Current Airline Deals – Flights and Vacations

With the rapidly approaching Christmas, New Year, and Chinese Lunar New Year holidays, Here are some pointers to current airline deals:

China to Europe:

* SAS airline has a deal for flying to Europe starting at RMB5100 with upgraded economy class fares starting at RMB11000

* British Airways is offering RMB3990 fare from Beijing to London and fares from RMB4990 to many European cities;

* Check out Austrian Airlines – in my experience from this summer travel season, Austrian offered the most competitive prices on flights to Central Europe;

Continue reading Current Airline Deals – Flights and Vacations

Airline Offers — How to pick up more frequent flyer miles

For all of you who travel on a wide range of airlines – both Asian and North American based ones — here are some pointers to current deals:

American Airlines:

* Up to 10K bonus miles on travel between Chicago and Shanghai; you can earn the bonus on up to 3 round trips until end of March 2007. You need to register on the web site to participate;

Continue reading Airline Offers — How to pick up more frequent flyer miles

The Silk Street Market – Beijing

The Silk Street Market

Many foreign visitors to Beijing end up visiting a market during their stay in Beijing. The Silk Street Market (XiuShui) is probably one of the most visited places to bargain in Beijing. Why…? Well, because of its location — if not necessarily because of the deals it offers.
OldSilkStreet The Old Silk Street market (prior to 2005) NewSilkStreetMarket today's Silk Street market

The Silk Street Market is located off JianGuo Road near the downtown Embassy area (and more specifically very near one of the US embassy campuses) on Xiushuidong Jie. Continue reading The Silk Street Market – Beijing

Old Beijing: 1987-1988

Old Beijing 

Old Beijing in current measure is (I think) 1980s Beijing…Earlier today I was looking through some old photos from the days I first came to Beijing. It was the Fall of 1987 – I was just starting college when the opportunity to study in China opened up and I decided to go for it. At the time, I spent 10 months in Beijing — from late September 1987 till late July 1988.

I lived at the Beijing Language Institute (near WuDaoKou in Northwestern Beijing) and explored the city on a bicycle. At the time traffic in Beijing was mostly bicycles and buses with very few cars (most of them taxis or gov't official vehicles).

Take a look at these images and you will see almost empty roads (free of cars) and very few high buildings…. One very different city…! When you think that these photos are from a time period only 17 years ago, it is mind boggling 🙂 So much change.

History lane - Beijing Friendship Hotel

1980s Beijing

Can you recognize any of the places? 

Continue reading Old Beijing: 1987-1988

Travel to Sanya (part2)

Sanya is a good place to relax and enjoy the time off from work, get a tan, enjoy some good seafood and potentially do some nature walks and site seeing. After we spent 3 days in the hotel and at the beach we finally decided to venture out to one of the islands near by. The island we decided to visit is Nanwan Island (otherwise known as Monkey Island).

The island is located about 60km. North east of Sanya. To get there we hired a taxi (for the day). Make sure you pre-negotiate a flat rate for using the cab for the day. We drove to a small harbour (in Lingshui county) and from there you get on a cable car (part of your admission ticket to the nature reserve). The island is a nature reserve for macaques. There are apparently about 1800 in the reserve.

The island vegetation is very interesting and lush. The macaques are also something worth seeing, but here is first a word of caution — do not wear any brightly colored clothes — especially red. Also do not take any candy or food items which are covered in brightly colored paper or foil. The macaques will jump to get them….

To give you an example, while in the park, my wife forgot about the warning and took out a stick of chewing gum from her purse. The gum was covered in yellow paper and foil. In only a few seconds, one of the macaques jumped on her shoulder, really scared my wife, and snatched the stick of gum.

So be warned 🙂 keep any food items in your bag / purse.

Other than that the trip was very interesting, we took lots of photos of the monkeys (will post them in the photo album area later).

If you have questions about the site and trip let me know.

Deals on travel within China

So you are thinking about traveling to and within China…Often you would plan your trip from lets say the States to a main city in China (e.g. Beijing) with continuation air tickets to other destinations you may plan to visit. That is one way to do it. Planning and booking ahead air tickets could save you hassle of planning the trip while in China. However, keep in mind also the option of purchasing a ticket for travel between cities in China locally — i.e. while you are actually in China. Continue reading Deals on travel within China

Saturday Morning In Beijing

Every so often visitors coming to Beijing ask me what are some of the different and interesting things to do once you have seen many of the sites in this big city…All of us who have spent significant amount of time in Beijing, have been at least once if not multiple times to places like, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace (YiHeYuan), the Temple of Heaven (TianTan), Beihai Park, Wangfujing…But there are some other interesting sites you could enjoy in Beijing in order to pick up some of the local character and understand better how folks in Beijing (at least some of them) spend their free time on weekends.

So, if you are ready to explore, please continue reading. On an early Saturday morning, plan to go to JinShan park. The park is located directly behind the Forbidden City (GuGong), and next to Beihai Park. Plan to arrive there before 9 am. The entry fee for the park is minimal (in comparison to the already exhorbitant fees in places like the Forbidden City) — RMB5.

Once in the park you will immediatelly see an interesting temple, which is currently serving as an art gallery/shop Temple in JingShan park Then to the side you will see large Card playing in JingShan park number of benches and tables and of course a whole lot of grannies and grandpops playing mahjong, cards, chess…. Continue reading Saturday Morning In Beijing