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Recreation in Beijing

Recreational facilities are available at the International Club. There is no entrance fee or regular subscription required. An enormous swimming pool is open during the summer months. To use it you must obtain a swimming license from the pool attendant, who will need a passport-size photograph to seal onto the license. You must first visit the Capital Hospital (Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3 P.M.. Onwards, but get there at 2:30 P.M. to avoid long lines) for a physical-mainly to test your blood pressure, ears, eye, nose, and throat. You normally need to bring a passport photo three, too. Obviously, all this rigmarole would Not suit the busy tourist, but a businessman man who is often in for protracted spells of doing nothing between appointments will find the effort worthwhile.

Tennis players will be pleased to note that there are outdoor tennis courts. The court are open from 9A.M. To noon and from 3 to 7 pm. Racquets and balls cannot be rented at the Club, so you must bring your own or purchase them in Beijing. Local racquets are relatively cheap, but balls are expensive.

There are indoor tennis courts open all year round; charges are higher when the overhead lights are used. The courts, dusty and bumpy as they are, provide welcome exercise in winter and are open daily (except Mondays) from 9am until 9pm. With no break during lunch hours.

There are also badminton facilities available; to make arrangements you should call the Club in advance. Equipment cannot be rented from the Club but can be purchased locally at low cost. Billiards, table tennis, and bowling facilities are also available.

Cultural Place of Nationalities offers club facilities for visitors such as a bowling alley, table tennis, bar, restaurant, banquet rooms, ballroom sometimes used as a disco, a Friendship Store reaturing products made by the national minority groups in China, an exhibition hall, and a library. Colorful singing and dancing shows are put on regularly by the national minority groups.

Miyun Reservoir Resort. There is an amusement park north of Miyun town, to the northeast of Beijing, on the shores of the Miyun Reservoir. The scenery is,attractive in the region. A 1-day excursion there will also allow you to travel a few miles north of the lake to Gubeikou, where a section of the Great Wall still stands. (Much of it was torn down by the military) for building materials. But, years later, they were instructed to rebuild the damaged portions of the wall )

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