During our trip to Beijing, we visited some of Beijing’s most magnificent and iconic places. Beijing being the capital city where emperors and imperial families resided for the past 600 years, it is no surprise that everything in Beijing is grand and lavish. Some of the attractions are so huge and involve lots of walking; we could only visit 2 attractions daily before calling it a day. Here is our itinerary for Beijing. Continue reading
“Gui Jie (簋街)” or “Ghost Street” is a popular food street in Beijing with more than 100 restaurants offering a plethora of cuisines from different parts of China, spanning across 2 subway stations of Dongzhimen and Beixinqiao. So what does a food street has anything to do with ghosts? During the Qing Dynasty, the gate at Dongzhimen was used for the transportation of corpses to outskirts of Beijing for burial. Naturally, Dongzhimen became a hub for mortary businesses. With the coffins, blurred and dim lighting and shadows from the oil lamps back then, the eery street was dubbed as “Ghost Street”. Continue reading
Getting to the Great Wall of China in Badaling by train from Beijing is as easy as 123. The train leaves from the Beijing North Railway Station and it does help if you read Chinese because there’s no English signages around. I’ve taken a few photos to help you get to Badaling with ease:) Continue reading
Hua’s Restaurant (or Hua Jia Yi Yuan 花家宜园) in Beijing on “Ghost Street / Gui Jie” is set up in a traditional courtyard building and it is really sensational to be eating a meal in an ancient quadrangle “Siheyuan”. Continue reading
Yaoji Chaogan (姚記炒肝) is a popular eatery in Beijing located near the drum tower. “Chaogan” is a local snack food which literally means “fried liver” and the one from Yaoji is thought to be one of the best in Beijing. Yaoji Chaogan has been around for more than 30 years and even Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States ate here too. Amusingly, Mr Biden did not eat the signature fried liver dish and went for the black bean paste noodles instead!
Hou’s Wonton Store is a time-honored store that has more than 100 years of history. Being a big fan of wontons (or wantan), I could not miss the chance to try wontons made with recipe from a 100 years ago. Hou’s Wonton is just next to the famed Yaoji Chaogan (fried liver). Unable to decide which one to dine in as we kind of wanted to try both, so we decided to split our dinner between Hou’s Wonton and Yaoji to get the best of both worlds. Continue reading
The Temple of Heaven ( 天壇 Tiantan) was where the Emperors from the Ming and Qing Dynasties worshiped and prayed to the heavenly gods. The emperors visited the temple twice a year, once during winter to worship the heaven, and again during spring to pray for a year of copious rain and an abundance of crops. The Temple of Heaven takes up a monstrous area of 237 hectares with multiple buildings in the compound including Hall of Prayers for Good Harvest (祈年殿), the Imperial Vault of Heaven (皇穹宇), Circular Mound (圜丘坛) and Fasting Palace (齋宫). If you’ve been to the Forbidden City and thought it was a gigantic place to walk around, the Temple of Heaven is 4 times the size of Forbidden City, so be prepared to walk!
The Forbidden City is an icon in Beijing. It was built from in 1406 – 1420 and it was the royal palace during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. With an astounding area of 7,800,000 sq feet and 980 buildings, a day touring around the Forbidden City will only give you the slightest understanding about the palace. Continue reading
The Luo Luo Hot Pot Restaurant (貴州籮籮酸湯魚) on Ghost Street (Gui Jie 簋街) in Beijing serves steamboat with a sour soup base. The dish is a traditional dish from the Miao Ethnicty (苗族) of Guizhou (貴州) located in the mountainous south-western region of China. Neighboring places include Hunan and Sichuan. I was really curious about Guizhou cuisine, plus the restaurant has a lot of accolades on its wall – like it was the Top Ten Potential Unique Cuisine in 2010 Bejing Food Year, so I decided to give it a try. Continue reading
When you see this Nine Dragon Screen, you have arrived at the Antiquarian (珍寶館) in the Forbidden City. The antiques and treasures were made by the imperial craftsmen using precious material like gold, silver, jade, pearls, and some were tributes from other countries during celebrations.