Beijing

It’s hard picking one thing to write about in Beijing so I’ve decided to give a quick rundown of a variety of things–food, sights, and other experience from the past four or five days.

Pure Lotus Restaurant

Vegetarian food, but with object being to have it taste like meat. It is uncanny how much the “sausage” tasted like sausage. The restaurant, run by monks, is probably the most creative food experience I’ve ever had. The “riblets” used small pieces of sugar cane as the bone. I have my cousin Jimmy and his friend Mike Wester to thank for that experience. Mike runs that’s beijing magazine here in the city and had a wealth of information about life in Beijing.

Peking Duck

I treated myself to a nice night at Quanjude Duck restaurant, where the likes of Pele, Arafat, Bush, and a number of other celebrities and heads of state have eaten the Beijing specialty. It was a tourist trap for sure, but the duck was excellent and Quanjude was the only place I found that served it in a half portion.

Carrefour

I think everyone who visits China should visit a large food retailer. I needed a bathroom and went into the French hypermarket chain. Clean bathrooms, with the added bonus that the supermarket offered samples galore. They actually let you taste the fruit! I could have made a meal out of all the samples. In business news, the Wal-Mart/Carrefour race is heating up in China. Wal-Mart just bought 108 Trust Mart stores, nearly tripling it’s presence in the country.

HanNaShan Korean BBQ
Korean BBQ is a bit lonely by yourself, but fun just the same. I had a great meal that involved lots of meat and grilling my own food. This was about kilometer 70 of my bike ride so it was some much needed sustinence.

Forbidden City
Massive. City is the correct word to describe the area and I was impressed. Unfortunately, the main attraction of the museum is being restored. This was a common theme throughout my stay in Beijing.

The Great Wall
It was bigger than I thought. I know that sounds like a stupid thing to say, but all the pictures I’ve ever seen are usually from up high. I was impressed with the width of the wall. I did a four hour hike where the only other people on the wall was our tour and some Mongolian farmers. It was also the ONLY day the sun even thought about coming out.

Summer Palace

Maybe riding a bike in the drizzle to the site wasn’t the wisest idea, but the palace itself was incredible. Empress Ci’xi was a bad lady who lived extravagantly–Wikipedia her for a little more info and some background on Chinese history

Olympic Village

On the same scale of Dubai in terms of construction. Wow. There is high rise after high rise and crane after crane. I hope they finish in time! This was part of a marathon bike excursion, and I probably hit the Village around kilometer 45.

Temple of Heaven

Maybe my favorite tourist site in Beijing. A beautiful park where you can see Chinese practicing Tai Chi, playing Chinese chess, yelling over cards, and just enjoying life. My one recommendation would be to outlaw the ubiquitous karaoke, but this is Asia after all. There is also a nearly 360 degree echo wall where you can whisper from one end to the next.

HanNaShan Korean Restaurant

Korean BBQ is a bit lonely by yourself, but fun just the same. I had a great meal that involved lots of meat and grilling my own food. This was about kilometer 70 of my bike ride so it was some much needed sustenance.

Forbidden City

Massive. City is the correct word to describe the area and I was impressed. Unfortunately, the main attraction of the museum is being restored. This was a common theme throughout my stay in Beijing.

The Great Wall

It was bigger than I thought. I know that sounds like a stupid thing to say, but all the pictures I’ve ever seen are usually from up high. I was impressed with the width of the wall. I did a four hour hike where the only other people on the wall was our tour and some Mongolian farmers. It was also the ONLY day the sun even thought about coming out.

Summer Palace

Maybe riding a bike in the drizzle to the site wasn’t the wisest idea, but the palace itself was incredible. Empress Ci’xi was a bad lady who lived extravagantly–Wikipedia her for a little more info and some background on Chinese history

Olympic Village

On the same scale of Dubai in terms of construction. Wow. There is high rise after high rise and crane after crane. I hope they finish in time! This was part of a marathon bike excursion, and I probably hit the Village around kilometer 45.

Temple of Heaven

Maybe my favorite tourist site in Beijing. A beautiful park where you can see Chinese practicing Tai Chi, playing Chinese chess, yelling over cards, and just enjoying life. My one recommendation would be to outlaw the ubiquitous karaoke, but this is Asia after all. There is also a nearly 360 degree echo wall where you can whisper from one end to the next.

Split Pants

They are all over China, but nowhere have I noticed it more than in Beijing. The concept, for those unfamiliar, is a split in the back of a child’s pants to enable him or her to go to the bathroom with a simple squat. Chinese site the money saved on diapers as a plus, but it is cold in Beijing–the kids cheeks resemble a sunburn. Additionally, anytime and any place seems to be the motto–I was walking closely behind a mother and her child when suddenly he stopped squatted and let go. That’s enough about that.

Bike Theft

It is a huge problem in Beijing and fortunately I didn’t experience it. I did however, leave 2 bags of gummy bears in my basket while visiting the Summer Palace. Upon my return, they had vanished. If anyone knows the whereabouts of said gummies, there will be a substantial reward.

That’s just about it from Beijing. I had a great time here and I think the city will be a fine host for the 2008 Olympics.

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3 Responses to “Beijing”

  1. casab22 Says:

    Sorry– technical difficulty! The full text should be up by tomorrow.

  2. David Mckenna Says:

    Sounds good – Now i am feeling hungry ;o|

  3. Auntie Annette Says:

    Still morning here! Getting used to our new time schedule! Anyway, loved your newest blog. Are you taking lots of pictures? Maybe I’ll check and see if you have added to the photo site.

    Uncle Bud and I are both hoping to visit MA before too long. He is talking about retirement but not just yet. Maybe in a few months but for certain before the end of 2007. We will adjust to the loss of funds. lol

    With all your food experiences, you could open the most unusual international restaurant on the Cape!! Bet it would bring in big bucks.

    I’ll talk to you soon.

    Love you and look forward to seeing you soon.

    Auntie

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