According to the traditional Chinese calendar, autumn is officially upon Beijing, which hopefully means we can all stop worrying about how hot it will be. Instead we can focus our worries on high speed trains, rising renting prices and scandals at famous tourist spots! If that is not your kind of thing then get out to one of the various beer festivals or get your groove on with some top DJs that will hit up the capital in the coming weeks.
What’s the deal with these trains? Photo: thehindu
1) Those Crazy Trains!
High speed trains used to be the pride of China, but in recent weeks they seem to be everything from deadly to an extreme annoyance. Recent decisions by train authorities have seen high speed trains leaving Beijing decrease their operating speed as well as their ticket price. Authorities have also changed route maps and reduced the number of trains operating on the Beijing-Shanghai high speed rail. While that might be expected given the deadly Wenzhou crash a few weeks ago, it does nothing to explain the annoying decision by rail authorities to reduce presale period for all trains from 10 days to 5.
2) Housing Down, Renting Up
House, or more accurately, apartment prices in Beijing are high to say the least, which is why almost every Chinese resident bitterly complains about them. But according to a report from the Beijing Real Estate Association prices have fallen by 8% compared to last year. But before you get your hopes up too high because other reports show that rental prices have been going up (the CBD has seen rental prices surge 20%) and for many Beijingers now suck up more than 25% of their monthly salary.
3) Scandal at the Palace Museum
According to reports from Chinese business magazine Caixin, the Beijing Palace Museum (i.e. the Forbidden City) paid 100,000 RMB in bribes back in 2009 to someone who was trying to blackmail them. According to Caixin’s report, someone caught the Palace Museum running a ticket scalping ring run by tour guides and security guards at the Forbidden City and decided to demand money to remain silent. Instead of reporting the blackmailer and ticket scalping ring to police, museum officials paid off the blackmailer. It is unclear why the story is coming out now and Caixin noted that the officials they have contacted have not confirmed the scandal.
Kids like this will miss out. Photo: thestar
4) Say Goodbye to Independent Schools
Once again authorities in Beijing are focusing on shutting down thousands of small independent schools that cater to the children of migrant workers in the city. While this is not the first time Beijing authorities have made a push against such schools, it may be one of the strongest. If the plan goes through then an estimated 40,000 children of migrant workers could be without any schooling. Although Beijing educational authorities have said they will try to find a place for these children, that will be hard considering they don’t have a Beijing hukou and spaces at Beijing schools are largely reserved to Beijing hukou carrying children.
1) Beer and Food Festivals
It wouldn’t be a proper summer in Beijing without a good dose of beer and food festivals. Some are already over but that doesn’t mean you have missed out on the fun yet. Here are two ongoing and one soon-to-start summer festivals that you should really get out there and experience.
Olympic Park Food Square: Held in the cool forested area just north of the National Stadium this food festival offers visitors a taste of food from all over China as well as a place to get some great Beijing snacks. The festival, which started on August 8th will run to October 7th.
CRD International Beer Festival: Held at the Shijingshan Amusement Park Plaza this exciting beer festival offers over 200 international brews for you to enjoy with your friends. The festival began on August 12th and will run to the 28th, so get out their and enjoy some beer!
German Beer Festival: The festival which promises to offer a traditional Oktoberfest feel with drinking tents and even a Miss Beer competition is set to begin on August 26th at the Villa Castanea in Haidian District. The festival will run till September 24th leaving you plenty of time to get your drink on!
2) Lantern Re-Opening Party
Last watchdog we told you about the re-opening of the Lantern club, but it is going to be more than just a re-opening; it is going to be one hell of a party! The party start August 26th at 21:00 and with free entry and a great line up of Acupuncture’s great DJs it is a must see event. Acupuncture’s parties are always great and this one promises to be monumental so get out to the new Lantern just inside the west gate of Workers Stadium and dance the night away.
DJ Groove Assassin. Photo: nightnoises
3) DJ Groove Assassin to Hit Beijing
If electronic music is your thing then don’t miss the opportunity to dance to the beats of famed European DJ Groove Assassin who will be coming to Punk on September 3rd. Groove Assassin has headlined some of the biggest parties in Europe so the music is guaranteed to be top notch. The party is scheduled to start around 22:00 and tickets cost 50 RMB.
4) Marianne Dissard Comes to Beijing
French-American artist Marianne Dissard known for her blend of American and French styles is set to play at Beijing’s Yugong Yishan on September 14th. With charismatic performances and unique music, it is a show you have to go see. Tickets for the show which will feature new songs from her album L’Abandon are 50 RMB and the show will start at 21:00.
After four years of trying to bring Beijing a little bit of a new age dining experience The Blue Lobster, run by Chef Brian McKenna, is finally calling it quits. But luckily they are at least going out with a closing party which is scheduled for August 27th. The six-course meal will be 588 RMB and will feature some of the restaurant’s signature dishes. For reservations call 6841 2211 ext. 6727.
While many are mourning the loss of Brain McKenna’s Blue Lobster, it looks like he will be back soon with the opening of Ricci Café in Tsinghua Science Park this November. Also just around the corner at Wudaokou, Mexican fast-food restaurant Avocado Tree has just opened, offering the masses of students that frequent the area a chance to get their burrito on.
Something to Look Forward to!
This summer has already seen its fair share of music festivals in Beijing but the Black Rabbit Music Festival scheduled to happen sometime in September could take the cake as it promises to be headlined by 30 Seconds to Mars along with performances by famed American rapper Ludacris and Chinese standouts Carsick Cars. The festival sponsored by Chinese cellphone company Oppo and organized by Splitworks is still in the works with an exact date, performance schedule and location to be released soon…so keep your eyes and ears open!
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Keywords: Beijing watchdog renting prices Beijing music festivals Beijing DJs in Beijing beer festivals in Beijing
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