American Citizen Reference Sheet for Beijing Visit

American Citizen Reference Sheet for Beijing Visit

This is a “cheat sheet” compiled from the official US Embassy to China website.  It is intended to be printed and kept with you for reference during your visit to Beijing.  Please check the official website ( for complete information. Not an official document of the US Government. Provided by

Click here to download the PDF Version to print and carry with you.

United States Embassy of Beijing Address and Contact Information
United States Embassy of Beijing, China
No. 55 An Jia Lou Lu 100600
Tel: (86-10) 8531-3000
Map is on back side

Chinese Translation for Driver
邮编:100600,电话:(86-10) 8531-3000
American Citizen Services Contact Information
Emergency Contact Number: 8531-4000
From Outside Beijing: 010-85314000
From United States: 011-86-10-85314000
Fax: (86-10) 8531-3300
From Outside Beijing: 010-8531-3300
From the United States: 011-86-10-8531-3300

Services Contact E-mail: …………………………………………..
Services Main Webpage: …………………………………………..
Services Appointment System Information Webpage: ….
Services FAQ Webpage: …………………………………………..
Services Holidays Closed Webpage:……………………………

Click here to download the PDF Version to print and carry with you.

American Citizen Services Condensed Information
*Please see the Services Webpage for complete text.

  • Entrance by East Gate of Embassy: ACS located on Second Floor of Consular Building
  • Closest Subway Stop: Liangmaqiao stop on line #10
  • Hours of Operation: ACS window hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. We are open only in the morning on Wednesday and Thursday. We are closed Thursday afternoons except for passport pick and emergency situations. We are closed for all major American and Chinese holidays.  These are listed on the Services Holidays Closed webpage.
  • Passports: Passports applications must be made in person.  New passports are generally available in 2 weeks.  Appointment required.
  • Acceptable Forms of Payment: Payments cannot be made by personal check, but major credit cards, US Dollars, and equivalent Chinese RMBs are acceptable.
  • Prohibited Electronics and Bags: Cell phones, any electronics, and large bags are not permitted.  Cell phones may be stored with the Embassy Guards.
  • Hard Copies of Documents: Please bring hard copies of all documents required.
  • Appointment Only: All routine services are by appointment only.  Please make appointments at the webpage:  Print the appointment confirmation and bring with you to the Embassy.
  • Arrive 15 Minutes Early: Allow time to clear security.  If you miss your appointment by more than 15 minutes, it will be cancelled.  You will have to schedule a new appointment via the appointment webpage.
  • Bypass Visa Line: Show your passport (or other photo id) and your printed appointment confirmation, and the local guards will let you enter.

Click here to download the PDF Version to print and carry with you.

Medical Emergencies Advice and List of Facilities in Beijing

The below information is not an endorsement of any one group or individual – it is just information provided for the convenience of the American Traveler.

Foreign Medical Care and Medical Evacuation Insurance: – Embassy encourages purchase of these policies.  Some insurance providers have staff in China to assist in case of emergency.  Always care the insurance documents with you.

Local Police, Registration, Arrest and Detainment

  • Register with Local Authorities: If you are not staying at a hotel, you must register with local authorities right away, even if staying with relatives or friends.
  • Crime Victim: If you are the victim of a crime, contact the local police, not the Embassy.
  • Arrest or Detainment:  If you are arrested or detained, request to call the American Embassy.  You may not be allowed until questioning is completed.

Click here to download the PDF Version to print and carry with you.

Map to the US Embassy in Beijing
*This is a map of the Embassy neighborhood.  It also has the Chinese names so you can show this directly to a taxi driver.



Click here to download the PDF Version to print and carry with you.

Last Revised on April 28th, 2012

Beijing, Happy Smoggy New Year of the Horse!

Welcome to the New Year with a Fit of Coughing!

Fireworks can add to the smog levels to a city that already have a smog problem.

Just look at that jump in the smog levels between Midnight and One O’clock in the morning.


Get a Look At These Beijing Fireworks!

Chinese take their fireworks serious when it comes to celebrating the Lunar New Year.

The following video shows fireworks being set off in Beijing for the 2013 to 2014 New Years Day.  It gives you a flavor of what fun they had making all that smoke.  It starts slow, but hang in there to get some up close action at around the 5 minutes mark.  Like a mix between the Star Wars Ion Cannon and the War of the Worlds.

