Qantas flies daily from Sydney to Beijing: qantas.com
WHERE TO STAY
Beijing is one of the largest cities in the world, and its physical footprint is immense – which means location, location, location is important when deciding on where to stay. Try one of these three areas to start in on the action: Nanluoguxiang
• Nanluoguxiang has become one of the city’s most interesting neighbourhoods, with more bars, restaurants, shops and boutiques than you could visit in a week. It’s centrally located, with public transit access to all of the city’s major attractions, and boasts numerous boutique hotel options.
• Houhai is known for its beautiful lake, laid-back daytime charm, and humming nightlife. There are plenty of upmarket hotel choices here, and the food – from street eats to upscale restaurants – is richly varied. Try Han’s Royal Garden Hotel. hansroyalgardenhotel.com Qianmen
• Qianmen is the place to stay for history buffs and culture vultures – located south of Tiananmen Square, steps from the Forbidden City and dozens of other attractions, Qianmen boasts a quiet walking street, iconic restaurants, and a ton of shopping opportunities. Try the Qianmen Hotel Beijing.
DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT
• Renting a tandem bike for a ride around Houhai Lake
• Snacking on a scorpion on a stick at Donghuamen
• Rocking Chinese pop songs at a karaoke bar
• Visiting a traditional healer for hot cupping therapy
• Getting artistic at the 798 Art Zone
• Helen Wong’s Tours: helenwongstours.com
• Goway Travel: goway.com.au