Living in Lido
Lido is a small but popular place to live for expats tucked away in the north-east of Beijing, along the airport expressway and the fourth ring road. The number of foreigners living in the area together with a couple of international hotels, gives the area an international feel. A number of restaurants, bars and businesses provide services to the foreign community makes it a comfortable place to live.
Lido has a range of apartments to suit your budget from older apartments with basic amenities to luxury style western apartments with all of the modern conveniences. Older apartments are slowly being replaced with more modern buildings. Like anywhere in China though, bargain hard when you are negotiating your rent. Century 21 near the corner of Fangyuan Xi Lu and Jiangtai Xi Lu offer good, friendly service in English for apartment hunters.
Lido has a number of international schools in the area and close by including the Canadian International School and Japanese School, thus making it a popular place for international families. There are also a couple of international companies operating in the area including Siemens. With the higher number of foreigners in the area Chinese businesses are accustomed to providing some level of service in English.
Pubs, Clubs and Entertainment
With the higher than average number of foreigners in the area, there are a number of great restaurants. You can choose from Italian, Thai, Korean, Mexican and of course Chinese. Lido is not Sanlitun for nightlife, but there are a couple of bars to go for a quiet drink.
The main group of restaurants operate from the Hairun International Condominium and in and around the Holiday Inn. Frank's Place is a popular sports bar near the entrance to Side Park. It was one of the first western style bars in Beijing. Cheaper Chinese restaurants can be found a little further away from these areas.
Side Park is Lido's largest park. It has a walking track, some basic exercise equipment and amusement rides for the kids. In the evenings you can even enjoy outdoor ballroom dancing. Lido Park is smaller, but is still a pleasant enough place to go for a walk.
Shops, Restaurants and Takeaways
The popular western supermarket Jenny Lous operates from Hairun International on Jiantai Lu. Vanguard, another western style supermarket, is on Fangyuan Xi Lu. A number of fruit and vegetable shops can be found around the corner of Fangyuan Xi Lu and Jiangtai Xi Lu. Marko, a massive cash and carry store is located on Jiuxiangqiao Lu, near Wanhong Lu. The top floor has everything you need to set up your new apartment, including cleaning goods, beauty products, kitchen ware and electronic goods. Prices are very cheap. The lower floor is a huge supermarket where you can buy fresh produce and general food items.
For furniture shopping you can't go past Ikea, which is located just across the airport expressway on the fourth ring road. It is the largest Ikea store outside of Sweden.
One of the drawbacks of the area is that it is quite far from a subway station. Buses however can get you to any area in Beijing. Taxis are of course plentiful.
AREAS OF BEIJING