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11 non-Taobao things to do this Singles' Day weekend in Beijing

Celebrate your independence without spending all the cash

Photo: Allef.Vinicius/Unsplash.com
November 11 officially marks Singles' Day, the one day of the year where single folks celebrate their independence, usually by hunting for the best bargains online. Non-single folk, too, and they all come together to create a rather OTT ode to consumerism in which spending records grow to ever more gross figures.

But for those of you who find the idea of spending this weekend glued to your phone mildly distasteful, we've put together some alternatives to inspire you to get out there and explore the city. So shake off some consumer shackles as you celebrate your singledom.
1
Shop mindfully

Shop mindfully

Shopping is a sport that needs no company. While we're guilty of browsing Taobao for those deals, there're also a ton of discounted offerings you can find in-store (It's Singles' Day after all), which are less plastic comparing to all the waste in online shopping (If you really want to justify your shopping spree). For local knick-knacks, head down to these Beijing gift and souvenir shops, or rummage around these Beijing record shops. Or check out these independent boutique stores.


2
Pamper yourselves

Pamper yourselves

Instead of pampering your wardrobe, why not pamper yourselves by hitting up some great value massage joints in Beijing. Whether you're feeling frazzled or a little bit of luxury, unwind at these massage parlours that suit every budget.

4
Better your already wonderful self

Better your already wonderful self

Being single is all about living your best life. So why better your already wonderful self by picking up a new skill with the range of classes you can take right here in Beijing, from pottery and jewel-making, painting to pole dancing. 

6
Escape the consumerism

Escape the consumerism

The never-ending shopping craze got you stressed and distracted? You can find tranquillity just outside of (or above) the city's busy streets. Opt out of consumerism by going on a date with yourself at these day trips from Beijing, from lakes, mountains, to scenic natural parks, and fast trail quick escapes.

7
See some art

See some art

Don't worry about anyone pulling you away from that photo or painting you adore – go by yourself to an art show and spend as much time as you like staring into the soul of creativity. Catch the bevy of ongoing art exhibits across the city that's sure to feed your brain, from British artist Sarah Lucas’s gender-defying retrospective, Anish Kapoor’s avant-garde installations, to Mad Camp’s immersive multi-media exhibition. 

8
Visit a museum

Visit a museum

Obviously one of the best ways to treat yourself well is to enrich your mind. So head out to one of the many museums in Beijing this weekend to learn more about a whole variety of things, including Beijing (obvs), natural history, urban planning, classic books, or really anything else you can think of... including lost love


Most (but not all) of the museums are free, or charge very little, but make sure to take your passport along! 

9
Listen and learn

Listen and learn

Spend your day in the company of whatever you listen to the internet on and learn even more about China with our pick of the pods. Whether you're into news, history or language, there's something for you. For learning Chinese, we especially recommend Learning Chinese Through Stories, which, does exactly what it says: through simple stories learn new words and grammar. For those wanting a little bit more background on the country, head to China History Podcast for an interesting, humorous take on informative topics. Alternatively, find one of these books to read and become the China history buff you've always wanted to be.

10
Treat yourself on the cheap

Treat yourself on the cheap

If you can't quite get over the Singles' Day sales and the commercial lure of the shopping gods, then why not head out to somewhere a bit cheaper. Check out our favourite buys from Miniso-esque Nome or head to one of these wet markets for some real bargains on your cooking needs. 

11
Be a couch potato

Be a couch potato

Finally, if you’ve taken a look at this list and really can’t be arsed doing anything more intensive than binge-watching your favourite TV shows, then make sure you’re at least well-fed by ordering in all the food you can get your hands on. Check out our list of healthy meal delivery services in Beijing (or don't, we're not judging) and you won't have to leave the comfort of your home all weekend. 


Photo: Paolo Nicolello/Unsplash.com

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