Illustrated map of Beijing, China

If formative years is a thing, I spent it in Beijing. I went to college in Beijing before ever visiting. After graduating, I stayed to work for another 2 years before moving to the US.

I know this is a cliche to say, but every time I visit Beijing since I moved away, there are new things I don’t recognize. When I was illustrating this map, I decided instead of streets I will do subway lines because that was my (and most residents’) primary way of transportation. I was genuinely confused while tracing over Google maps. What are these extra lines?

Other than excellent public transportation, Beijing in so many ways exemplifies what I love about cities. It’s fast-paced, it’s full of interesting people and different cultures. And it’s hella safe compared to most western cities. And the foooooooooood.

If I could bring all my friends with me AND the workplace culture is less intense in Beijing, I would move back in a heartbeat. But neither is realistic so I’ll just keep having long layovers whenever I visit home.

Here’s what I got to include in this map:

Labeled landmarks

  • 国家体育场 / 鸟巢 National Stadium, aka Bird Nest
  • 钟楼 Bell Tower
  • 央视新址 / 大裤衩 CCTV HQ, aka big shorts
  • 国家大剧院 National Centre for the Performing Arts
  • 天坛 Temple of Heaven
  • 中国尊 China Zun
  • 故宫 Forbidden City


  • A Peking duck protesting
  • A Manchurian princess
  • A Beijing taxi
  • A subway station
  • A food delivery driver
  • Peking opera makeup

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