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Old 2012-04-27, 10:43 AM   #1
Wolfsnap
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Travel And now I'm in Beijing...

Actually, I'm in the suburbs of Beijing. I'm here until May 1st, so I'm hanging out the F5 signal in case there are any Forumopolitans in the area who want to hang out this weekend.

I'm supposed to have time to go sightseeing. Anything I should see besides Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall?
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Old 2012-04-27, 11:48 AM   #2
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Forbidden City? If for nothing else than to thumb your nose at the name.
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Old 2012-04-27, 5:22 PM   #3
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Yeah, Forbidden City is number one on my list.
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Old 2012-04-27, 5:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfsnap View Post
Actually, I'm in the suburbs of Beijing. I'm here until May 1st, so I'm hanging out the F5 signal in case there are any Forumopolitans in the area who want to hang out this weekend.

I'm supposed to have time to go sightseeing. Anything I should see besides Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall?
Go to the "Black" market (what my group called it, no idea what it's actual name is). Can't remember where it is, but it is pretty much a giant warehouse where people sell everything from Nikes (You can probably bargain them down to $10 a pair, but it'd be tough. The woman I knew who did so appeared to piss off the seller when they did it), to Ipads (I have no idea if the electronic stuff would work well, or work at all). There are also a lot of fancy purses (if you want "better" ones, ask for A or AAA ranked ones [they cost more, though; and I don't really know what the big differences are. The ones they stock up front are D and C quality, I think]). My preferred method to bargain was to play off my sister - I'd look at something, ask her what she thought; she'd tell me I don't need it, I'd say she's probably right, etc., while the vender tries to convince me/her to buy it. Leave the booth/step away at least twice (the vender might grab you)

If you like jewelry even a little bit, or want some cheap gifts for the future, go to one of the jewelry places (I went to a place called Sandy's) - you'll be able to find pearls and jade much cheaper than you can find elsewhere (like... $10-15 for a necklace/earrings/rings).

Also, maybe check out some of the street food venders. Also don't remember where they were located.

Also, go to a place that sells silk things; you won't be able to find a silk comforter anywhere cheaper (I think it's about $100 to $200). They supposedly work about the same as a feather down comforter, but without the allergies.

(I was in Beijing in 2008)

Also, the gardens/parks are cool. We went to one and there were hundreds and hundreds of groups of older people doing exercises in sync.
  • The street venders selling bugs and stuff on sticks
  • A small part of one floor of the black market
  • A silk place (showing the different qualities and thread counts in different rugs; if you spin them around they kinda change color)
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Old 2012-04-27, 6:44 PM   #5
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Learn to like haggling, I suppose! I normally hate it, but after spending some time in the markets I eventually ended up thinking it was pretty sweet.

Eat some sweet food!
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Old 2012-04-27, 8:38 PM   #6
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I haggle with people for a living - the last thing I want to do is haggle in my free time.
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Old 2012-04-27, 8:40 PM   #7
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Actually, I'm really curious to find out if Sanguosha is still popular in China. (It's a card game similar to the Italian game "Bang!") I saw some articles about it from 2010 and am really curious, but I can't find any recent information.
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Old 2012-04-28, 6:28 AM   #8
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Toured the Forbidden City today. I am duly impressed. It is truly an awesome edifice and just as massive and imposing as advertised. I especially liked the theater palace and the gardens. I do think that its a shame you can't go inside the Supreme Palace or any of the gatehouses, though.
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Old 2012-04-28, 10:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfsnap View Post
Actually, I'm really curious to find out if Sanguosha is still popular in China. (It's a card game similar to the Italian game "Bang!") I saw some articles about it from 2010 and am really curious, but I can't find any recent information.
Don't know about Sanguosha, but fake copies of "Bang!" are sold in most game/anime/knick knack style shops where I live. Beijing I know has a number of board game conventions. In fact, board and card games are very popular over here. Right now Call of Cthulhu and anything Mythos related is all the rage in the game magazines.
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Old 2012-04-28, 4:18 PM   #10
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Are you talking Call of Cthulhu the Card Game or the RPG? Do people here play tabletop RPGs like D&D and Pathfinder in China? I know Compputer-based MMO games are popular but I'm trying to find out if anyone is playing the pen & paper versions.
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Old 2012-04-28, 7:00 PM   #11
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I've seen the Living Card game, Chez Cthulhu, Mansions of Madness, Arkham Horror, Elder Sign...and every game magazine I've seen come out in the past two months has some article on the Mythos or Mythos game. Granted, I can't read it, but its either about one of the games, or trying to educate the reader about Lovecraft, and the whole Mythos. Granted, most of those I've only seen at a true game shop, but you'll probably have an easier time finding one in Beijing. Also keep an eye out for Board Game Cafes or Clubs. Basically go with your friends, get a booth, pick out a game from the cafe or club's selection, order food, and play.