VIDEO: Beijing Park Elder Choir Music with Short Slideshow

I ran across a choir of importuned Chinese workers and retirees singing in the park that is part of the Temple of Heaven complex. I did get a recording, but have been unable to find it.

It was probably not very good anyway, as I was a little shy about recording them. Just imagine that you got together with some old friends to sing communist songs from your youth, and some foreign devil is recording you. That is what I imagined they thought of me. So I recorded without the recorder being visible.

Anyway, that is why I was happy to find this recording on the internet of a similar choir singing in a Beijing park. It is not very long, but I still enjoy listening to it. Someone told me they were singing about Chairman Mao, but I don’t have the actual words.

I put some of my Beijing pictures together so that you had a slideshow to watch while listening. ENJOY!

YouTube Version: Watch this if you have access to Youtube

Local Website Version: Watch if you don’t have access to YouTube

Beijing Capital International Airport Set to Become Busiest in the World

 China is growing at a torrid pace as a market for domestic air travel.  Add in the increasing international flights coming into its main airports, and the “hubs” are getting even busier.

Beijing Capital International Airport, the main one for the nation’s capital, is rapidly approaching the title of the busiest airport on Planet Earth.

Want proof?  Beijing Capital has gone from 15 million passengers in 1995 to 78.7 million in 2011.  That is an average increase of 10.92% per year.  That is IN SPITE OF the economic crisis that started in 2008.

Now, the annual average increase may not sound like much, but it has put BCIA within striking distance of bumping Atlanta Hartsfield out of the #1 spot.  Atlanta has held that position for 15 years, but will not much longer.

Atlanta Hartsfield is expected to continue to grow its total passenger seats slowly.  Beijing will continue to grow passenger seats at a faster pace, due to China’s rising middle class.  Opinions vary, but expect this change in leadership to happen sometime within the next 3 years, maybe even this year.

The Factors and Ramifications

Charisse Jones, writing for USA Today, covers some important facts about China’s air travel growth and the implications that it holds for the future.  Beijing’s chief airport is and will be at the center of this growth.

I am just going to summarize a few facts and implications from Charisse’s article.

Middle Class Numbers Are Rising
The ability of the Chinese to afford travel has been rising.  This growing middle class will want to travel more, both for business and pleasure.

Number One Future Aircraft Purchaser
China will be the number one buyer of aircraft from Boeing, and most likely Airbus.  In addition, China’s own companies are developing commercial planes to fill part of this need.  The estimated need from Boeing is for 5,260 new planes by 2032.

Pilots, Pilots, They Need Pilots
All those new planes are going to need competent pilots, 71,300 of them.  China will have a hard time growing that many new pilots domestically, so they are soliciting foreign pilots to come and fly for them.  This means that the communist state is even offering inducements and loosening requirements to get those pilots.

Increase in Brand Spanking New Airports
China is building new large airports at a rapid pace.   In the last 4 years, 24 new airports have gone into operation.  As new domestic airports come on line, the major international airports such as Beijing and Shanghai will get even more connecting flights.

With more connecting flights, Beijing will need even more gates.  A new airport with 6 runways to supplement BCIA is being planned for the Beijing area, with expected operation starting in 2017.

Expansion of US Carrier Flights
American based carriers are not sitting still.  They are licking their lips to sell seats to these new potential customers.  The flyers will need long haul flights to and from China.  United, American, and Delta are all increasing the number of flights to major Chinese cities.

Beijing’s Dominance In Air Travel is Inevitable

It may be this year, or next, but the collision of all the above factors will assuredly land Beijing Capital International on top of all airports worldwide.  Can  Beijing keep up with the load of passengers and gates?  It has so far, and hopefully will continue to be able to handle the ever larger crush of humanity passing through its halls.

Original Source(s)


Chinese Choose Obama

I don’t go into politics every often on this blog.  Certainly, internal politics in the Communist Party of China will effect tourist policies over time.  If I see something that I think is affecting current travel conditions, then I will bring that to your attention.

This time, though, I am commenting on the opinion of Chinese people as it regards the American presidential election.  I find it very interesting that the Chinese have such a specific leaning toward President Obama.  Now to be fair, most of Europe also has the same bias toward Obama.  Romney gets little love outside the United States.

