Neighborhoods In Brief

Citywide architectural uniformity means Beijing's neighborhoods are defined more by feel than by appearance. In many cases, but not all, they correspond to districts (qu). Dongcheng District Dongcheng (East City) occupies the eastern half of the city center, generally defined as everything inside the Second Ring Road and north of Chang'an Dajie. This is where Tian'an Men Square, the Forbidden City, Wang-fujing Dajie, Jing Shan Gongyuan, and Yonghe Gong (the Lama Temple) are located.

Xlcheng District The western half of the city center is home to Zhong Nan Hai, the off-limits central government compound otherwise known as the new Forbidden City, Bei Hai Gongyuan, and Bai Ta Si (White Dagoba Temple). The Back Lakes (Shicha Hai) & Di'an Men This area, with its sublime public lakes and well-preserved hutong, is where the last fading ghosts of Old (pre-1949) Beijing reside. It's popular among writers, musicians, English-language teachers, and other hipsters in the expatriate community, and their presence has helped spawn a bevy of bars and cafes (see "Beijing After Dark," later in this chapter). Several minor sights here provide excuses for a nice day of wandering (see "Walking Tour: The Back Lakes," p. 110).

Chaoyang District A gargantuan district that encompasses almost all of eastern and northeastern Beijing outside the Second Ring Road, Chaoyang is home to the two main diplomatic areas, the Sanlitun and Chaoyang drinking districts, and the Central Business District (CBD) around the China World Trade Center. This is the richest district in Beijing, the result, according to some, of the district's good fengshu.

The South If Chaoyang has Beijing's best fengshu, the south part of the city—composed of Chongwen, Xuanwu, and Fengtai districts—has the worst. Squalid since the city's founding, this is Haidian District Occupying the where you'll find the city's grittiest northwest, this is the university and hutong and some of its best bargains high-tech district, referred to in on fake antiques. This is also where local media as "China's Silicon Val-

you'll find the Temple of Heaven ley." There is hiking in the hills in

(Tiantan). more distant parts.

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