Chinese toilets can be pretty disgusting, and though Beijing is one of the best places in the
country in such regards, it's still common to find loos that are absolutely filthy or provide no
privacy whatsoever. Things are certainly improving, though, even in the city's famed hutong
alleys - many of the communal toilets (which all locals have to use, since they've none of
their own) have been spruced up of late, with some now even allowing wheelchair access. Al-
though public toilets are quite common and almost always free, the best advice when around
town is to head for the nearest shopping mall or five-star hotel; many of Beijing's sights now
also feature decent toilets. Lastly, some facilities only have Chinese markings to designate
male and female sections: it's helpful to remember that the ladies' one ( 女 ) looks a bit like a
(crouching) woman, and the chaps' one ( 男 ) somewhat like a fella with a window for a head.
For details of the government-run CITS offices, though as a general rule avoid websites run
by them (or any other official agency) as they're dry as dust. For the locations of Chinese
details of English-language listings magazines.
with sections on tourism, entertainment and industry.
watch on demand, this is the website of the Chinese state television's English-language
detailing tours and allowing you to book flights and hotels.
China Vista chinavista.com . China-based website with snippets about Chinese culture,
history, attractions and food.
Danwei danwei.org . English commentary and reporting on what's hot in the Chinese me-
dia; very informative, but usually blocked in China.
up the Great Wall, with useful links.
Sinomania sinomania.com . A California-based site with links to current Chinese news
stories and a good popular music section, with MP3 downloads available.
Yesasia yesasia.com . Online shopping for Chinese movies, CDs, books, collectables, etc.