In this article, the LA Times is actually reporting poll results reported by Global Times and Sina Weibo.  The Global Times is a major Chinese newspaper aligned with the Chinese Communist Party.  Sina Weibo is the largest Twitter type service in mainland China.  AFP-Ipsos appears to be a research group out of Hong Kong, though I am not sure if that branch in Hong Kong was responsible for the poll listed below.

Poll Results

The Global Times and Sina Weibo polls were taken early Tuesday morning China time, well before the election polls opened in the United States.  The AFP-Ipsos poll was from late September.

So, what were the results of the polls?  Here they are:

Source Persons Polled % For Obama
Global Times
4,500+ 81%
Sina Weibo
2,500+ 78%
Late Sept, 2012
800 63%


Personal Opinions Expressed

Some of the reasons given by different persons:

  • Best for Asian Economic Growth
  • Better for Peace and Prosperity in Asia
  • Best for Peace around the World

Do You Detect a Theme There? 

Peace Peace Peace.   That is the theme that I am seeing from the respondents’ comments.  I think it is centered around the desire of the Chinese people to continue advancing their lot in life. Peace is important to Stable trade.  Stable trade really is important to the Chinese, as it is to most people, and Obama is perceived as the best person to keep trade relations steady.

I don’t blame the Chinese rank and file for wanting peace.  “I” want peace when possible.  I just don’t agree that Obama is the best choice, given the need for bring our American government under control.  I personally voted for Romney.

How Does This Affect Foreign Tourism and Foreigners Working in China?

The presidential elections in the US should have no effect on the influx of tourist into China.  Given that Obama was elected for a second term, I expect that chances of any new US government policy that will cause the Chinese to restrict tourism is remote.

By and large, I don’t see any change in the ability of foreign tourist to go to, and move within, mainland China.  There are difficulties right now traveling inside Beijing, give the temporary restrictions imposed during the 18th Congress meeting and generational changeover in power.  I expect those restrictions will be eased over the winter, and spring will bring the same friendly tourist environment that we have enjoyed since the 2008 Olympics.

For foreign workers inside China, the environment may proved to be a bit less friendly than the past.  I have no direct knowledge of any new restrictions, but the Beijing Police crackdown this year does indicate that workers overstaying their visas will be tolerated less than before.  So, make sure you do not just “hang” out after your visa expires.

The Chinese Got Their Wish

Yes, Obama was elected.  The Chinese people will feel more at ease with US policy under him than Romney.  Let’s hope that China itself will not break the peace and stable trade that its own people want so badly.

Leave a comment, and let me know what you think.

5 Unique Museums for Unique People

Beijing Police Museum (Old National City Bank of New York)

If you are tired of the main tourist sites, then here are some “different” museums that might interest you.  They are very specific, but maybe you have a passion for the topic(s). Thanks to over at the Beijinger for bringing these museums to my attention.

For a list of opening hours and costs, please go the full article at The Beijinger.

Take Along a Chinese Friend or Guide

One thing that the article does not mention is the availability of English speakers to help you understand what you are seeing.  I know the police museum had no external English signs indicating that it was a museum.  You would probably enjoy these places more if you bring along a friend or guide that can translate the signs for you.

Here is a brief summary of these unique places.

Beijing Police Museum

This one is in the old Foreign Legation Quarter, at 36 Dongjiamin Xiang.  The history of law enforcement in Beijing from the Han Dynasty to the Present.  There are over 8000 artifacts to view, amongst over things.  If you have a passion for police work, you will love this place.  In fact, it is located just on the north side of Beijing’s Municipal Police Headquarters.

*The interesting side note here for those researching the Foreign Legation is that the museum is in the old National City Bank of New York building.  I have seen the building from the outside, though I did not know its current function at the time.

Beijing Cui Yongping Art Museum of Leather-Silhouette Show

If you really want to see how a Chinese shadow paper puppet show works, you can see it here.  There are all the tools and puppets to make a show work, and you can look at the art of creating such show pieces.

If you come at the right time, you can catch the once-per-day actual performance.  I would think this would be a great place to take your children, or your date, or your “significant other”.

Find it at Unit 4, Bldg 16, Jinqiao Garden, Majuqiao, Tongzhou District.

*Though I have not been there, the show should be of the same fashion as the shadow puppet show featured in The Karate Kid.  No, the actual movie was not filmed there, so don’t expect that to see the same theater that you saw in the movie.

Beijing Tap Water Museum

This should be very interesting for water treatment engineers from anywhere in the work.  Beijing, being so ancient, has a water system that is patched together.  Many advise to not drink the water, as it is not uniformly treated as it is in other countries.  If you have a curiosity about how they do treat the water in Beijing, then this is the place for you.

