Saturday, 20 June 2015

China - Where to visit in Beijing

Beijing - Dec 2014

Other than the must go place - The Great Wall of China. Below is the list of places that I recommend to go in Beijing for its rich history and culture.

1) Beijing Hutongs

Hutong refers to lane or alley. Beijing Hutongs consists of many rows of old alleys formed by traditional courtyard residences lived by old Beijing residents.

Trishaw services is available to drive visitors around. 

2) Qianmen Street 前门街

Located in between Tiananmen Square and Temple of Heaven is the oldest and most famous ancient pedestrian shopping street: Qianmen street 前门街.

It has undergone a year of renovation and just reopened before 2008 Beijing Olympics. Although it has many international brand store, there are still many preserved ancient Beijing buildings.

It has been a prosperous area for more than 600 years and has accumulated some long-standing stores like Tong Ren Tang.

Dang dang tram

It has the snowy look right! It gave a very christmasy feeling! WHY DIDNT IT SNOW??

Having matcha ice cream at near 0 degree weather was indescribable.

3) Wang Fu Jing 王府井

Basically this is just like our Orchard Road with all the big international brands.

So pretty at night.

This was the only time we felt so relaxed walking around without time constraint as tour guide gave us all the time to shop, have dinner ourselves and take cab back to hotel as it is very close by. 

I have craving for steamboat because winter is the best time to eat steamboat! So, we went back to our hotel as our tour guide told us there is a famous eating street just a street away from our hotel.

 We over ordered partly because we were too hungry and the waitress didn't warn us about the super big plate of beef. It was too reasonably priced (only around S$10) that we did not think of the size at all. 

4) Wangfujing snack street

This is the street that you must not missed when you are in Wangfujing. 

Wangfujing Snack Street is conveniently located just adjacent to Wangfujing Street. However it is over commercialized and touristy, the prices are not as low as other places. Tons of snacks from all corners of China can be found there.

Even insects...

Just next to Wangfujing snack street is Laobeijing snack street. They pretty much sell the same kind of food. 

They looked so yummy and sinful lol..

4) Beijing National Stadium (Bird's Nest 鸟巢)

Beijing National Stadium was the main venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Tour guide was right. It looks better at night when it lights up.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

China - Day trip to Tianjin

Tianjin - Dec 2014

We took a day trip to Tianjin. To be honest, I do not have not much impression of Tianjin before the trip and now after the trip, I would have prefer Xi An instead. 

The tour guide took us to the biggest food mall in China that was selected as one of the “Top ten Tianjin attractions” in 1989 - Tianjin Nanshi Food Mall.

Basically, we were given 30-45 minutes to explore the three storey food mall which over 100 food shops and restaurants offering local delicacies. We were also told to buy from a few particular shops which were deemed more trustworthy. I chose to believe that tour guide is in collaboration with the mentioned shops.  

One of the unique snacks in Tianjin - Fried dough twist 麻花. It is sweet-smelling and crispy. Do you know this snack cannot go bad even after being stored for several months. 

The shifu was very skillful to draw a tank for this little boy.

Ear hole fried rice cake 耳朵眼炸糕

wheat meat 面筋. It looks very weird...

Honey soft cake 蜂密软糖

Next, we headed to Tianjin Ancient Culture Street 古文化街.

The street is famous for calligraphy and painting brushes of Four Treasures, cultural antiques, double-sided embroidery, jade carvings and art ceramics. It is the street where you can get all the chinese pottery souvenirs.

Terribly underdressed for a cold weather.

We were rushing for train back to Beijing so we literary walked past the 5th avenue and Italian town in very fast pace. I am the sort of people who like to stop, take pictures and enjoy the scenery. Oh well, this is the price you have to pay if you join a tour.

It is ironic that when I googled about Tianjin, it came out "With its cool sea breeze and fresh sea air you will definitely feel refreshed". But I can only remember haze, haze and haze.