeared in the district and gradually, the 798 Zone rose as a top spot for art-lovers to gather and to admire art.


B.T.A.P. was started by Yukihito Tabata, with the intention to bring together artists from China, Tokyo and Korea to introduce them to a wider audience, at a time when Chinese contemporary art rose to prominence in the East Asian art scene. Plan a visit while in Beijing and check out the B.T.A.P. website for their upcoming exhibitions and list of artists.

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The 798 district isn’t just about Asian art though; exploring the area will yield a diverse art scene with Western influences too. The Italian-founded Galleria Continua is one example.

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With a mission to promote international contemporary art, Galleria Continua was one of the first non-Chinese galleries to establish itself in China in 2004. The gallery’s represented artists range from British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor to Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei to Kosovar Albanian contemporary artist Sislej Xhafa. For the full list of artists and exhibition shows, details are on Galleria Continua’s website.

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As much as the 798 Art Zone is known for its art, its cafe scene is not to be disregarded either. With cafes being prime hang-out spots for the young and trendy all around the region, the various cafes along the streets of the 798 district add to its hip and vibrant charm.


At Cafe (爱持咖啡) is one of the cosy coffee joints around the 798 area, providing cafe fare and a nice chill-out spot for tired travellers. Bricks, greenery and cushions decorate the interior, and there are magazines at the shelf below the counter for browsing as well.


If you’re hungry, grab a bite at Timezone 8, a popular cafe and restaurant in the 798 zone that serves well-loved Japanese food. Sushi, anyone?


From the terrace to the brick interior and artwork-adorned walls, this establishment not only offers good food but plenty of Instagram-worthy backgrounds too, making it a great place to end your exploring with a delicious meal and a few photos in memory of your artsy travels.

P.S. Want to discover more artsy hipster districts? If the 798 zone is Beijing’s hipster hotspot, then Sheung Wan is Hong Kong’s. Read about it here: Explore Sheung Wan, HK’s Hipster Hang-out.

Visit for more places to go when in Beijing!

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom): Davidmcb@devianartMask9, Tokyo Gallery,, slash-parisvisitbeijing, bendibao, tripadvisor, and lumdimsum.

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4 Historical Structures to visit in Beijing

1. The Forbidden City
4 Jing Shan Qian Jie, Dongcheng, Beijing, China

The Forbidden City

Recognised as a World Culture Heritage by UNESCO, The Forbidden City is one of Beijing’s most well-known historical attractions. It was home to 24 emperors throughout Chinese history, along with countless other royal subjects. Join a tour or explore on your own to see this majestic structure, and get a sense of how the Chinese royals lived back in the day.

Read more about The Forbidden City here >>

2. The Great Wall of China
Yanging, Beijing, China

2A well-known historical treasure, The Great Wall is a must-see for history buffs. Built over 2000 years ago, this is perhaps the most extensive construction project the world has ever seen. Explore Badaling section of this historical site while in Beijing; it’s the most popular section of the Great Wall amongst travellers. Climb on for amazing views at the top!

Read more about The Great Wall of China here >>

3. Ming Tombs
Changchi Rd, Changping, Beijing, China

Ming TombsNot far from where the Badaling Great Wall is located, the Ming Tombs are another historical attraction you should visit in Beijing, where the emperors of the Ming dynasty were buried. There are 3 tombs that are open to public- Dingling, Changling and Zhaoling. While visiting the Ming Tombs complex, walk along the Sacred Way, historically believed to lead to heaven, this path is lined with statues over a hundred years old.

Read more about the Ming Tombs here >>

4. Summer Palace
19 Xin Jian Gong Men Lu, Haidian, Beijing, China

Summer PalaceSaid to be the most well-preserved royal park in the world, the vast compound is a collection of lakes, gardens and palaces located at the northwest of Beijing. Take a boat ride to see an island temple, enjoy a traditional performance at one of the restored theatres, and relax at one of the airy pavilions in the Garden of Restful Peace. Other popular spots to visit include the path known as the “Long Corridor” and the Longevity Hill.

Read more about the Summer Palace here >>

Visit for more interesting & unusual things to do when living in or visiting Beijing.

Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Strategieavc, Digitalhint, China Tour Guide, U Texas

5 Brand New Beijing Hotels Not to be Missed in 2015

China’s capital, Beijing, is known for its fast pace of life and constant dynamism and it’s hotel scene is no different. With 5 brand new hotels, either architecturally intriguing, luxurious or quirky, each has its own charm and aims to make you feel just at home on your next trip to Beijing.

