This ancient capital of China has had a major facelift. Visitors have come here to look for historic China with ancient bell towers, old city gates and imperial palaces but have discovered a modern capital with cutting edge architectures including the 'bird nest' Olympic stadium and the national aquatic 'cube', six lane motorways and brand new taxis. The 2008 Olympics has prepared the locals to be welcoming and helpful to the world, and they are rightly proud of their city, incredibly helpful, and do their best to speak english with you! Though many hutongs (old lanes) have disappeared and become huge office blocks or hotels, you will still find the old Beijing that you are looking for behind the modern shiny symbols of the cutting edge new city . Keen shoppers are spoiled for choice in the new malls where you will also find traditional Chinese tea shops and wonderful restaurants. The Panjiayuan antique street at Liulichang and Ru Gu Zhai for old drawings and calligraphy are still worth a visit.