Our office in Beijing is located in the heart of the Embassy District, a convenient walk from the Sanlitun expat area and a few subway stops from the heart of the Beijing Central Business District. The office is responsible for overseeing successful internship placements with host companies around the city and ensuring a positive experience for program participants throughout their time on the program.
Programs available in Beijing
Things to Do
Things to do in Beijing
Sanlitun caters to the expats living in Beijing and has many international restaurants and bars. There are shopping options for every price point, and there is also a movie theater.
This is the university area of Beijing. Here you will find local and international students, cheap restaurants and bars.
This is the Central Business District. It is home to a large number of international businesses and headquarters for large Chinese firms. It is seen as a wealthy and luxurious area.
This can be thought of as a fairly creative, free spirit area. There are tons of traditional hutongs (alleys) with not so traditional shops (great for gifts!) and cafes, restaurants and bars. You can explore this area to glimpse the ways in which old and new China are colliding.
Wangjing was typically heavily populated by Koreans and is therefore a great place for delicious Korean food. There are also now a fair number of large, name brand corporations headquartered there. The 798 Art District and Lido are nearby as well and provide various entertainments.
Tiananmen Square– tiānānmén–天安门
Tiananmen Square lies between two ancient and massive gates: Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) to the north and Qianmen (Front Gate) to the south. Along the west side of the Square is the Great Hall of the People, which is used for legislative and ceremonial activities by the People’s Republic of China and the Communist Party of China. It functions as the People’s Republic of China’s parliament building and along the east side of the building is the National Museum of China. In the Square itself is the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, where you can see the embalmed remains of Mao himself.
Forbidden City– gùgōng–故宫
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty (completed in 1420) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1912). It is located in the center of Beijing and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost five centuries it served as the home of the Emperor and his household, and as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. If you plan on going through the entire Forbidden City, you’d better bring some snacks, as it will likely take 2-3 hours to finish the tour.
Another worthwhile morning destination is Jingshan (Coal Hill) Park, behind the Forbidden City. Not only is it an oasis of flowers and trees, it also boasts a breathtaking view of the Palace from the top of one of Beijing’s very few hills. This hill was constructed from the earth that was dug up to make the moat of the Forbidden City. Each morning the park fills with middle-aged and older Chinese, who gather in groups to sing the revolutionary songs of their youth, play the traditional two-stringed erhu or practice the slow, graceful movements of tai chi.
Nanluoguxiang is famous for its hutong and traditional courtyards. Recently, the area has become even more popular due to the cafes, bars, clothing stores and handcraft shops that line its hutong alleyways. Dubbed “another bar area besides Houhai, Workers Stadium and Sanlitun,” Nanluoguxiang is a perfect blend of past and present.
798 Art Zone – qījiǔbāyìshùqū–七九八艺术区
A decade ago, setting up radical art studios in the workshops of a largely abandoned military electronics complex on the fringe of Beijing was considered to be an intriguing and provocative ambition. Today, 798 is a warren of contemporary art galleries, studios, and cafes that attracts artists and visitors from all over China and abroad. The 798 Art District functions as a workshop and gallery area for artists and those interested in selling, buying, or studying art. It is also one of Beijing’s most heavily visited tourist attractions as sightseers can encounter a host of strange and interesting things while walking through the compound. Although only a short bus ride away, the rest of Beijing seems far away when you’re wrapped up in the creative sanctuary that is 798.
Temple of Heaven–tiāntán–天坛
The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven, is a complex of Taoist buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvests. It is regarded as a Taoist temple, although the custom of Chinese Heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, pre-dates Taoism.
Summer Palace–yíhéyuán– 颐和园
The Summer Palace was the summer getaway for the Emperor and his family members. The Summer Palace is dominated by Longevity Hill (60 meters high) and Kunming Lake. In December 1998, UNESCO included the Summer Palace on its World Heritage List. It declared the Summer Palace “a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value.” It is a popular tourist destination but also serves as a recreational park for local families.
Lama Temple - yōnghègōng –雍和宫
Beijing’s largest Tibetan lamasery and one the most famous temples, Yonghegong Lama Temple features five large halls and five courtyards with beautifully decorative archways, upturned eaves and carved details. It houses a treasury of Buddhist art, including sculpted images of gods, demons and Buddhas, as well as Tibetan-style murals. Outside of the temple are alleyways after alleyways of traditional Chinese hutong courtyard homes and shops. Spend the morning at the temple and then walk around the hutong neighborhoods to get a feel of the “Old China” in Beijing.
China World Trade Center Tower III – zhōngguó guójìmàoyìzhōngxīn dìsānqī –中国国际贸易中心三期
China World Trade Center Tower 3 is currently Beijing’s tallest skyscraper with 81 floors, 4 underground floors, and 30 elevators. It is the third phase of development of the China World Trade Center complex in Beijing’s Central Business District at the junction of the East Third Ring Road and Jianguomen Wai Avenue. Floors 79 to 81 are used for a restaurant and an observation deck, which offers a bird’s eye view of the city.
CCTV Headquarters –zhōngyāngdiànshìtái zŏngbù dàlóu–中央电视台总部大楼
Located in CBD area and designed by Dutch-German architects Rem Kolhaas and Ole Scheeren，it’s called “big pants” in Chinese. It looks great as a background for your photos, especially from the west side across the street.
