Lions along the ancient Luguo Bridge
Fengtai (丰台 Fēngtái) is a district in the south-west of Beijing.
If you're arriving in Beijing at Beijing West Railway Station, you'll find yourself in Fengtai. The district does not yet have its own subway line; Line 1, to the north, is currently closest.
- The Lugou Bridge (卢沟桥 Lúgōu Qiáo). Dating back to the late 1100s and spanning the Yongding River, the Lugou Bridge is both architecturally and historically important. Noted by Marco Polo in the 13th century as a "very fine stone bridge" it came to be known in the West as simply the Marco Polo Bridge. An incident between Japanese and Chinese forces here in 1937 also marked the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Near the south-west Fifth Ring Road - 20km from the center of Beijing. Subway Line 1 to Wanshoulu, then change to Bus 624; it may be far quicker by taxi or tour bus.
- Wanping Fortress (宛平城 Wǎnpíng Chéng). At the east end of the Lugou Bridge is this Ming-era defensive fortress. Shell-holes made in the 1937 Japanese attack are still visible.
Fengtai's modern face: Beijing West Station
- World Park (世界公园 Shìjiè Gōngyuán), 158 Huāxiāng Dàbǎotái 丰台区花乡大葆台158号, ☎ +86 10 83613344. Opened in 1993, this park, as seen in Jia Zhangke's film The World, contains large-scale replicas of famous buildings around the world (including Manhattan's destroyed World Trade Center towers). There are also song-and-dance shows and acrobatic displays. Not much closer to central Beijing than the Marco Polo bridge; subway Line 1 to Wukesong, then Bus 967. Adults ¥65, children and concessions ¥35.
- Dabaotai Western Han Tombs Museum (大葆台西汉墓博物馆 Dàbǎotái Xī Hàn Mù Bówùguǎn), ☎ +86 10 63736427. 9 AM - 4 PM. If you've made it all the way out to the World Park, walk 500m south and you'll find a museum at the site of the Western Han tombs discovered in 1974. ¥10, concessions ¥5.
- Lianhuachi Park (莲花池公园 Liánhuā Chí Gōngyuán), 48 Guǎngwài Liánhuāchí Road 丰台区广外莲花池路48号, ☎ +86 10 63466607. The earliest mentions of the Lianhuachi (lit. Lotus Pool) area are from the Northern Wei period (386-534). The modern park was established around the lotus pool in 1998, and has impressive flower displays. Just south-west of the West Railway Station, or about 2 km south of the Military Museum or Gongzhufen subway stops on Line 1.
Budget Hotels and Hostels
- Qiao Yuan Fandian. Located not far west from Beijing South train station. About ¥20 from Beijing Zhan (Beijing Train station) by taxi, or take buses 744 or 20; best from Qianmen near Tiananmen Square. Level 6 has a laundry, kitchen, and travel agency. Internet access is located towards the train station (look for the fish net character (网) on the signs, or ask for 'wang ba') or a few blocks away to the west near KFC, McDonalds and a supermarket. Plenty of restaurants can be found nearby, and also don't miss the Art Deco interior of the hotel/restaurant when its lit up at night (head towards KFC). There's a whopping ¥200 deposit but 4 bed dorms with A/C are reasonably priced at ¥31 or ¥260/360 for standard suites, the more expensive option in the building in the back (newer).
- Jianying Hotel (建银大厦 Jiànyín Dàshà), 2 Xizhan Nanlu 北京西站南路2号, ☎ +86 10 63266633 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . This three-star hotel is a 1km walk south from the West Station.
- Huaxiamingzhu Hotel (华夏明珠宾馆 Huáxiàmíngzhū Bīnguǎn), 120-1 Lianhuachi East Road 丰台区莲花池东路120-1号, ☎ +86 10 63955588, . Another three-star hotel, this one just to the north of the West Station.