Wangjing and Lido lie halfway between Shunyi and downtown Beijing. These areas are popular with both families and expat English teachers due to their relatively cheaper rent, access to international hospitals and schools, and proximity to major foreign companies such as Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia, and Microsoft. Both have significant Korean communities, especially Wangjing, which hosts a cornucopia of Korean chain stores, restaurants, and groceries.
+ Short commute to international schools in Laiguangying and Beigao area
+ Proximity to the headquarters of foreign companies
+ Close to family-friendly destinations such as Si’de Park
+ 798 Art District
+ Indigo Mall
– Connected to the city via satellite subway lines (13, 14, and 15)
– Limited things to do for families, though the area is growing
– Lacks authentic Beijing culture
Wangjing and Lido have a number of choice compounds on offer. Wangjing Huayuan is in a great location; close to local kindergartens, Chinese groceries, banks, hospitals, post office, beauty salons, and even a Wal-Mart. Upper East Side is also well-located and has its own gym, sauna, and swimming pool, as well as a coffee shop within the compound. Chateau Regency has a fitness center, a convenience store, and a playground. Mookey Swim, a popular parent-owned center offering baby swimming classes, is also located on the ground floor of Chateau Regency.
Beijing World Youth Academy (BWYA) and 3e International School can both be found in Wangjing. There are also other international schools that cater specifically to the dense population of Koreans and Japanese in the neighborhood. LIH Olivia’s Place is also good to know if you require learning support or other special needs services.
The world’s second largest IKEA is located in Wangjing, right by French grocery chain Carrefour with its built-in air purification and water recycling systems. Indigo Mall near 798 Art District offers entertainment, good shopping and dining, with a cinema, restaurants, BHG Marketplace, frequent children’s events, and a large outdoor playground.
Wangjing has some great Korean restaurants and markets. Next to Si’de Park, the Korean-owned CJ Foodworld houses a Tous Les Jours bakery, Bibigo, and Twosome Coffee. There’s also Element Fresh, Ramo which is very kid-friendly, Annie’s, Taj Pavilion, and more. If you are looking for a superb spot to brunch when the weekend hits, then look no further than either Nuo Hotel Beijing’s N’Joy or East Hotel’s Feast, both in Lido.
Where to Play
Wangjing and Lido both have a very vibrant expat scene with plenty of entertainment options. Lido Place is a popular apartment and mall complex where many foreigners reside and also many fairs and bazaars are held. This can be great for those looking to connect with the local crafts scene or the occasional farmer’s market. Another option is Indigo Mall, located just south of 798, which hosts regular kids’ events in its airy atrium space. They also have numerous restaurants, children’s brands, and play centers. In the warmer months, families can access the Indigo Playground out back, which features a fountain and two play areas connected by a garden. For greenery, Si’de Park in Lido is a modest park and a popular destination for families which features a running track that winds around the entirety of the park, along with a roller skating rink, a fishing pond, soccer field, playground, a bouncy castle, and fairground rides. Another recent find was the Lunaluz Kids Café at Kirin Place. This a great spot for parents to work while kids get their necessary dose of indoor play.
Photos: Kipp Whittaker
This article appeared on p18-29 of beijingkids July 2018 Home & Relocation Guide issue