Beijing Backpacking, Day 27: A “Unique Shopping” Experience?

I HAD A particularly interesting conversation with one of my new friends a couple of weeks ago. A remark she made to me made me feel like my quest for tradition seemed almost puritanical in nature, that I had been guilty of making the same dichotomy between the valuable ‘traditional’ and consumerist ‘globalised’, that I … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 27: A “Unique Shopping” Experience?

Beijing Backpacking, Day 23: Drawing the Line Between Tourism and Lifestyle

FIRSTLY, I WISH to send my apologies to all of you who have supported me so far. As you know Internet in China is patchy and keeping the posts regular has been a challenge. But I will continue with the posts and now that I am somewhere with better internet, I will soon be able … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 23: Drawing the Line Between Tourism and Lifestyle

Beijing Backpacking, Day 14: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

DESPITE THE PERCEPTIONS foreigners have of the Great Firewall of China, things get around pretty quickly. Especially if you’re in the middle of the part of Beijing known for its global brands and expatriate bars. There is an endless array of gimmicks and pop culture references in the Sanlitun area that make their way to … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 14: What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Beijing Backpacking, Day 12: What’s A Touristy Area Like Before Tourists?

I HAD TO head to Wangfujing early on a Sunday morning to meet a friend visiting from overseas. The location is hardly anything new – Wangfujing is known for its upmarket (read: global brands) retail, and consequently, tourists flock here, and the hotel chains that cater to them do so too. But while Wangfujing bustles … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 12: What’s A Touristy Area Like Before Tourists?

Beijing Backpacking, Day 10: From The Old To The New, Real To The Manufactured

YESTERDAY I GOT a glimpse of how architectural contrasts provide unique insight into a city’s history. Today, I was blessed for the opportunity to have local friends take me to their Beijing. There’s a certain exoticism you’d think of, considering the cultural differences between you and the locals you meet. But as fellow young people, … More Beijing Backpacking, Day 10: From The Old To The New, Real To The Manufactured