National Aquatics Center－guójiāyóuyŏngzhōngxīn －国家游泳中心
Also known as the “Water Cube” (水立方 Shǔilìfāng) is a popular swimming and diving venue built for the 2008 Olympics. Tickets to visit the inside of the Water Cube are sold throughout the day. The ticket office is located by the tour bus parking lot at the northwest corner of the building (which is a fair hike from the building entrance at the southeast corner, facing the stadium). The building also hosts occasional sound and light shows in the evenings.
National Stadium－bĕijīng guójiā tíyùchăng －北京国家体育场
The stadium is located in Beijing’s Olympic Park, in the north of the city. Also known as the “Bird’s Nest” (鸟巢Niǎocháo), this stadium, designed by Herzog & Meuron, is the world’s largest steel structure. It hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as athletic and football matches, during the Olympics. It was meant to host football matches after the Olympics, but due to low number of expected spectators, the football club backed out of the agreement. Therefore, the stadium has found very little use after the Olympics and is planned to be converted into a shopping and entertainment complex.
Parks and Lakes in Beijing
Beijing’s parks are the perfect place to take in a slice of Chinese culture, whether it be the elderly perfecting various versions of tai chi, middle-aged people practicing the fox trot or polka, or young children flying by on scooters, bicycles, roller blades or their own two feet! Beijing’s parks are the best place to see its residents at their most relaxed and cheerful, and you can also be part of the fun.
Chaoyang Park－cháoyáng gōngyuán －朝阳公园
The city began construction on this, Beijing’s largest park, in 1984. With areas for swimming and beach volleyball in the summer and ice exhibits in the winter, this park offers recreation for any time of the year. At 288.7 hectares, Chaoyang Park is larger than London’s Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined. Chaoyang Park also features flower gardens and a fairground with rides, including a roller coaster and Ferris wheel. Bicycles and boats may also be hired at various locations in the park.
Beijing Olympic Forest Park－bĕijīng àolínpĭkè sēnlíngōngyuán－北京奥林匹克森林公园
Its construction began in 2003 and took almost 5 years to complete, but the Olympic Forest Park became one of the most impressive attractions left by the 2008 Olympics. The park covers an area of 680 hectares and is in fact so big that its northern area envelopes a large stretch of the north 5th ring road in what is known as an ecological corridor, or the ‘green bridge’. As parks go, the Olympic Forest Park is a particularly fine one and a great venue for walking, running, or a lakeside picnic. The landscaping was designed using Feng Shui theory, which might contribute to the park’s calm atmosphere. Thanks to its enormous size, it’s fairly easy to find a private spot to settle down and enjoy a warm day.
XiangShan Park (Fragrant Hills) －xiāngshāngōngyuán－香山公园
Xiangshan Park is located 10km west of the city in the West Hills. It was founded in the Jin dynasty and was previously a home and getaway for Emperors and even Chairman Mao himself. Xiangshan is widely known for the vivid reds of the maple trees’ leaves in the autumn, though some of its hidden corners are the best-kept secrets in all of Beijing. In season, though, thousands of people cover the steps that lead to Xiang Lu peak. You can meander around the gardens and paths lacing the feet of the hills or make your way up, taking breaks at gazebos and pagodas. Jian Xin Temple is one of the most noteworthy structures in the park that you should look out for. Located near the north gate of the park, Jian Xin is an understated yet beautiful, high-walled building. It is best visited in the late afternoon or early evening when there are less visitors. It’s often almost empty during off peak seasons but well worth the visit at any time of the year!
Purple Bamboo Park－zĭzhúyuàn gōngyuán－紫竹院公园
The serene Purple Bamboo Park is situated near a busy section of the West Third Ring Road and the Beijing Zoo. Super modern office buildings and high-rise apartment blocks serve as a backdrop to the park’s quiet paths and tranquil water. As suggested by its name (ZiZhu, in Chinese), a significant feature of the park is its thick growth of Bamboo. The park is best enjoyed in its most peaceful time – early mornings and mid afternoon – avoiding the office workers on their lunch break and the multitudes of evening crowds. The view across the largest of the three lakes is quite spectacular at any time. The most enchanting area of the park is near the north gate, a series of paths broken up with numerous secret gazebos and carefully placed rock features. Here you might find elderly people practicing traditional Chinese musical instruments or peacefully going through a series of tai chi exercises in their own private, bamboo forests.
Houhai Lake －hòuhăi －后海
Houhai Lake, located in the Gulou (Drum and Bell Tower) area of Beijing, is a great place to spend an afternoon outdoors. During the summer months, you can rent paddleboats and weave your way around the lake and in the wintertime, ice-skating is very popular. Bars, restaurants, and shops surround the lake so you can find a nice little cafe with a view of the lake to rest at after exploring the area during the day.
Beihai Lake －běihăi －北海
Beihai is famous for its White Pagoda in the middle of the lake, on top of the central island hill. If you hike to the top of the island you can get a 360-degree view of Beijing. You can also rent paddleboats and rowboats around the lake in the summer and ice-skates in the winter.
CRCC Asia Ltd (Beijing)
3610 Capital Mansion,
No.6 Xinyuan Road South,