Ask Beijing Today is our weekly attempt to make life in China less confusing. Whether it’s tracking down the papers to apply for a Chinese green card, dealing with KTV-crazy neighbors or finding the best buy on saffron, we are happy to help.
Q. Can you recommend some hutong hostels in Beijing? Which ones have better sanitary conditions?
A. Most youth hostels here claim to offer good accommodations. We are familiar with two of them. Beijing Far East International Youth Hostel is located in a preserved hutong area. The hostel has been open for more than 70 years. It has a traditional Chinese courtyard adjoining the main building. If you are into Chinese history, you might want to try it out.
Another option is Peking International Youth Hostel, in the charming Nan Luo Gu Xiang in downtown Beijing. This hostel has a more modern design, compared to that of Beijing Far East.
90 Tieshuxie Jie, Xicheng
(010) 5195 8607 / 8561
113-2 Nan Luo Gu Xiang, Dongcheng
(010) 6401 3961/8403 9098
Q. I left a computer tablet in a taxi in Beijing just before I had to leave for the airport and fly home to Australia. I know the driver’s ID number and registration plate number, but I don’t know how to make inquiries because I don’t speak Chinese and wouldn’t know where to start anyway.
A. The best thing would have been to call the taxi company before the driver got off work or picked someone up. We know of a man who forgot an object in a cab and called the company asking for help. A little later, they called back and told him the taxi driver would return the person’s object the next time he was in the area. The man received his forgotten object within a day. But there are also cases in which drivers or other passengers misappropriate your possessions. In a case like that, chances are you won’t get it back. Ask local police for help if you are desperate for what you have lost.
Q. Where is the best sushi in Beijing?
A. One of our colleagues recommends Shotamuni Restaurant. Lunchtime is always bustling at this local Japanese chain, which is known for its inventive rolls and fresh sashimi and sushi. Discounts are offered every Friday. Another popular sushi brand here is Matsuko, which has been serving sushi buffets since 1992. It feeds white-collar types with sushi, sashimi, noodles and more. This popular place is also a bit more expensive.
1 Sanfeng Bei Li, Chaoyang
(010) 5977 5858
22 Baijiazhuang, Chaoyang
(010) 6582 5208
Q. Where can I get dreadlocks made in Beijing? I looked around for a month and couldn’t find an African hairdresser.
A. We’ve heard that Majesty Hair Salon is the longest-standing African salon in Beijing, offering a full range of services, including braiding. You might find it worth a try. Another popular brand, Paulma Hair Salon, claims to be an original African-American hair salon. Staff there can speak English, French and Chinese.
Shop A116, Bldg. A, One World Apartments, 16 Xinyuanli, Chaoyang (next to International SOS)
(010) 5946 7177 / 8453 1527
B153, B1/F, North Tower, Soho Shangdu, 8 Dongdaqiao Lu, Chaoyang
(010) 5869 0841
Q. Where are the best waxing/beauty salons in Beijing? Not looking for something outrageously pricey.
A. A good place for waxing is Zig Zag, in Wudaoying Hutong. A Brazilian wax there costs 398 yuan. Waxing Society also has an excellent reputation. It offers a full range of depilatory treatments, from head to toe. A full facial wax costs 260 yuan for women. Daisy’s Beauty Shop is a Paris-style beauty shop that specializes in weight loss, waxing and permanent IPL hair removal.
(010) 8404 0020
C306 Sunshine 100, 2 Guanghua Road, Chaoyang
(010) 5100 1330
Room 301, Bldg B, Sunshine 100, Guanghua Dong Lu, Chaoyang
(010) 5100 0557