Enter at 6A Dongzhimenwai Beidajie, Dongcheng District

Beijing David’s Deer Park Museum

Apparently, the native deer went extinct at the beginning of the 20th century.  Deer were re-introduced in 1985 to this park area.  There is a viewing platform to observe the deer.  There is also a even stranger museum area called the World Extinct Animals Cemetery.  I wonder if they have a sign for the Yeti in there.

On the Milu Road (near Jiuzhong Lu), San Haizi, Lu Quan, Daxing District.

Shengxifu Hat Museum

If you wanted to know what hats were in fashion among the different classes of Chinese peoples over thousands of year… whew, that is a long sentence, then this is the fashion time machine.  Here they have over 5000 pieces of noggin toppers.

It is located at Qianmen Dajie.

That Is Not All

Beijing has lots of these little museums.  I will post more as I find them, if they are quirky enough.  If you have run into a couple no on here, feel free to comment below.

Don’t Try This Style of Left Turn In America

 So, I was tooling through twitter, and found this gem that Cam MacMurchy ‏(@zhongnanhai) had retweeted.  This is a left turn method that apparently is normal in Beijing.

Left Turning in Formation – Like the Blue Angels Might if Driving Cars

Ever felt frustrated that you are stuck in the left turn lane and it looks like F-O-R-E-V-E-R before you will get to turn?  Well, here is how the opportunistic drivers in Beijing, China, deal with it.  In fact, I will refer to this as the “Freight Training” technique.

The amazing thing is that, if everyone is playing by the same rules, it works.  Though us western folks seeing this are dropping our false teeth on the sidewalks (or back of the cab if in the “A” group of cars).  *Note : I don’t have false teeth – its just an expression.

Yet Another Traffic Scene From the Same Guy, Henry B.

Here is another traffic situation, that is utter chaos.  Get ready to “weep” with laughter.  Drivers will take any “break” in traffic to turn.  Sometimes, that results in hilarity, especially if you add in the hapless pedestrians, and bicycles.  

England Has a Form of This “Freight Training” Too

Look, I know this is a blog about China stuff.  But I just have to add this about “traffic circles” as it is similar in nature to the examples above.

In England, they love traffic circles.  In America, we have stop lights, 2 way stops, and 4 way stops, mostly.  But most open roads in England use traffic circles. 

Typically, traffic circle trans-versing would happen as follows.  Assume here a traffic circle serving the intersection of 2 roads.  I would enter the traffic circle to the left as they drive on the left.  I would normally go past the first exit and then take the second exit to continue on the same road I was on before. No straight through in England.  You have to transverse the traffic circle.  So, if I was going north before getting to the traffic circle, I end up going north after leaving the traffic circle. Ok, that is normal operation of a traffic circle.

Driving on the wrong side of the road in itself is bad enough.  But having to deal with traffic circles at the same time is even worst, as the default tendency is to turn right.  So, mentally, you are on edge the entire time, just more so at the traffic circles.

So, here is the “freight-training” that happened.  Traffic circles are not too bad if there is normal traffic.  However, if rush hour is on, the following occurs.  I am on Road B, attempting to get to the airport to catch my flight in the early morning.  I have lots of time to get to the airport, turn in my car, and get to my gate. Nerves are not too “frayed” yet.

Just before I get to the circle, Road B traffic loses its ability to enter the circle, as Road A has long line of cars entering the city.  Once Road A takes control of the circle, the A line of cars “freight-train” into the circle and out the opposite side. Nerves starting to itch a bit.

The Road A cars do not even slow down to consider yielding upon entering the circle; they know they have control.  This completely blocks the Road B cars from even moving into the circle.  This goes on for 40 minutes…  One continuous pile-through. 40 long agonizing minutes while my nerves tense, stretch, and break. Road B cars (and me losing my cool) are stationary as all those city workers hog (and I mean HOG) the traffic circle. Nerves have completely snapped at this point, and I need a complete replacement set.

When I can finally enter the circle to continue on the same road, I am now late for the airport.  I had plenty of time before, but now I am rushing. 

That right there convinced me that traffic circles should be used sparingly.  Thank goodness, we do just that in America. 

Now, I know why they outlaw guns in England.  Traffic circles alone would prompt several killings a year.

