Beijing is the capital city of the People’s Republic of China. As such it serves as the political and cultural center, as well as the center of international issues. The city of Beijing houses many monuments and historical sites from the imperial area. Mandarin is official language in Beijing, spoken in the Beijing dialect by the overwhelming majority of the population.
For overseas tourists visiting Beijing, there are often some language barrier problems. The Beijing government has made efforts to put English signage on all kinds of facilities for the convenience of foreign tourists.
China is a multi-ethnic and multi-language country, consisting of 56 official ethnicitities, with more than 80 different dialects and about 30 kinds of written characters.
Han is the majority ethnicity of China. The Han (Mandarin) language is commonly spoken in all parts of the country. Standard languages in modern China are divided into Mandarin and local dialects. Mandarin pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect and the Northern China dialects, and modern vernacular literature is the standard for grammatical correctness.
Apart from the Han, China's 55 ethnic minority groups accounted for 8.41% of the total population of the country. The Hui and Manchu use Mandarin as their language, while the other 53 have their own spoken languages. Some people do a lot of switching between Chinese and other ethnic languages or dialects.
Most of the signs in Beijing, Particularly at scenic spots, and on the streets, transportation, and public facilities use Mandarin and an English translation.
Telephone Codes and Zip Codes
The country code of China is 86 and the area code of Beijing is 010. To call a Beijing telephone number from other cities within China dial the area code 010 first then the phone number. To call to a cell phone just dial the number directly.
When making a local call in Beijing, no matter whether using a fixed line telephone or a cell phone, just dial the local number directly.
When calling Beijing from aboard, first dial the China county code (00+) 86, then the area code of 10 (calls from abroad to Beijing don't need the initial zero), then dial the 8-digit telephone number. Calls to China domestic cell phones from abroad required 0086 before the cell phone number.
You can make a phone call to another country from your hotel room or a street telecom booth. Calls to international numbers requirethe international access code “00” first then the country code, area code and lastly the local phone number.
Note: Dialing a 3-digit emergency number requires no city code no matter where you are within China.
Beijing Zip Code
When in Beijing, you might want to send a post card or a souvenir to your friends and family. You will be required to fill in the zip code of your locationand the address on the envelope or packaging. Beijing's Zip Code is 100000 for most districts. Some of the districts have different zip code. To know exactly where you are, you may ask the post office for the zip code of your location.
Beijing government has set up the following quick contact numbers for people in Beijing who encounter any emergency and require help from a certain department.
114 Local Telephone Number Inquiry
116 Domestic Long Distance Inquiry
117 Time Inquiry
121 Weather Forecasts
122 Traffic Police
184 Post Code Inquiry
185 Emergency Mails
There are more than one hundred countries that have established an embassy in Beijing. They function to deepen the friendship between their county and China. Some of the Embassies in Beijing are also responsible for passports, immigration, and visa-related services.
For foreign tourists in Beijing, if any emergency happens, you can ask the embassy of your country for help or asylum. Here we provide some of the major embassy addresses for tourist.
Embassy of the United States of America 美利坚合众国大使馆
Address: 3, Xiushuibei Street, Jianguomeenwai 建国门外秀水北街3号
Embassy of Australia 澳大利亚大使馆
Address: 21 Dongzhimenwai Avenue,Sanlitun 三里屯东直门外大街21号
Embassy of the United Kingmdom 英国大使馆
Address: 11 Guanghua Road, Jianguomenwai 建国门外光华路11号
Embassy of Canada 加拿大大使馆
Address: 19 Dongzhimen Avenue, Chaoyang District 朝阳区东直门外19号
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany 德国大使馆
Address: 5 Dongzhimenwai Avenue 东直门外大街5号
Embassy of Ireland 爱尔兰大使馆
Address: 3 Ritandong Road 日坛东路3号
Embassy of the Republic of Italy 意大利共和国大使馆
Address: 2 Dong’er Street, Sanlitun 三里屯东2街2号
Embassy of Malaysia 马来西亚大使馆
- Address: 13 Dongzhimenwai Avenue 东直门外大街13号
The internet now is widely used in Beijing. Most hotels, airport, and restaurants provide Wi-Fi access for people who have smart phones. Star-rated hotels often provide a business center, hotel rooms with computers, or internet cables in the rooms for laptops. Thefees for use of the internet in hotels are different. Some of the hotel provides free internet for their customers. You should ask your guide or the hotel staff before use. Internet cafes are available in many main streets in Beijing. They are popular among the local youth and the cost is quite affordable.
Fax is convenient for sending documents and information to your office or family. Most Beijing hotels provide a fax service in their business center. If not photocopying shops in many locations provide a fax service.