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bookem
09-02-2009, 11:56 PM
Will be in Beijing soon and noticed that the China Open will be there as well in October...

Anyone else going? Hints/suggestions/tips appreciated...:)

Il Mostro
09-06-2009, 10:44 AM
I am guessing you've been to Beijing before and are asking strictly about the tournament?

bookem
09-06-2009, 08:10 PM
Il Mostro,

First time to Beijing and the CO, but yes I'm asking primarily about the CO.

Hints/suggestions?

TIA!

Il Mostro
09-08-2009, 12:18 PM
I cannot offer anything specific for the CO, but having attended the Shanghai Open twice I can tell that was a first rate tournament and operated in the same fashion as any major tennis event I've been to. I assume the CO will be the same.

Although Beijing is one of my least favorite Chinese cities in terms of ambience, do make time at the very least to spend time at: The Forbidden City; The Summer Palace; Ming Tombs and The Great Wall (even though the portion closest to Beijing is not the most impressive portion). Just amazing history that will trump the tennis.

I noticed the official hotel is the Shangri La -- I have to guess it it close to the tennis center because it is a very out of the way location. I usually camp out at the Kempinski (at Lufthansa Center) because the location suits my business needs, but I would also pick it as a good overall location -- especially when I was single ;-) The Westin is a pretty good hotel and is also well located (in another part of town).

Assuming the Shangri La is near the event, I would only stay in that part of town if I were going every day. I am sure the hotel is good otherwise; the Shangri La in Pudong is my hotel of choice in Shanghai and it has never disappointed. The BAT Bar at other Shangri La hotels are a great place to go late, so if you stay there (and there is BAT on premises) be sure to check it out.

Sorry I cannot offer anything on the CO. I am sure you will have a great time.

West Coast Ace
09-08-2009, 05:22 PM
I went to the Tennis Masters Cup all 4 yrs - '05 through '08 - and have a different take than Il Mostro on China. First off, they aren't used to running big events - in '05 getting the tickets and paying for them - from across the Pacific - was like doing brain surgery with a plastic knife and fork. Secondly, the country is very new to tennis - the locals don't know the basics - like assigned seating or No Smoking in the athletic venue. Thirdly, China has huge traffic problems - and their answer to them are packing so many people on shuttle buses that they're unsafe. In the city if it's apparent that you're a visitor be ready for the constant hawking of products - some of it will be rude to the point of being aggressive - people literally grabbing you. Oh, and read up on the 'art student scam' on Wikipedia before you go so you aren't a victim...

If that hasn't scared you off, I'd recommend the Howard Johnson hotel. Don't laugh, in China it's an upscale, but not the Shangri La (I need to party with Il Mostro) 4 star for less than $100 night. And he's right about the sites - gotta check them out - Beijing is their Wash DC. I rented a car and driver and went to a part of the Great Wall about 90 min NE (I think) of the city - awesome.

And the young people are a joy - they want to meet people from the west. Some of the older people are still suspicious of Westerners.

Oh, and even after all of that, I am still going to Shanghai next month. I want to see how they handle a Masters 1000 event.

Il Mostro
09-08-2009, 07:37 PM
^^^^^
Knowing "logistics" in China, I can only imagine problems dealing with tickets from abroad. My situation was probably different than most, since I had court side section seats comped by the law firm that handles my IP issues in PRC. I've been traveling to China for so long my senses have been worn down by the smoking, spitting, lack of ques and hawkers to the point that I am numb to it. Reading your post I flash back to the hawkers near the park behind the Forbidden City -- incredibly tenacious and very "hands-on" too.

Not so much partying going on with me any more -- I have very limited KTV, sauna, and barber shop privileges these days. ;-)

bookem
09-08-2009, 09:44 PM
Mostro/WC Ace...

Thanks for the PRC hints and other suggestions. I have friends (Chinese at that) who've gone to the Masters twice in Shanghai and have heard the stories as well.

The CO, however, is in Beijing's National Tennis Center.... I've heard about the traffic, especially since it's around the National Day holiday. Am considering using the train/subway if it's reasonable to do so; otherwise, it's reading time for hours in a private car.

Mostro, hitting the Big 4 like you suggested (Wall, For City, Ming, and Tiananmen Sq)... also planning on major restos (Din Tai Fung has a Beijing branch). BTW, will also Cecil & Co at PCA for DC on the 18th!

Thanks again guys and keep those suggestions (and warnings) coming!

Il Mostro
09-09-2009, 01:00 AM
And the young people are a joy - they want to meet people from the west. Some of the older people are still suspicious of Westerners.

Agree about the young people and their openness towards lofan/gweilo. But when I am in southern China I am out with the old people early in the morning (sometimes "left-over" from the night before) playing that crazy version of hacky-sack with the rooster feathers on the bag. I am likely to be counter-balancing myself with a pijou in one hand.

drnantu
09-15-2009, 09:06 AM
As a Beijing resident who has been to CO twice, I can say that I enjoy it very much.

All the past CO were held in the tennis center at the south three ring road. But the 2009 CO will be held in the Olympic village. The birds nest and the water cube are all near by. Both are worth a visit besides the historical tourist sites such as the Forbidden City, the Wall, Summer Palace, etc.

Given the national holiday (many Beijing resident will leave Beijing for long distance vacation), I expect that the traffic will not be a problem.

Taxi is relatively cheap at 2RMB or about 30UScents / km and very convenient. If you do not speak Chinese, it is best to ask the hotel staff to write the address in Chinese and English in a piece of paper and show to the taxi driver and he will bring you there.

Oh, the traffic and the air quality are significant better after the 2008.