So I'm in Beijing for a month right now interning and living by myself with no one my age to hang out with. I have a budget of 4000-5000 yuan or so (though I can probably raise that) to spend on entertaining myself, and I'm deathly bored. A paltry portion of that budget goes to beer and tobacco but those are so cheap here that that's a negligible cost. My daily 3 basic meals are covered by a meal plan and I've seen all the major historical/cultural attractions with family multiple times so I really have no interest in that. No museums either--as a New Yorker I've had my fill and frankly, I find Chinese museums boring after having been to the one in Taipei. I'm somewhat fluent in conversational Mandarin and live near Yuquanlu subway station and I work near Jishuitian. However, I'm illiterate which is a bit of a problem. I'm hoping to find some good places to eat/a few good English book stores to occupy my subway rides, but I'm open minded about other stuff too. I have an aunt visiting in a week or so, so she'll take me to a few of the more high end restaurants that she knows of--eating Peking duck or that lamb hot pot thing isn't exactly a single person activity--but I'm hoping to do some exploration on my own. My budget is pretty good for China I imagine but I hope to leave whatever the Chinese equivalent of the French Laundry is to my aunt rather than going and spending absurds amount of money to eat alone. No point in shopping really, as I already use hong kong/New York tailors and the brands I like are much cheaper in America. I'm actually interested in a few foreign restaurants from other Asian countries or the West. That might sound weird, but something to break up eating Chinese food day to day would be nice though I won't say no to a good Chinese restaurant either. I much prefer cabs over the crowded trains here which are nicer, but for some reason less comfortable to me than the New York subway, but I'm not sure what cab rides are realistic/economical given I have no geographic perception of Beijing nor understanding of its traffic. Hopefully someone has advice on smart transportation. Any other tips on living in Beijing would be greatly appreciated also! P.S. Does anyone know about the chess scene at Beijing? Are there clubs that host day tournaments or anything like that? I love chess and play often in America, but it's just starting to blossom in China.