DESTINATIONS beijing street-vocabulary


Street Vocabulary

Here are some terms you'll see over and over again. These words will appear on maps and street signs, and they’re part of the name of just about every place you go:

Dong is east, xi is west, nan is south, bei is north, and zhong means middle. Jie and lu mean street and road respectively, and da means big, so dajie equals avenue.

Gongyuan means park. Jingshan Park is, therefore, also called Jingshan Gongyuan.

Nei means inside and wai means outside. You will often come across these terms on streets that used to pass through a gate of the old city wall. Andingmen Neidajie, for example, is the section of the street located inside the Second Ring Road (where the gate used to be); Andingmen Waidajie is the section outside the gate.

Qiao, or bridge, is part of the place name at just about every entrance and exit on the ring roads.

Men, meaning door or gate, indicates a street that once passed through an entrance in the old wall that surrounded the city until it was mostly torn down in the 1960s. The entrances to parks and some other places are also referred to as men.


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