Hi everyone, a friend of mine just directed me to this website because I am looking for a place to live once I arrive in Beijing (21st or 22nd of August).
I'll be attending Tsinghua's language program, but I'll also be beginning some long term research on Beijing's music scene. I'd like to find a place in the Gulou area and then just deal with the commute every day. I was told it would probably be around 40 minutes to an hour each day by public transit. It might also be better for participant observation and understanding the city as well.
Can anyone recommend a strategy for finding a place? Should I try to find something now and have it waiting for me when I arrive? Should I just grab a hotel for the first few days and find a place once I am on the ground?
Are there any agencies that I should be contacting or should I just wing it?
I noticed the comprehensive essay on what to do and not do for apartment finding in Beijing. That definitely helped me out a bit but I was wondering if anyone could shed further light on this.
Also, I've had two years in schooling for Mandarin, but unless I need to invite my landlord to see a movie, I doubt that would really help me out much for this sort of thing. Is that going to be a big issue?