Where can I learn about temporary housing options in Beijing?
May 7, 2009 2:05 PM   Subscribe

How do I go about finding housing in Beijing for the summer?

I have just arranged for an internship at a company in Beijing, and I am now looking for housing options. I am a bit of a rookie at this, as this will be my first extended stay outside of the US working. I need to find housing for the months of June, July and August near the city centre (where the company's offices are), and though I've discussed it with their HR officer, I'm wondering if there are other options.

I've heard of homestay programs...does anybody have any opinions on this?

Also, are there any websites that might help me in my search for a small apartment or dormitory-style housing?

Location is probably the most important factor-- I am comfortable living in a spartan environment.

posted by zhang.chuck to Travel & Transportation around Beijing, China (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try the classified ads at the beijinger. Also the forums there.
posted by mono blanco at 4:27 AM on May 8, 2009

I know a few people in Beijing that may have extra rooms available. When you say City Centre, do you mean the CBD between the 2nd and 3rd ring roads on the east side of town? It's a very spread out city, so depending on your specific working location it might make a difference in terms of your preferred living quarters.

My mates in town are locals living in large multi-bedroom flats on their own in modern tower blocks that they own. Hutong homeshares might be possible too, but be careful to understand the city layout in terms of your work location.

My situation isn't the same as my work is on the east side and I choose to stay on the west side of town as I'm more comfortable there. The impact is up to 30-40 minutes in a taxi to most of my work locations or a 15 minute walk and another 15 minutes on the subway.

But, I love Beijing. Very nice place and nice attitude. Just too spread out.
posted by michswiss at 9:26 AM on May 8, 2009

Thanks, I'll take a look at the beijinger.

And fyi, I'm working in the Chaoyang district.
posted by zhang.chuck at 12:31 PM on May 8, 2009

Another site to check is cityweekend.
FYI Chaoyang district is pretty big, home of around 3mil people and not so good public transit (but getting better), so if location is important to you, you'll need the exact neighborhood of your office.
Anyway, welcome in BJ!
posted by anto1ne at 6:43 AM on May 9, 2009

Seconding what anto1ne said. Chaoyang it the largest district, land-area wise in Beijing, extending from the 3rd to 5th ring road on the northeast side of town. Plus it has this huge park in the centre of things, which disrupts traffic flows. How familiar are you with Beijing?

As counter intuitive as it might sound, you might be better off looking for accommodation closer to public transport around the universities and taking the subway to work. If your company's offices are in the "CBD", find out if they are close to a stop and then look for flats on the same or easily navigated lines on the subway system.

The lack of convenient public transport is what kept me from choosing Beijing over Shanghai.
posted by michswiss at 3:38 PM on May 10, 2009

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