Thanks for reading.  I have waited 24 years to get that out.  Hmmm, I feel better.  Now, back to Beijing driving comments…

Take a Cab in Beijing

Don’t you even think about driving yourself as a tourist in Beijing.  You don’t understand the “mystery” rules, the hidden art.  Elsewhere in the blog, I called taxi driving in Beijing a type of Controlled Chaos.  The Cabbies do know how to drive in that chaos.  Let them do the driving.

Social Causes : Supporting China’s Homeless Childern

 If you are like me, you are always looking for a cause to be part of.

Helping children in need is one of the biggest I can think of.

While this is a travel blog about Beijing specifically, some of you like to incorporate social causes into your travel.  So, here is a heads up on a worthy social cause in China.  Helping China’s children who are stolen and sold, or just homeless.

China, like many countries (even the US), has a problem with children being kidnapped and sold  And there are a lot of homeless children on the streets too.  You may see them begging as you are enjoying the richness of Chinese history.

Now, begging children is not unique to China.  If you go anywhere in Asia, you will find beggars at every tourist spot.  And some will be very aggressive.  China, however, does not have the aggressive beggars that you see everywhere else.  They do have aggressive peddlers, though, as you will find out.  I think I only saw one beggar at the exit from the Forbidden City, and he was playing an instrument, so he gave some music in return.  However, they are there, begging from the Chinese themselves.

Do Something for the Children of the World, If Not China’s Specifically

Sure, I can hear what many are going to say.  US and Great Britain, and Australia have children in need.  Sure, all countries have children that need help.  You better be helping them instead of just sitting in front of your big screen TV watching American football, or World football (soccer), or rugby, or NASCAR, or New Jersey Housewives, or Doctor Who.  Think I got just about all segments of people there.  A lot of people complain about aid outside their own country, but don’t actually aid anyone inside their own country.

To my understanding, God does not check for a nationality tattoo on children.  So, why should you?  Help children where ever you are.  That is a simple way of putting it.

However, if you are reading this, you have some interest in China.  If you want to be of help to children in China, then here an opportunity.

Supporting Film-making a Way to Get the Word Out

Living With Dead Hearts is a documentary that is being shot in China by Charles Custer under the name of Songhua Films.  He is accepting donations to cover production costs.  Despite the trailer mention of release in 2012, the official website now says 2013.  Watch the trailer and see if you want to be part of it.  I am sure that Charles does not mind if you contact him to make sure he is real, and not a ripoff artist.

He does mention a shelter in the trailer that he gives 20% of all donations to.  Check below for information on that center.

I don’t know Charles personally.  Check out the China Geeks website, though, and you will see that he has a legacy.  He isn’t just a starving film maker that is looking for a handout.  So, make your own decision if you want to be involved.

Refuge with Education, Counseling, and Field Trips for Rescued Kids

As Charles relates in China Geeks, there are several shelters in major Chinese cities.  But XinXing Aid Center is one that is run on donations.  It has other advantages for the children that the other centers do not supply. More there than just a bed and food.

Specifically, children get counseling for their experiences with abandonment, slavery, prostitution, or whatever they have been manipulated into doing.  And, it is also a school providing a good education, equipping the kids for a future.

Giving can be by bank draft, or arranged through Charles above.

Again, I don’t know these people personally.  I am relying on Charles here.  Make your own judgement if you are willing to help.

There are Other Ways to Help Children

This is not, of course the only way to help homeless and kidnapped children in China.  If you run across any that you think are worthy, then send the information in the contact form to me.  If I can confirm the info, and it looks legit, I will consider putting it on this page.

The Karate Kid Filming Locations

Entering the Emperor's Forbidden City (The Karate Kid - Copyright 2010 - Sony Pictures)

I have always had this fascination with movie making and filming locations.  Not quite sure why.  Maybe because….   I don’t know.  It’s hard to psycho-analyze yourself.  LOL

I had a trip planned to Beijing.  As The Karate Kid was made in Beijing for the most part, and I really liked the movie, I decided to see what I could find.

I took an afternoon while in Beijing and looked up some filming locations for The Karate Kid.  Having done some research before getting there, I had figured out where some of them were.  Some I had already seen such as the Forbidden City. It turned out to be fun afternoon, but I am sure my taxi driver probably thought I was crazy.  He got to see the locations as well, but I don’t think he understood what movie I was talking about.  His English was very minimal.  Still, he was a good sport and helped me take pictures.

