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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Trips and tricks for Traveling to Bei Jing (the Malaysian folks edition)

I was in BeiJing half a year ago for a very short, urgent and pack trip. I reach Bei Jing on early Thursday morning like 2 am and return on Saturday morning on 7 am. Since this is a company business trip, I am coming here representing my company and department for a meeting, I didn't have any luxury time to discover the city but I manage to get some luxury food and great accommodation.

Quick tips and trip swhen traveling to BeiJing (from Malaysia).
1. China has most of your familiar online social media and tools banned, so no Google, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, Don't even try to navigate with your Google map, or check weather with Google Now. Not that I done that, who? Me? No! As if~

2. Download a few Chinese apps and familiarize it before you come, if you can reach Chinese. Baidu is like the Chinese Google.

3. China has different power supply, get a few adapter ready. My suggestion is to get 1 or 2 extension instead of getting one adapter for each electronic items you have. Even if you do, the hotel doesn't have that much of power plug for you.

4. If you are Vegetarian, be very specific. The vegetarian that Chinese understand is Pescetarian. This is because Muslim (yes, China has a looot of Muslims) don't eat pork and their poultry, beef and lamb has to be prepare in a certain way, just like the Muslims in Malaysia. For seafood, it's mostly ok, except amphibian. So when the waiter or cook receives an order for vegetarian, their quickly assume it's a Muslim request because Muslim also usually order non meat dish. This happens to my Malaysian colleague that travel with me. Poor baby, he has to eat plain rice.

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Even if you order veggies and specifically request a vegetarian one, you will still get shrimp with it.

5. The air in BeiJing is not good. Just merely 1 hour from leaving airport, my nose is so clog with boogers that I have to breath with my mouth. Bring along face mask and your sore throat remedy.

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6. Although it might be summer and it might appear to be humid enough, bring along your chap stick. My face and skin feels ok, but my lips are severely dehydrated and I am in forever electrostatic mode.

7. Subway are really cheap in Bei Jing, don't bother catching a cab and frighten to death because from experience, my driver drive so dangerously that it feel like my life is going to end at the junction. Not sure that's just a cab thing or everyone in BeiJing drives the same way. No one follows traffic lights and as if the lane didn't exist. Top of my scariest traffic experience, pulling down Thailand.

8. Some of the cab drivers doesn't turn on AC even in the summer. You have to "remind" them, even if you do they might scold you and say they already did.

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Click HERE for the large size Bei Jing Subway Route Map

9. There are 15 subway routes in BeiJing. Most of them are very congested. When ppl say "going down?" or "要下车吗?" means excuse me. I know the this phrase doesn't sound polite at all, but on the subway, it's the most polite way to ask other ppl to make way. As a foreigner that has the local face (at least my Grandparent are from this region), I have no idea how things work. When I say excuse me, no one seems to understand or gave way, and when they say "要下车吗?", I just reply no and turn away. LOL they must have cursed me this ignorant village people. Any China Chinese, if you are reading this, I am so sorry, I didn't meant to be rude, I just don't understand your slang. Sigh... that's the huge disadvantage of being a foreigner that can speak the language but are not local...

Have you been in China? What is your check list when traveling to China from your country? I would interested to heard about it.

For the rest of my trip in BeiJing, you can navigate using this list.

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