doesn't want his picture taken, respect his wishes. Whatever the
purpose your visit may be, never forget to bring along your camera
(memorable things happen when least expected). Film developing services
are widely available in larger cities but are more expensive (in
Lhasa, Tibet, a roll of film is developed at a price of US $10).
Slides and Polaroid refills are only available in big cities. Bring
ample supplies of film and batteries.
The English-language China Daily (available daily
except Sundays) is readily available free of charge in most hotels,
and the Beijing Weekend that comes with Friday issues, features
information of interest to visitors and residents.
four-and five-star hotels have copies of the quarterly newsletter.
Welcome to Beijing in guest rooms. Shops in hotels usually offer
a wide variety of newspapers, magazines and books from Hong Kong,
Japan, Europe and the USA.
Television programmes are enlivened in recent years
with the coming of satellite broadcasts of CNN and other American
and Japanese networks. These are found in most major hotels.
channels, besides a late-evening news reported in English (10:30pm-11:30pm)
and lessons in various foreign languages, are all in Chinese, including
imported Western programmes. Local radio English broadcasts can
be heard on 1251 AM and 91.55 FM.
1. Shops are open every day of the
week, from 8 or 8.30 am to 7.30 or 8 pm (9 am- 7 pm in winter, 9
am-8. 30 pm in summer). Prices are fixed and a few of them will
have an English-speaking staff. Most shopping centres and tourist
shops also provide currency exchanging services.
The safest shopping places for foreign visitors are designated stores,
where one can always be assured of quality and reasonable prices.
Antiques: Only items dating earliest from Jia Qing's reign(1797-1820)
of the Qing Dynasty can be legally offered for sale and be cleared
for export. They should bear a small red seal or have one affixed
by the Cultural Relics Bureau in order to pass through customs. Keep
all purchase receipts. The bureau has an office in the furniture hall
of the Friendship Store which opens on Mondays and Fridays from 1:30
pm to 4:30 pm to appraise antiques. Good buys in Beijing are porcelain
(especially blue-and-white porcelain), calligraphy, paintings, jewellery
and jade, old costumes and furniture.