Shao Yuan Guest House at Peking University
I always have sweet memories of my stays at the Peking University Shao Yuan Guest House 北京大學勺園賓館. It offers a completely different life style and experience.
I like to stay here despite of its distance from the city. Not only it refreshes me of my school days, there are several other reasons that I like this place. None of the hotels in Beijing gives me a similar feeling of living in a traditional ancient Chinese little town.
Peking University itself is a very scenic site and it is associated with a lot of historic events among such the May 4th Movement in 1919 is the most famous. If you love Chinese history, this is a must-see place.
Shao Yuan Guest House
It comprises of several blocks, with its front desk at Block 7, which is also named Zheng Da International Centre 北京大学正大国际中心. This hotel is for foreign students, but is also opened to the public at very economic rates. My last trip here was Christmas 2007 when I paid only ¥320 nett for a double room - extremely good value for the money. Though there is nothing five-star, but it is clean, tidy, safe and the rooms are well equipped, just like any other hotels in the city of at least three-star rating.
Staying at Shao Yuan Guest House makes the exploring of Peking University easy. You might want to reserve half a day for a campus tour. This little classic ancient town has shops, restaurants, post offices, banks, hospitals and almost anything you need for your daily life. Walking in the school garden makes you feel like walking in a traditional ancient Chinese garden. I must say it is very scenic everywhere. Its main entrance at the West Gate is even a very hot photogenic spot. It is not easy to take a photo here. If you want to, better wake up early and you will face fewer competitors.
The To-Be-Named Lake is another must-see within the Peking University campus. We even skied on the frozen lake when I came last Christmas. People make business by renting out ski boots. Not sure if there are boats on rent in summer. This place is extremely beautiful and the former headmaster just couldn’t name it. So ‘No name’ is actual the name of the lake.
Among the gardens and lake area, there are actually plenty of hertiages. The most famous being the Pillars and the Tilted Tail Stone Fish at the To-Be-Named Lake, both were relocated here from the Old Summer Palace after its disaster in 1860.
There are many restaurants within the campus, ranging from a few ¥ per meal to fine dining at the restaurant in Shan Yuan. You can find almost all kinds of Chinese food here. So eating is not a problem, but timing might be. You would need to adapt to a typical Chinese school life style of ‘wake up early and retire early’. Restaurants serve dinner beginning 4.30pm and close around 7.30pm. There is practically nothing to eat after 8pm. Observe your time and be prepared to cook your own cup noodle, eat something before going back to Shao Yuan, or you will be getting hungry.
Wudaokou is the nearest subway station.
From airport – Take subway to Dongzhimen, continue on Line 2 to Xizhimen and change to Line 13, get off at Wudaokou. Then change to taxi. This might take an hour. You can take taxi direct from airport. However including traffic jam, it might take approximately the same time.
You can access Shao Yuan front desk by taxi, via the West Gate of the Peking University. However unauthorized private cars are not allowed in. If your local friends are driving you back, they’ll need to drop you off at the West Gate and you would need a five-minute walk to the front desk. Taxi drivers in Beijing don’t speak much English, it is important that you print this Chinese instruction for them to take you there: 北京大學勺園賓館, 由西校門入
Neighbourhood Tourist Spots
All scenic spots at the western part of Beijing are not far away from the Peking University. Just couple of blocks away is the Summer Palace. Beijing Botanical Garden also worth a visit if you have time. However the Old Summer Palace is highly recommended and it will be just 20 minutes drive from Peking University. Xiangshan Park is also within 30 minutes drive which is a must-see if you come in autumn when the whole area turns red, with red leaves everywhere. Tsianghua University which is equally famous as the Peking University is also a few blocks away and worth a visit.
Shao Yuan Guest House unfortunately does not have an English website, however you can visit their website to browse photos of the guest rooms. You can make phone calls to do your booking. Call this number 8610-6275-2218 or send them a fax at 86-10-6275 7360.
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