As far as RPGs go, those have been harder to find, and when I do find them its mostly D&D. I have run into a few Chinese in Changsha that play D&D and Pathfinder seems to be the most popular where I live. I've also heard there are two groups of foreigners playing D&D but have yet to find them.
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Old 2012-04-28, 7:31 PM   #12
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Temple of Heaven (south-central?) is a smaller park but has some magnificent pagodas and great hilltop views; only needs a half-day. The Summer Palace (northwest) is magnificent & vast, deserves a full day. Start at a northern entrance and work around the lake (we never got to the whole eastern side in 2010, just took a boat across the lake--only had two days).
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Old 2012-04-30, 7:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Phil N DeBlanc View Post
I've seen the Living Card game, Chez Cthulhu, Mansions of Madness, Arkham Horror, Elder Sign...and every game magazine I've seen come out in the past two months has some article on the Mythos or Mythos game. Granted, I can't read it, but its either about one of the games, or trying to educate the reader about Lovecraft, and the whole Mythos. Granted, most of those I've only seen at a true game shop, but you'll probably have an easier time finding one in Beijing. Also keep an eye out for Board Game Cafes or Clubs. Basically go with your friends, get a booth, pick out a game from the cafe or club's selection, order food, and play.

As far as RPGs go, those have been harder to find, and when I do find them its mostly D&D. I have run into a few Chinese in Changsha that play D&D and Pathfinder seems to be the most popular where I live. I've also heard there are two groups of foreigners playing D&D but have yet to find them.
I'm heading home tomorrow, but I really wish that I had some more time in China to run this down. Unfortunately there are no gamers among the people that I'm working with here in Beijing, so they are totally clueless about where to find these places. Asking around some friends, we had a lead on a game cafe to visit today, but it was closed for the Labor Day holiday. I did manage to pick up a copy of Sanguosha at a 7-11, I''ll see what I can make of it.

I have a lot of questions about gaming in China, particularly as it relates to RPGs. My interest is professional as well as personal. Can I PM you some questions and ask you to do a little informal polling for me of gamers in Chagsha?
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Old 2012-04-30, 9:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Wolfsnap View Post
I'm heading home tomorrow, but I really wish that I had some more time in China to run this down. Unfortunately there are no gamers among the people that I'm working with here in Beijing, so they are totally clueless about where to find these places. Asking around some friends, we had a lead on a game cafe to visit today, but it was closed for the Labor Day holiday. I did manage to pick up a copy of Sanguosha at a 7-11, I''ll see what I can make of it.

I have a lot of questions about gaming in China, particularly as it relates to RPGs. My interest is professional as well as personal. Can I PM you some questions and ask you to do a little informal polling for me of gamers in Chagsha?
Go for it. I'm a bit in the same boat due to a lack of foreigners. I know they're here, just can't seem to touch base. But I do know where some of the Chinese game clubs are, the local board game shop, and visited the board game shop in HK which has some D&D stuff. You might also check this website: http://www.hksw.org/ which goes to the HK Wargame club's website. Their link to the Beijing game club site doesn't work, otherwise I would have posted its link.

Edit: You might also check Board Game Geek's forums for any posts about Beijing.
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Old 2012-04-30, 10:45 AM   #15
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I'll compose something in the morning when I wake up.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to read about visiting the Great Wall and what a trippy experience that was for me, I posted as today's blog entry over at Dire Destiny.

Quote:
As I stood there gazing in disbelief at what the wall expected of it's human staff and visitors, I could not help but think that this was surely an idea that got out of hand. I wondered if the people who had been responsible for the decision to build the wall had ever actually seen it, or seen the land upon which they decided to build it, or truly understood the scope of what this structure was expected to be.
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