The arts culture of Beijing is outstanding. From the 798 arts district to the incredible live music scene (rock music is huge here), teachers in Beijing will love the cultural depth available in Beijing.
Given that Beijing is the capital of China, it makes sense that the city is one of the best places to learn Mandarin. “Putonghua” – the Chinese word for Mandarin – is spoken prevalently and it's easy to communicate with locals as there are no strange dialects or accents.
Where to begin?! Forbidden Palace, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall of China – all of these places are must-sees while living abroad. Take some time to see some of the lesser-known attractions like the Drum & Bell Tower or Jinshan Park (which offers an amazing birds-eye view of the Forbidden Palace).
Da Dong & Li-Qun restaurants are the two places we recommend for a Beijing duck feast. The waiters will explain how to make the perfect Beijing duck bite – take a wrapper, spread some hoisin sauce using the cucumber slices, add a few pieces of duck, add some spring onion, fold and enjoy. Yum!
It's not only the Great Wall that's worth a day trip outside of Beijing. Qinhuangdao, a seaside town, and Chengde, a mountain resort, give teachers in Beijing a chance to explore nature and see a side of China that many do not take advantage of.
As we mentioned before, live music is a huge scene in Beijing. Many of the venues that host live music events often turn into dance spots later at night. Places like Mix, Vics, and the entire Sanlitun neighbourhood teems with nightlife on the weekends and are still busy during the weekdays.
Beijing Guoan Football Club might be the most famous in town, but there are tons of other teams for expats to participate in or enjoy. From the Gaelic football team to running clubs, there are plenty to choose from. Spectator sports are a draw as well, with Beijing Guoan doing quite well the past few years against other Chinese teams.
They're everywhere in Beijing – you cannot avoid them. Bicycles are a great way to get around the city as most major streets have dedicated lanes for cyclists. On your days off, bike to a new neighborhood or go exploring in the hutongs.
Only Beijing and the northern Chinese cities have hutongs – beautiful small alleyways that spread off the main street where many locals live. Spend a day on Nanluogu Xiang, getting lost among the shops, cafes & thoughtfully detailed architecture.
When most people think of hot pot (a type of meal where food is cooked in a pot of boiling flavoured broth), they think of the fiery chillies of Sichuan. However, in Beijing, the broth is often limited in flavour – allowing the food itself to shine. Try this incredible dining experience while living in China.
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