It was ironic that they showed The Karate Kid on national tv for the first time, while I was there.  Maybe he saw it and recognized the locations.

🙂 Want to see this Great Movie again?  Click here to purchase from Amazon!

So, here is the locations that I found.  Most are confirmed through extensive research, and some are my best guess.  I have marked them on a Google map for Beijing, and a Google map for the Great Wall, just in case you want to find them yourself.  Enjoy.

Beijing Filming Locations

Here is a map with locations in Beijing that were used to film The Karate Kid. I have not found all locations, but I have most pinned on the map.

**Should be viewed in Satellite View as Map View does not line up.

Location Legend:   Fengtai Sports Center   Beijing Luxun Middle School
The Forbidden City    Capital International Airport   O-G-B-Fun
751 D-Park Arts Quarter   Beijing Shaolin Wushu School    Beijing Film Studio 

Click on pins for info   Zoom in to see stacked pins   Full info below map   Click here for larger map

View The Karate Kid Filming Locations in Beijing on a larger map

Most of the locations from the movie have been located, and marked on the map.  There is a studio outside Beijing where interior sets were used for some scenes, such as Dre’s apartment interior, the CheChe Festival, and the school auditorium.  So, don’t expect to see those on the map above.

  Fengtai Sports Center 
#8 Fengti South Road, Fengtai
This athletic facility includes a baseball stadium and a badminton/volleyball hall.  Some of the 2008 Olympics softball games were played here.

Kung Fu Tournament – Fengtai Sports Center ??
The chance for Dre to finally make his enemies respect him, or die trying.  Maybe the Badminton Gym was used for this, but not sure. That building does not seem to be square enough.  Not confirmed on ground, but in film credits.

  Beijing Luxun Middle School 
#45 Xin Wen Hua Jie (New Culture Street), XiCheng District, Beijing
This location is the Former Beijing Women’s Normal College, a place where women teachers were trained.  Today, it is actually an active middle school.  The front gate and the exercise ground are both here.  The auditorium was reported to actually be a studio set at the new movie studio, not the Beijing Film Studios referenced below, so don’t expect to find it here.  This one took a lot of time to find.  *The current middle school is named after Lu Xun, a famous Chinese teacher and writer.

Dre’s Middle School #1 – Front Gate – Beijing Luxun Middle School
Here is the scene where Dre and his mother first meet his teacher at the school.  Also where he and Meiying escape for their afternoon of O-G-B-Fun.  Confirmed by satellite image.
Additional notes about Beijing *Luxun Middle School: 

Dre’s Middle School #2 – Exercise Ground – Beijing Luxun Middle School
The school exercise scene where Dre and Meiying’s have the conversations about his need for a good teacher for the tournament. Confirmed by satellite image.

  The Forbidden City 
Chang’an Ave
This massive palace complex is almost 600 years old.  Finished in 1420, this was the home of the Ming Emperors from 1420 to 1644.  At that time, a new dynasty was started called the Qing Emperors.  They lived here until early part of the 20th century.  This awesome wonder is known all over the world, so it made a great background for some of the movie’s scenes.  **Once you enter the Forbidden City on the south entrance, you have to go through and exit the north entrance.  That is a considerable distance from where you went in.  It is “one-way” only.  Plan for that.

Forbidden City #1 – Tiananmen Gate Entrance
This is where the school group gathered outside Tiananmen Gate, and then entered the Forbidden City.  This is the normal tourist entrance for everyone.  They almost got in trouble with the local security while filming here.  Location personally confirmed.

Forbidden City #2 – Entrance to Hall of Supreme Harmony Courtyard
This is where the school group goes through the massive red doors reserved for the Emperor.  They go though in the direction of north. You can see the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the background.  These doors are normally sealed with a tourist information desk in front of them.  It must have been special for the film crew to get permission to use them.  Dre’s and Meiying’s conversation is shot here.  Shooting time was very limited due to tourist hours, so shooting was finished elsewhere in the Forbidden City.  Location personally confirmed.  As a side note, this structure that  has the doors they are passing though is actually known as the Hall of Central Harmony (or Preserving Harmony; I have seen it listed both ways).

