798 Art District, Beijing

This district is named after one of the state-owned factories – factory 798 – which, built in the 1950’s, originally produced electronics.

“Bringing together contemporary art, architecture, and culture with a historically interesting location and an urban lifestyle, “798” has evolved into a cultural concept, of interest to experts and normal folk alike, influential on our concepts of both urban culture and living space.” – official website

I’d heard about it plenty since moving to China, but it wasn’t until I finally made the effort to visit that I understood the hype. Wacky statues, intriguing exhibits, weird shops and a real sense of individuality around every corner – this is the part of Beijing that really stands out. It’s like two sides of a coin; one offers modern Chinese art and architecture, whilst the other provides a Western flare with cute cafes and familiar food. Turn that coin into chocolate and you are suddenly in for a delicious day, no matter which side you land on!

 

The well known 798 man statue
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Chairman Mao lost his head!
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Sometimes Western food is necessary
The 3D museum is also worth a visit!

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