Living as expat in Shuangjing Beijing

I currently live at the north border of Shuangjing, my apartment is close to the Gaomao CBD, Beijing’s Central Business District and the CCTV building which is located in that area. The building is designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas something the Dutch can be proud of because its one of the most prominent new buildings in Beijing.

Shuangjing is a comfortable residential area just outside Beijing’s crowded Central Business District Chaoyang. Shuangjing is a sub-district, and has been rapidly developed as modern apartment buildings have risen to the horizon and give it a crowded skyline. Shuangjing has its own very crowded subway station on line 10. On the busiest day it handled a peak entry and exit traffic of 100.000 people. Don’t expect ever a seat on the subway.

Shuangjing has a lot of expatriate-friendly housing, and a lot of foreign restaurants, grocery stores, cafes, bars, particularly around Shuangjing subway station.

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The main reasons for me as an expatriate to live in Shuangjing:

  • Its proximity to downtown and the CBD
  • A less hustle-and-bustle feel than the more crowded downtown
  • Less expensive rents than are available in the CBD
  • Plenty of Western-style housing, restaurants, shopping, and my favorite bar Bang!Bang!
  • The apartments are relatively new in this area as I don’t recommend renting something older than 7 years in China.
  • My conclusion: Shuangjing is a good middle ground which is not as crazy as the Sanlitun area and not as family orientated as Shunyi or Lido.

Netherlands King Investiture Beijing Embassy

The embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands held an investiture party at the Beijing Embassy. The party was attended by about 800 visitors many Royal companies had a small booth at the entrance. NOS Dutch national television was present to give a impression how queens-day kings-day was celebrated abroad. Many visitors spoke Spanish and were from Argentine, to celebrate for princess Maxima.

Kingdom Netherlands Embassy entrance BeijingDutch companies presenting themselves

 

 

 

 

 

Big audience during inauguration

Argentine VIPS during Investiture of the dutch King

 

 

 

 

 

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The front page of the China daily showed a picture of former queen Beatrix and King William. After all I think the royal family did some good Holland promotion and should continue doing that in the future.

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Foreign Language Bookstore Beijing

To get some good English or other none Chinese language books in Beijing go to Foreign Languages Bookstore

It located in the city center of Beijing and they have a 3 story building with most English books, a large Japanese section and some books in French and Spanish.

Beijing Foreign Languages bookstore

On the first floor they have a large section of maps and tourist guides for China and Beijing.

Beijing Walks: Like a Flying Feather Through the HutongsI highly recommend the book Beijing Walks from Mao Xiang if you stay for a longer time in Beijing and want to discover Beijing on foot. The book has 16 nice walks: Walking through old Beijing hutongs, you will pass or visit many sites that you cannot find in any other tourist guide books, such as the last emperor’s mansion, princes palaces, residences of famous historical figures, temples and churches, old Embassy Row, imperial government offices, famous commercial streets with old shops, as well as mysteries and stories behind the walls. Pictures and maps are also provided to guide you in each walk. Background information enriches your knowledge about the events and stories once happened in this imperial capital.

101 Stories for Foreigners to Understand Chinese PeopleAnother great book that I discovered getting adjusted to the Chinese is: 101 Stories for Foreigners to Understand Chinese People. This book is a collection of 101 anecdotes and cultural learning’s, to explain everyday Chinese customs and etiquette to foreigners. And this book is a decidedly informal and humorous one, not an academic discourse on modern Chinese culture!

There is also a Spanish edition available 101 Histroias para que los extranjeros entiendan a los chinos

 

 

Beijing Foreign Languages bookstoreBeijing Foreign Languages bookstore

Overview of the first floor Foreign Languages Bookstore in the famous Wangfujing shopping street, Dongcheng, Beijing.

 

Featured image thanks to Erica Breetoe

Hair dressers Dancing in the street

In Asia you see quite often that there is a company motivation drill in front of a hotel restaurant or shop. This is not very common to happen on in the western world. Today I was lucky to see the hair dresser motivation dance in front of their shop.

Quite an amount of participants having fun.

 

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Thanks to Garry Knight for the featured image