My parents came from Texas to Beijing for a two-week visit. As I am very organized, and it was our first visit from anyone in China, I made an activity planner for them. Beijing has so much to see and to do that you need a “must do” list. We visited the Panjiayuan market on the first Saturday; I had been meaning to go back since we arrived ten months ago. We celebrated Easter Sunday at East Hotel and wandered around 798 Art District. I sent them off with a driver to see Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.
They stayed in the Oak Chateau, which has studios in apartment style. The rooms are large, fully furnished, and comfortable. The location of the hotel is right across from our apartment in Sanyuanqiao. If you live in this area, this hotel is adorable and perfect if you have no room in your home for visitors. It is a very convenient location to restaurants and close to shopping with taxi or subway. They enjoyed walking in Sunlitun and funnily confused Jenny Lou’s for Jinkelong. The restaurant Palms L.A. Kitchen and Bar that is attached to the hotel is quite nice for lunch or dinner. I had cards made up with directions in Chinese to our apartment, a good hospital (thankfully this was never used), and information on allergies.
My parents needed a vacation from their vacation (don’t we all) and booked a stay at the Brickyard for a few days. The Brickyard is a sustainable hotel developed from the ruins of an old brickyard that was billowing coal smoke into the air from its nine chimneys. They found the Brickyard very accommodating, enjoying the history of the hotel. Each room and every space has been meticulously designed to take advantage of the Great Wall views and surrounding orchards. It is obvious that the owners respect and understand the community and environment for which they are doing business. My parents walked the wall plenty times and each time they took the toboggan down. Keep in mind, you must be under 60 years of age to take the ride down the hill. My father stayed forever 59 on the wall.
After they returned to the city, they enjoyed a wild party for a four year old, and visited the equally wild Pearl and Silk market. Later they enjoyed a more peaceful Temple of Heaven visit. It was a pleasure showing our family that we are pretty fine in Beijing by showing them around and enjoying the great culture the city has to offer.
Pauline van Hasselt has been working for beijingkids since October 2016. Born in Wassenaar, The Netherlands, she moved with her husband and her 3 year-old daughter to Beijing in June of last year. Prior she lived in the Netherlands, Belgium, Paraguay, Texas, and London, studying and working as a chef. Pauline enjoys biking around Beijing, finding markets and new restaurants, reading crime and fantasy books in bed, and most importantly, turning her house into a home for her family.
Picture Credit: Pauline van Hasselt and Pixabay.com