Forbidden City #3 – Secondary Filming of Emperor’s Red Door
The scene where the camera is looking down the door from the top was shot here.  You can tell this is a different door as there are not gold horizontal plates at the bottom as there are on the door in Forbidden City #2.  You are not supposed to notice that it is a different door, but I am sure they had to move to this one as it was easier to shoot this shot.  Plus, they were pressed for time as this was a major tourist attraction.  Location personally confirmed.

Forbidden City #4 – Dre conversation with Teacher
The teacher speaks to Dre and asks if anything is wrong.  Camera is looking south southwest and you can see the battlement ramps in the background.  Location personally confirmed.

  Capital International Airport 
This is the main airport for Beijing.  It has more than one terminal, but everything that appears in the movie seems to have been filming in the main entrance hall for the brand new Terminal 3.

Airport Statue – Capital International Airport Terminal #3
The center of the entrance hall on the upper level has the “globe with 4 dragons” statue.  This is actually called the Ziwei Chenheng, and is a replicate of a statue from 117 AD (or CE if you really hate religion that badly).  The statue correct shows the rotation of the sun, moon, and stars and was driven by a water gear.  If you fly China Air or United into Beijing, you will pass through this hall.  Location personally confirmed.

Airport Pickup by Guide – Capital International Airport Terminal #3 ??
This is where the female guide met Dre and his mother.  I was unable to confirm exactly where “Station 5” was, but it was in this hall somewhere, I think.  Location not confirmed, but probable.

 O-G-B-Fun Locations
Trey and Meiying have a great time skipping school and go to several places in Beijing.  Here is a list of them.

O-G-B-Fun #1 – Possible WangFuJing Scorpion Scene
This would be where Meiying threatens Dre with a stick of scorpions.  This is only a possible location as exotic food stalls are located in more than one place on WangFuJing Street.  This is one of the more probably ones as it appears to be a pedestrian street in the movie, and this one is listed as WangFuJing Pedestrian Street.  Location not confirmed.

O-G-B-Fun #2 – Watercube Olympic Fountains
This is the second place that Dre and Meiying go for the afternoon of fun.  They play in the fountains and Dre attempts to get Meiying to “see” her reflection in the pool of water.  Location confirmed by satellite map.

O-G-B-Fun #3 – Jingshan Park
This is where Dre and Meiying overlook the Forbidden City to the south.  She gets the call that the audition time has changed and rushed away.  This is at foot of the Wanchun Pavilion, on the south side, on top of the hill in Jingshan Park.  Location personally confirmed.

 751 D-Park Arts Quarter
798 Art District, Chaoyang
A fairly new arts district that has been created from some industrial buildings on the northeast side of Beijing.  You will pass this going from the main airport to central Beijing.

Train Exteriors – D-Park 751 Train
This is the train cars used for the train exteriors where Dre and Mr Han travel to and from Wudang Mountain.  Perhaps they used the train interiors, but I expect they built that is a sound stage where they could control the lighting better.  Research lead me to this conclusion.  Location not confirmed.

 Beijing Shaolin Wushu School 
No.386, Changping Road, Dewai Xisanqi Hui Long Guan
This is a large kung fu school in the northwest part of Beijing.  I did get a chance to visit there and briefly tour the campus.  The school is actually accessed from the south parking area in front of the main dorm.  You can get a picture of the front of the south entrance from across the street, but no areas inside or behind the school are accessible. **Please note – the school was not prepared to receive any visitors, especially English speaking.   It is not advisable to even try.  They were kind to me, but definitely did not want to show me around.

Wushu School #1 – Watertower – Beijing Shaolin Wushu School
This is the water tower that Dre sees that leads him and his mother into the Wushu school of his enemy.  **Note – this is a private parking area and is not accessible.  The water tower can be viewed from the street on the north of the railroad tracks.  Location personally verified.

Wushu School #2 – Main Gate – Beijing Shaolin Wushu School
This is the main gate that Dre and his mother walk through.  This is in reality a back gate. Location personally confirmed. **Note – this is a private parking area and is not accessible.

Wushu School #3 – Practice Field – Beijing Shaolin Wushu School
This is the main practice field where Dre and his mother see all the students out doing their movements in unison.  Very impressive scene.  **Read warning above. Location personally confirmed.

Wushu School #4 – Interior Gym – Beijing Shaolin Wushu School
This is where we first see that Cheng is being instructed at this school.  Dre, of course, is discouraged by this.  This is also where Dre and Mr. Han come later to ask for peace, and end up committing to the Kung Fu tournament.  ** Read warning above. Location personally confirmed.

