Beijing: A GlobalWoman Kind of Town
Beijing will engage any GlobalWoman intellectually.
The Great Wall of China. The Forbidden City. Actually, I came here for a job interview at an international auditing company. Little did I know Beijing would capture me by the heartstrings too. Pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the locals, I found post-Olympics Beijing full of English speakers, which makes life easy in the capital. Beijingers are in love with their city.
You’ll see why
Media hype focuses on the occasional smoggy days here. What I’ve discovered however is that the “good news” of clear blue skies for up to three weeks at a time is clearly not “newsworthy.” You won’t hear about the many clear days! I’ve been living in Beijing for ten months so far and have never used the face-masks which sit (more decoratively, in a Dada-ist “found object” way than anything) on the dressing table at home.
Don’t believe the hype about Beijing’s air; instead, save your pity for places such as New Delhi. Honestly? Beijing is, 85 % of the time all about blue skies, all the way.
What I also notice about Beijing is the fashion, tradition and focus on epic scale. Tweet This The Totalitarian, Brutalist architecture styles are a flashback to communist regimes that built these imposing buildings (now juxtaposed against skyscrapers of the CBD/Financial Centre).
Heaven and humanity
Safe, with cops on every corner, I feel comfortable any time of night or day in this city which was built on a grid-pattern (think: Melbourne or NYC) which, in Feng Shui terms, mimics a harmonious relationship between heaven and humanity. Two keywords about Beijing are: “epic scale;” a metaphor for the fact that China is still the “Wild West” of Asia. That is, if you have a great idea and are willing to put in the time, you WILL succeed here.
However, you have to be willing to walk your talk. Are you up for it GlobalWoman? I am. This is why, in my free time, I run my own magazine while my 9-5 job is at a financial company. Dream big here! You WILL make it.
Every moment in Beijing is full of surprises
Whether it’s a wander through the hutongs or strutting through Sanlitun (where Versace, Balenciaga and other labels have their stores alongside the hippest coffee shops and restaurants) I always find something in Beijing to stir my soul. So will you, GlobalWoman. Tweet This
GlobalWoman’s 7 must dos in Beijing
1. Coffee at Capital M is where I get my bearings in Beijing. Chatting with knowledgeable Aussie Matthew Nilon (Capital M’s manager) for tips on Beijing is a bonus and while I’m there I always pick up one of (or a FEW of) the little freebie guide-books specially created for their customers! I give these booklets to friends visiting Beijing as they are pure gold and you will honestly not find anything else quite like them anywhere else. You simply show the printed bi-lingual addresses to cab drivers to get to all the must-see spots. This list is curated by Capital M’s discerning staff so it’s a sure thing.
2. An organised tour by English-speaking guide, Mr James Mo (aka “Mo Rong Hua”), is brilliant. The Dragon’s Tour, is affordable and includes visits to markets, galleries and jade shops and/or it can be as bespoke as you wish. James can arrange for you to visit The Great Wall of China via a private driver so you can side-step the masses like I do (ESPECIALLY during public holidays). Tip: James can translate while you shop to make sure you always get the best price.
3. Get an insight into Mandarin language and Chinese culture at Culture Yard. Their movie-nights include a selection of Chinese themed movies.
5. I also love to rock a dance-floor so Dada is one place which delivers. It’s a designer-grunge vibe with a thumpin’ sound system. Tip: arrive no earlier than 1am and then, get ready to SHAKE IT.
6. Made in China at the Grand Hyatt in Oriental Plaza has the best braised eggplant dish known to humankind. The Redmoon Bar within the complex pumps with live music any night of the week with décor that feels like you’re inside a Chinese lantern (in a good way).
Try the veg-Mediterranean platter in a chilled out environment at Oakwood Beijing. Dig the outdoor seating area (deliciously free of crowds). Wagas restaurant in Sanlitun has insane pumpkin pasta and outdoor seating with views of the hottest fashionistas in town who stalk the area in search of high quality fashion footwear and tight leather pants. Every new trend is on display. Not to be missed!
7. The Bookworm Beijing, also in Sanlitun, has nightly events you’ll love. With book chats, guest speakers, café/bar it’s open until midnight weeknights and 1am on the weekends.
- Who: Christina M. Morrison
- Christina’s SuperPowers: Tenacity, creativity and self-discipline
- Her Revolution? Editor in Chief, Goldrush magazine and Editor at Ernst and Young