My short 5 days stay in Beijing was clearly not enough but despite it all, my friends and i had to squeeze the infamous Summer Palace and the Great Wall of China into our hectic schedule. There is a lot of history and great scenic views to enjoy in both these locations so a visit is a must!
We woke up early in the morning to get ready for our exciting excursion to the Summer Palace, which is known for its impressive Chinese landscapes and beautiful gardens. As i walked along numerous paths in the Summer Palace, i was constantly bombarded by beautiful and vibrant colored architectural Chinese buildings. The colors literally took my breath away and i could not believe how well the maintenance have been kept.
The Summer Palace is surrounded by the Hill of Longevity and Kunming Lake, and you even rent a boat and pedal along the lake. As the weather was nice and sunny, we decided to do just that, only thing is i hardly had to pedal because my 2 BFF did the dirty work, hehe. It was such a relaxing time just sitting in the boat and enjoying the scenic view of the lake and palaces that we were surrounded by. As we sat and enjoyed the view, i decided to put on some music with my iphone and that’s when Madonna’s “Like a virgin” started playing. It was such a fun twist to the circumstance with the whole being in China and listening to Madonna, that we all just started cracking up. It was a classic and unforgettable moment!
After our pedaling and hours of walking, the day was coming to an end and we were greeted by this amazing sun set. It just was a perfect way to end our trip in the Summer Palace.
After a long and relaxing day, we headed back into the city and was excitedly anticipating for our dinner that night. We had booked at table at t baijiadayuan (白家大院 in Chinese) which is a famous Chinese restaurant in Beijing famous for it’s Qing Dynasty themed decor and ambiance. As we arrived to baijiadayuan, i was totally taken away by the Qing dynasty servants that greeted us at the entrance, where they guided us through an enormous garden that was filled with Chinese red lanterns everywhere. It was literally like what i’ve seen in those traditional Chinese films.
The interior of the restaurant was very grand with a heavy dosage of the colors red and gold and mind you, Chinese people are really fond of the colors gold and red. For those that are not aware, in Chinese tradition, gold symbolizes richness and red symbolizes happiness and luck.
The food was delicious too, and very delicate looking compared to the normal local Chinese food you would have in smaller restaurants or street markets.
I loved the dessert dish where it had a mixture of this peanut centered glutinous cake, some Chinese style mochi and etc. It was quite funny how they served the dessert with a fork and not chopsticks! I also very much enjoyed the vibrant looking salad we had for appetizers but my all time fave was the sweet and sour fried shrimps!!! I could not stop eating those shrimps!!!!
One of the highlights about eating at baijiadayuan is that they have Chinese traditional dance shows throughout the night. It is highly suggested to eat in the open area of this restaurant and not the VIP rooms if you want to watch this lovely dance show. There were also other shows such as performers singing the traditional Chinese Opera and playing with their traditional musical instruments. It was quite an experience to witness so much China-ness over the course of one meal. But it was definitely unforgettable and memorable. If you want more details about the restaurant baijiadayuan, please click here.
So will you be visiting the Summer Palace or eating at baijiadayuan on your next visit to Beijing?