 Beijing Film Studio 
#77 N. 3rd Ring Road West, Haidian
This is the old Beijing Film Studio where many of the Chinese Communist films were made in the past.  Much of The Karate Kid was filmed here  .  Unfortunately, it is being demolished as the land has been sold for development.  Therefore, many of the locations listed below no longer exist.  Jackie Chan said it was the last movie to be filmed there.  Maybe they made in some more after TKK.

Mr Han’s Home – Beijing Film Studios
Film set on the backlot.  Custom built from previous sets.  Location confirmed through unnamed methods.

Playground Outside Trey’s Apartment – Beijing Film Studios
This is where Dre plays ping-pong, plays basketball, meets Meiying, and fights with Cheng, all on the first day.  Ha.  Busy fellow.  The location for the playground (or park as Harry calls it) is not the actual green area that you see in front of the apartment building.  A little Hollywood switch-a-roo.  I will say that those ping pong tables are massively sturdy, having seen them with my own eyes.   Location personally confirmed.

Beverly Hills Luxury Apartment – Beijing Film Studios
This is where Dre and his mother move into apartment 305.  My understanding is that the actual set used for the apartment interior was not in this building.  Not sure, but I think the apartment mailbox is there.  Location personally confirmed.

Mr. Han’s “Office” – Beijing Film Studios
This is where Dre first meets Mr. Han, as he is attempting to get help with the hot water.  This was definitely attached to the building used as the exterior of the apartment building.  Unable to confirm if it was a temporary construct or still present.  Location confirmed through unspecified methods.

Apartment Building Rear Gated Area – Beijing Film Studios
This is where Dre is pursued by Cheng and his gang, and Mr. Han intervenes to save him.  This area is definitely behind the building used as the exterior of the apartment building.  Whether the 2 sets of gates themselves were added for the movie and then removed, I was unable to confirm.  Location confirmed by unspecified means.

Rooftop Laundry Area – Beijing Film Studios
This is where Mr. Han trains Dre in “anticipation” defense.  The area is the rooftop of the same building used as the exterior of Dre’s apartment building.  He did the “splits” in the northwest corner of the rooftop.  Location confirmed through unspecified methods.

Cheng Jumping Wall at Gate 19 – Beijing Film Studios
Cheng jumps over the wall after Dre wires the handle of Gate 19.  In fact, I think most of that “pursuit” sequence was shot at Beijing Film Studios.  Certainly, from that scene on through the race through the hanging laundry.  Location confirmed through unspecified means.

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Great Wall Filming Locations (Mutianyu Great Wall)

View The Karate Kid Filming Locations at the Great Wall (Mutianyu) in a larger map

The dramatic aerial scene with the Great Wall moving underneath was super impressive. Of course, the camera comes to rest on Dre and Mr Han training on top of a large tower. This turns out to be Tower 14 of the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. I have marked some parts of the wall, and the way that the film crew would have gotten to the wall itself.

Top of Tower Training Location – Tower 14 – Mutianyu Great Wall
This is the tower that you see Dre and Mr Han standing on.  When I visited the tower, there was no visible means to get on top.  No latter, stone steps, etc.  So don’t expect to be able to “reproduce” the training scene on top of the tower.  Location personally confirmed.

General Helicopter Flyover Route – Mutianyu Great Wall
This is the path that the helicopter flies over to give that dramatic opening shot to the Great Wall.

Film Crew Access to the Wall – Mutianyu Great Wall Cable Car Path
Though there was at least 1 helicopter available for part of the Great Wall shoot, economics probably dictated that most or all gear and personnel came up by the cable cars.  It was a much longer ride than I expected.  You can actually hike to the wall if you want, but it is quite a hike.

Chinese Characters on Side of Mountain – Mutianyu Great Wall
These characters were added since 2000 as a workers tribute to Chairman Mao.  You can see them clearly during the Great Wall scenes. They spell out “Long Live Chairman Mao!”, a sentiment still shared by a large part of the Chinese population.

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National Museum of China, 28 Exhibition Halls of History

Beijing Travel Report National Museum Front

The BIG museum on Beijing, the National Museum

28 Exhibition Halls.  Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it?  Better bring some great walking shoes.

I did not get to see the National Museum of China on my last trip, as I was covering the major attractions.  I hope to see it next time.  Here is a taste so you can make up your mind how important it would be to your list of stuff to see.  Read on and Continue reading