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2012-02-07 10:42 ChineseTime

This short half day bike tour will take you to visit the most fashionable and popular areas in Beijing.

wangfujing

You can start your cycling from Wangfujing Avenue. If you are not equipped with your own bicycle, there is a bicycle renting spot at the south entrance of Wangfujing Avenue, in front of the Oriental Plaza. The rental charge is RMB 5.00 per hour, RMB 10.00 Yuan per 4 hours, RMB 20.00 Yuan per day. A refundable deposit of RMB 400.00 Yuan is required.

siushuijie

Start from the Oriental Plaza at Wangfujing Avenue and ride eastwards along the Jianguomennei Street for about 10-15 minutes, until you find the Silk Market (Xiushui Market) on your left hand. The Silk Market is filled with everything imaginable - clothing, souvenirs, jewelry, electronics and fabrics, all at low prices. It is popular with Chinese customers; but it is also called OK Street, Little Hong Kong in Beijing and Little Paris in Beijing by foreigners. Turn left at the intersection of the Silk Market and ride northwards along the street. After passing a cross road, you will find the The Place (Shi Mao Tian Jie) on your right hand.

The Place is located in the most prosperous CBD area of Chaoyang District in Beijing, aiming to become a first class shopping mall for high income groups in Beijing. It has another name of "Everyone in Beijing Looks Up", because it has currently the largest LED sky screen in Asia, 250 meters long and 30 meters wide, hanging above, which is second only in the world to the one in Las Vegas. The best time to visit here is in the evening when it looks really wonderful all lit up. The display is turned on from 20:00 to 22:00 each night, showing beautiful and fantastic images of undersea life, alien culture and natural landscape. It is really breath-taking when you see a whale waving its tail over your head swimming forward to disappear into the night at the far end. The shopping is a bit on the expensive side, although window shopping is fun. There is a food market in the basement which is convenient if you're staying in the area.

After visiting The Place, you will head onto your next destination Sanlitun Bar Street, about 15-20 minutes riding distance. Riding northwards from The Place along the Dongdaqiao Road, passing by the Zhongjiang International Building, the Landao Shopping Center and a big intersection road, you will ride onto Gongrentiyuchangdong Lu (Worker's Stadium East Road). Turn right at the first crossing road onto Gongrentiyuchangnan Lu (Worker's Stadium South Road). Ride westwards and pass by Sanlitun Post Station and then turn left at the third intersection (the second crossway). Now you are on the southern Sanlitun Street. Here is the earliest bar street area in Beijing, but the northern Sanlitun Street is most prosperous nowadays. Continue riding northwards, northern Sanlitun Street is ahead.

sanlitun

Sanlitun is the earliest bar area in Beijing. The first bar here was founded 15 years ago. For foreigners, Sanlitun Bar Street is most famous as well. It is said that 40% of Beijing bars are founded here. That means that there area about 200 bars situated here. All the bars here are delicately designed and decorated in different styles. Some bands and singing stars often hold performances here. It is a popular and fashionable place with foreign travelers, younger locals and some entertainers. Sanlitun Street is also within the largest embassy area in Beijing. Many countries' embassies are dispersed around.

 After cycling around the Sanlitun area, proceed with riding to your last destination - 798 Art Factory Area, which will take about one hour riding. Continue to ride to the north and you will find the Liangmahe River running east-west in front of you. Ride across the river and you will be on Xinyuanjie Road. Ride through Xinyuanjie Road, passing by the DHL Building and turn to the northeast at the fork in the road to Shunyuanjie Road. Ride through Shunyuanjie Road, and pass across the Third Ring Road to Xiaoyun Road. Ride through Xiaoyun Road and pass across the Fourth Ring Road to Fangyuanxilu Road. At the end of Fangyunxilu Road, turn to straight north and you will be on the Jiuxianqiao Road. Ride northwards along the Jiuxianqiao Road and turn right at the second intersection. Then ride eastwards and pass by the third intersection, and you will find the 798 Art Factory is on the left side (north side).

798 Art Factory, also called 798 Art District, 798 Art Zone or Dashazi Art District, was once the place for Beijing North China Wireless Joint Equipment Factory. 798 Space is a new rising, avant-garde and trendy space that hosts high-level cultural, artistic and commercial activities. It can hold more than 1000 guests with ease: 1000 square meters and up to 9 meters high structural exhibition space + 300 square meters relaxing and eating space + contemporary art book shop + film and video showing area. Located in Dashanzi Art District (original 798 Factory), the heart of a growing art and culture community in Beijing, 798 Space is the center and the biggest space that provides cultural, artistic and commercial activities in the area. It was designed by East German architects in the Bauhaus style in the early 1950's. Through the reconstruction and redesigning with contemporary aesthetics by artists, the space combines the past, present, and future of the "New China" and the unique meaning of the socialistic culture.
After appreciating the exhibitions at 798 Art Factory, ride back to Wangfujing Avenue along the same way. Return your bicycle to the rental spot and your Fashion and Art bike tour ends here.

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