Beijing Travel Guide: 798 Art District

No, this blog post is not about china plate or vase that seems to be mundane for most millennials nowadays (at least to me). Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of art, but the kind of art pieces that would catch my attention would be those contemporary art pieces. There is just something about them that get me lost in time in endless enjoyment. That was exactly what happened in 798 Art District where I lost myself in a district full of museums, galleries, art shops and exhibitions on my left and right.  

Names after the 798 factory that was built in 1950, this art district is located in the north side of Beijing. As closed as China towards the outside world through its internet censorship policies, China is actually very welcoming of art pieces from all over the world. 798 Art district itself is a home to many art creations from countries in all five continents. This 148 acres (60 hectares) of art district will surely satisfy your true longings for good pieces of art. Well, at least I was so satisfied walking around the district. 

As I entered the gate, I could already see some remarkable art decorations on the street. Some were creatively made out of junk and some others were made by renown local artists. These two that I managed to capture in the midst of my admiration were made out of beautifully shaped melted copper. People are truly amazing!

Some melted copper art that I found in 798 Art District.

As I walked further into the heart of the district, I found a lot more small shops ranging from clothing, table decorations and even cassette tapes.  Some were just a shop with very reasonable pricing while some others were gigantic shops with huge mark ups. This is where your bargaining skill is needed, especially if you are shopping in the small stalls and booths.

To get around, you can rent bicycles with a tap of a WeChat barcode. You better forget about this idea if you are not traveling with a local. Using WeChat for payment is too complicated for tourists, but some locals were nice enough to lend me their rented bike! Since WeChat payment is so popular in the district, ATM access is quite far from the location. Make sure you have enough cash before entering the district. It's too bad you can't rent a bicycle with cash money.
Vinyls and cassettes on sale.
Even the windows are artistic.
An artsy restaurant in the district.

Other than shopping, there were many restaurants to try in the district. These restaurants would be quite expensive for any backpackers, yet they are the only ones available in the district area. If you want to save to shop more, you might want to consider bringing your own lunch. 

An old and empty book shop. Apparently books are not very popular in China.
The sun was setting and I was walking out of the district to get back to my hotel. That was when I found an artist, sitting on the street side while making small animal miniatures from leaves. It caught my father's attention so much that we actually sat and watched him work for 30 minutes before we bought one of his creations. I was so inspired upon the realisation that the world is a huge exploration space for the true creators. 

Made from leaves.
Taking a day in 798 Art District would be very much encouraged. It will fill up your creative juices even more and it will get you inspired. If it doesn't, at the very least you will get countless Instagrammable OOTD photos! The walls are picturesque enough that you don't need a lot of effort to get a good photo. But make sure that you have the right designated photographer, rather than a passerby, to capture your moment. That was my mistake.
When a stranger captures your photo.
See you in my next post! I truly can't wait to travel to Sydney again in 2 weeks!

Share this:

, , , , , ,