Between 10pm and 5am, the city is alive and thriving. Night markets, busy streets, lights everywhere — life doesn’t stop in Beijing.
Monthly Archives: September, 2008
I was introduced to massage by my former boss in Hong Kong, Ning. Now don’t imagine inappropriate work incentives: Ning may have paid me a ridiculous wage and asked me to work on weekends too often, but he wasn’t this kind of man.
A collection of “Chinglish” signs spotted in Beijing… wait — don’t you speak Chinglish?
The day is almost over, it’s now time to relax. I sometimes wish I were a morning person because I find the idea of waking up a bit before the world does a very good one. But I’m useless in the morning… so I settled for dusk.
We accidentally discovered the new heart of Beijing’s nightlife a few days later, walking around the Old Beijing. Most of the trendy bars are now in Hou Hai (后海), by Beihai， where bars, discos, restaurants and night markets are set around the lakes.
Cars are plentiful but people still bike everywhere, older people hang out in traditional parks and not around the Bird Nest, calligraphy is still an art that is practice in the street and many traditions are still followed. This is also Beijing.
Like many megalopolis in the world, Beijing has two sides: a modern one and an old one.
Qiánmén is one of the most central district of Beijing. No matter what you look for, you will find it there, either in one of the busy hútòng or on Qiánmén street itself: Beijing Duck at Quanjude, shoes at Neiliansheng, silk at Ruifuxiang… these century-old establishments were purveyors to the Imperial Court and still exist today.
These are my personal favorite: Bāozi (包子） and Beijing Duck (北京烤鸭). These two dishes are relatively unknown overseas, where “Chinese food” is often a synomym of “Fried Rice”, “Chow Mien” and “Egg Foo Yung”… and other dishes that cater to Western taste and are everything but Chinese!
Beihai Park is an imperial garden, North of the Forbidden City, and initially connected to it.
The Summer Palace, in downtown Beijing, is an enclave of peace away from the craziness of the city. Dominated by the Longevity Hill and set around the Kunming lake, an artificial lake entirely man made, the place has a variety of palaces and gardens.
Forty-seven hours. That’s how long it took us to come back from Beijing.