1.  Nuo Hotel Beijing

Opens March 2015NUO Hotel

Inspired by the Modern Ming Dynasty, NUO Hotel Beijing is set to open its doors in March 2015. An amalgamation of contemporary Chinese culture with modern artistic elements, NUO Hotel Beijing boasts a total of 439 spacious guestrooms with 3000 square meters of the state-of-the-art facilities. It is also the flagship hotel of the NUO group. One can expect the highest form of luxury and design from this hotel that’s also conveniently situated next to the 798 Art District and near many public transport systems.

2.  W Hotel – Chang’an

Opened November 2014

W Hotel Chang'an

Opened only a little more than a month ago, W Hotel – Chang’an is situated in a prime location near the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. With 349 rooms and suites, the hotel includes a spa, fitness centre, and heated indoor pool. Each suite consists of a digital tablet that allows for mood and light manipulation as well as an awesome music system that consists of Bose portable speakers and a home theatre system. For those looking to hold events, check out The Great Room, which is 518m2 with a ceiling of 7m.  W Beijing – Chang’an is currently offering special rates from 1 November 2014 to 30 April 2015 so be sure to look out for those here.

3.  Sunrise Kempinski Hotel

Opens 1 January 2015

Sunrise Kempsinki

Sitting on the banks of the Yanqi Lake, an hour’s drive away from central Beijing, an architecturally magnificent building completes the notion of a serenely beautiful landscape. While it is only set to open on 1st January 2015, as its name suggests, the hotel was designed to mimic the rising sun that symbolizes China’s economic growth. When viewed from the side, an image of a scallop is seen, representing ‘Fortune’ in Chinese culture.  The entire building consists of 10,000 glass panels to make up the exterior and 306 guest rooms and suites in the interior, some of which have views of the gorgeous Yanshan Mountains and the historically significant Great Wall of China. Take advantage of their three promotions which includes an ‘Early Booker’ package which gives you 20% off, ‘Special Opening Rate’ where a free breakfast and wifi is included in the price or the ‘Winter Breaks’ offer where you stay a minimum of two nights and receive a 20% discount. Click here for more information.

4. Rosewood Beijing

Opened October 2014

Rosewood Beijing

Located in Beijing’s Eastern Chaoyang District, this hotel sits opposite the iconic CCTV tower and is just a 15-minute drive from Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. With 283 ultra-luxurious rooms, 6 different restaurants and lounges, a spa that features an indoor swimming pool, gym and yoga studio, Rosewood Beijing is the first of the group’s luxury hotel in China. The hotel blends perfectly the notion of ‘East meets West’ with its modern furnishings set against carefully curated art pieces and books that feature Chinese culture. For those looking to hold an event or function, the hotel boasts a total of 3350 square metres of meeting space, which includes a pillar-less ballroom. Take advantage of the hotel’s ‘Time to Discover’ opening package here (valid till 28 February 2015), that allows for 24-hour check in/ out, airport limousine pick up, complimentary consumption of all mini-bar beverages and breakfast.

5.  The Orchid Dashilar

Opens early 2015

The Orchid GulouThis boutique hotel might still be in the works but its set to open in early 2015 so be sure to check them out here once the new year comes around. The Orchid Dashilar is situated nearby to the Tiananmen Square West’s exit, the National Museum of China, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong and the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Clearly in a rather artsy area of Beijing, The Orchid Dashilar is expected to be cool and classy just like, if not similar to its sister hotel, The Orchid Gulou. If it’s any good as The Orchid Gulou which, has customers raving about the high quality service levels as well as lovely unique rooms, you can be sure that The Orchid Dashilar will definitely be a popular choice amongst travellers as well.

Check out our article on ‘9 Fantastic New Places to Crash‘ for more ideas for where to stay in 2015 in Beijing, click here >>

Still not sure where to stay in Beijing?

Check out Travelog for more useful, up-to-date information on where to stay and the best places to visit in Beijing.

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Images courtesy of (from top to bottom) Sun Herald, Starwood Hotels, Kempinski, Rosewood Hotels, The Orchid Hotel Beijing Facebook.

Still not sure where to stay when visiting Beijing? Check out these useful links for more ideas: