Today we were back up to Beijing for two days of adventure. Our first stop was the 798 Art district. Although it took us over an hour to drive 10 miles to get there, it was one of our nicest days of sightseeing. 798 is already one of our favourite parts of Beijing, this visit we were able to see a bit more and found a delicious Japanese restaurant for lunch.
We took a short rest in our hotel and were out for our first meal of Peking Duck. We dined at Duck de Chine and were overwhelmingly impressed. The atmosphere and the service were top notch and of course the duck, was fantastic. They carved the duck tableside and along with a delicious lemon chicken dish and a few others, we were pleasantly full. We even tried the complementary red bean ice, it is a traditional Chinese pudding that we have seen on menus many times but never have been brave enough to try. It tasted good, just a bit strange on our Western palate to be eating beans for desert.
After dinner we were off to Sanlitun to visit one of our favourite cocktail bars Janes and Hooch. We were just out of the taxi when Mr T’s trusty Havaiana decided to break! We thought, ‘lucky for us, we are directly across from YaShow!’ Unfortunately it had closed just a short ten minutes before. He was forced to buy a pair of flip flops off the street (that were too small!), for more money than they were worth, and then after some convincing got some trainers from the Puma shop. An unexpected part of our evening but something I am sure we will laugh about for a long time. As always the drinks and atmosphere at Janes and Hooch was great but we kept it to one drink as we had an early start and a long day ahead of us on Friday.
Tianjin zhan (train station)
Tianjin zhan (train station)
Our usual stop at Starbucks, with a lovely sketch of the clock near the train station
High speed train
Beijing Art Distric
A sampling from Soye
Sarah enjoying the Art
1949 – Duck de Chine
Duck de Chine
Hoisin with sesame, peanut and garlic
Table side carving
The final product
Amazing lemon chicken
A bit of World Cup fun outside the shopping mall
Janes and Hooch cocktails
Today was our first trip to Beijing; our plan was to visit The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. We had an enjoyable ride on the bullet train and took the underground to Tiananmen Square. Though we thought we had arrived quite early it was already heaving. To start things off it took us about 10 minutes to walk 15 meters just to get through security into the area. Once through a bit of the walk, we saw queues for tickets and security and people everywhere. It was 10:00 am we were hot and tired already and made an executive decision to rethink our plans. We stopped by a tour agency and booked in for a bus tour this Friday. For 300 RMB ($48/£28) a bus will collect us from our hotel take us to The Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven and includes an English guide and lunch. After our experience this morning it is well worth the money for a day of sightseeing.
So our amended day began with a stop in our favourite art shop. Our friend was there and we picked up another moon festival painting, Sarah got two paintings for herself and her name written in Chinese characters. From there it was on to the shopping mecca know as YaShow market in Sanlitun. Shopping galore where bargaining rules. It was an afternoon filled with entertainment and good deals. It all began with 2 bags and a wallet, first price 640 RMB, final price 251 RMB ($40/£23)!
On the way out I spotted a little bagel shop with authentic New York bagels so we had a little snack. And finally ate late lunch at one of our favourite places: Great Leap Brewery. With burgers and beers in our tummies we made our way back to the train station and home to Tianjin.
Another fantastic day, my FitBit says we walked over 19,000 steps; thats nearly 13km!
Everyone trying to get through 2 security gates, we pushed through on the left than were told if you have a bag go to the right!!
Downside to being tall: getting poked by umbrellas in a crowd.
Opposite Tiananmen Square
Our favourite artist
That says Sarah
Just outside the art shop, which is down the street from the Forbidden City
The art shop
Our favourite shop
A lovely import grocery shop
Great Leap Brewery
Cheeseburger, Lamb burger and cobb salad, with some lovely craft beers finished with a delicious slice of carrot cake
Bullet Train, speed says 288 km/hr