Wifi Around China: Costa Coffee Xizhimen

Ah, Xizhimen. It’s transit hell and heaven — two in one, at the same time. Where else can you link a railway station with a three-line Subway interchange? But then again, why’s everyone still walking a million miles just to change from Line 13 to Lines 2 or 4? And why do you have to “flip three times” on the bridge just to execute a right turn? (Road traffic hell as well!)

Still, the good thing about Costa Coffee Xizhimen is that it’s linked straight to the Line 13 station. When the transit gods get their act in order, in future, you will be able to get to the place through underground tunnels — regardless if you are here by train or by Subway. (Right now, passengers from the nearby Beijing North Railway Station will have to use an above-ground connection.

Costa Coffee has lots of outlets in the Jing, but the one at Xizhimen is noted for its accessibility. It is linked straight into the Xizhimen CapitaRetail Mall, and finds itself on the ground floor (or the first floor if you’re so inclined). During especially summer, the café has a somewhat-Shanzhai “porch lounge” as in a bit that “juts out” into the rest of the mall. (It’s Shanzhai because it’s all indoors!)

In the very same building is also a Chamate, for those who must do tea. Signals here are pretty good, although they’re not that great if you’re doing VPNs. (12vpn finds itself with more mileage here than Witopia on your blogger’s end.) If you connect and reconnect it’ll work — but man that’s a lot of hassle…

Wifi: Free; password needed, given upon purchase
Signal: Good
VPN support: Iffy. Some VPNs won’t link up to Twitter or Facebook after a bit.
Transit links: Subway Lines 2, 4 and 13 to Xizhimen (exit at Line 13 Exit A; you have to be in the Line 13 part (the dull grey building) and exit from there; do not enter the Line 13 platforms if interchanging from Lines 2 or 4). Beijing North Railway Station nearby as well.

Costa Coffee Xizhimen (西直门嘉茂购物中心)
Xizhimen, Beijing, China

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