Tag Archives: Beijing

Traveller’s Guide to Beijing: The Great Wall of China and the Hutong (finale)

It was only right to end our Beijing vacation with a trip to the infamous Great Wall of China and that was just what we did, a day prior to returning back home. It was a sunny day as it had been for the past few days and it was just the perfect day for us. It was literally as if Beijing was loving us as the weather tends to be quite chilly during early April.

So we jumped into our friend’s car and before i knew it, i was experiencing my very first road trip in China!!! It was such a fun journey where we were blasting out the old 90s music and the occasional more up to date Ne-Yo and Bruno Mars music, lol.

Upon arriving to the Great Wall of China, we were bombarded with tourists and locals everywhere we went. I remember passing by stalls amongst stalls loaded up with China souvenirs such as Chinese qipaos, Chinese fans, magnets with Beijing’s scenic view, and etc. Surprisingly, i did not buy anything.

I have to say, it is quite a walk if you are to hike the Great Wall of China but the good thing is that you can decide how far you want to go and when to stop, so the route is relatively flexible. We walked for around 2 hours and mind you, we stopped numerous times to take photos, non stop giggles for no reasons, or to admire the breath taking view. One thing for sure, the first slope up the Great Wall was the hardest where I had to stop a few times to catch my breath, and gosh, how i felt like an old granny.

There were many times where i just stood there and thought how impressive it was that the Chinese people built this Great Wall to protect their Chinese emperor and land back then. The Great Wall is soo long that you can’t even finish the entire hike in one day, not that i would want to anyway, lol.

The endless view of mountains, trees, and the sky above us, really took my breath away. I felt so connected to nature for a moment even though that quickly vanished by the laughter of my friends who were trying to attempt some jump shots with their cameras.

As the sun was setting, we decided to take the slide back down and lets just say, i was not too keen about that idea. The first thing i thought about was safety but all my friends were just busy getting excited about the slide ride, which was a 15-20mins ride! So you can imagine how long that Great Wall is, and it’s only one small area that we walked. Anyhow, I’m happy to report back that i came down in one piece to report this on my blog, haha.

For our last day in Beijing, we ironically had English Breakfast. English breakfast in China just sounds odd together, don’t you think? But I guess i’ve always enjoyed my western food as a kid, and that morning we were just craving that! So there i was sipping my fave Earl Grey tea out of my not so posh tea cup, whilst savoring the juicy bites of my bacon and sausages. I kinda felt like i got transported back into London for a split second.

With a full stomach and some calories in need of burning off, we decided to walk around the Hutong area, which are  these narrow streets or alleys formed by Chinese traditional courtyard residences. So much history was present where I would see the old Chinese style houses amongst the westernized cafes, restaurant, and shops. It was definitely a great cultural experience of East meets West.

We passed by many local food stands and despite having just finished off an entire English Breakfast, we still had room for more food. There was this old man who was frying some mini eggs and i’m guessing they were quail eggs and i really wanted to try them, but i was not risking of having a bad stomach just hours prior to boarding the plane. After a while we stopped by a local yogurt stand and I have to say, the yogurt drink was tasted really fresh and was very dairy-like.

Just as we were about to leave Hutong and head to the airport, we stumbled upon this really cute postal shop. There’s a really special concept behind this shop where you choose a postcard and write it there, and they will send it off for you. The twist to the concept is that you can choose when to send it off and the staffs will do so according to your date.

My BFFS and I went all crazy and  got three postcards, one for each of us, and have it send off to my home 5 years later. I can’t wait to receive the postcards and see what secrets awaits us in 2017!!! Oh the excitement!!! Not long after, we went to the airport and said our good byes and up to this day, i’m still waiting excitingly for our next reunion.

Have you ever had an unforgettable and fun short get away with your BFF? And where did you go?


Filed under fashion, Fun, Holidays

Traveller’s Guide to Beijing – Summer Palace and dining the Qing Dynasty style!

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?


Filed under Food, Fun, Holidays

Traveller’s Guide to Beijing – Capital M

It was my second day in Beijing where i was awoken by the sun shining brightly into the room and I could hear the distant small chit chats between my 2 BFFs as we all lazed around in her comfy king size bed.  It’s not everyday that i get to wake up to such a warm and loving morning with 2 of my closes friends in the world and though i was tempted to snooze for a bit longer,  i knew the big city was calling our names. And with that, we all got up and dressed up to go out and explore Beijing.

We had booked a table at the prestigious Capital M for lunch and i could barely hide my excitement after my friend told me that they served our home made Danish food, Smørrebrød. For those that are not familar, Smørrebrød is buttered rye bread, a very dark brown colored bread with different toppings added to give it flavor, such as meat, fish, egg, cheese, cucumbers, herbs, and etc.

We got seated by the window seats with a breathtaking view of the city center of Beijing, where it leads up to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.  The western design influence of the black and white patterned floor and mirror ceilings against the Asian infused detailing of red cushioned chairs and flowers, was an excellent way to mix and match.

The restaurant was surrounded by vibrant paintings which reminded me of Van Gough’s art work,  and it bought all the pieces together in the restaurant just perfectly along with a relaxing ambiance.

As expected, i ordered my good old home town Danish Smørrebrød and it did not disappoint. My fave was the fish fillet (fiskefillet in Danish) with a squeeze of lemon juice on top, and the crispiness was just right. The salmon, shrimp, beef, and cheese were typically like what it would taste like so nothing too exciting there.  The egg was excellent along with the dill herbs and for some reason, the flavor of dill reminds me of Denmark. Strange, i know. I suppose the only disappointing thing was that the bread served was not the normal Danish dark brown rye bread you find for Smørrebrød.

What better way to end our meal then enjoying a cuppa latte whilst indulging the complimentary chocolates, biscuits, and jelly candy. The honey comb chocolate was my favorite and its sweetness blended in just right with my latte. The freshly made beetroot juice that my friend had was also delicious and it was beyond fresh, as if i was eating right out of a beetroot!

And if the weather permits, why not enjoy a lovely weekend lunch outside their terrace whilst admiring the scenic view that will not fail to amaze you.  I am sure i will be back to Capital M and just like that, it was time to say good bye and we made our way to the next destination on our “to go” list, Forbidden City.

What fun adventures would you love to try if you were in Beijing?


Filed under Fun, Travel

Traveller’s Guide to Beijing

It has been a month and a half since i’ve returned from my Easter vacation in Beijing, and it only seems  like yesterday that i was still enjoying  my crispy Peking duck and the buzzing non stop night life in China.

Upon arriving to Beijing with my other traveling buddy Ms. S, little did we know that our BFF was waiting for us at the arrivals hall with a cab and ready to whisk us off to some delicious dim sum place.

I have to say, Beijing is a big city and not everything is within walking distant so we cabbed it to most places and the prices are relative cheap as well. As we got into the city, we were surrounded by tall sky scrapers along with numerous  people walking or driving in their cars and mini scooters, in all sorts of direction.  By this point, we were already starving and we could already hear the dim sum calling our names!

We ordered a lot of the well know dim sum dishes like the pork buns, the shrimp dumplings, turnip pastries, fried rice, and one of my fave Chinese egg tart desserts!

Now one would expect to experience more local things when they are in China but we did just so the opposite. My friend works in the Danish embassy so she took us a quick tour around the office and i have to say, the modern white walls mingling in with the earthy toned wooden chairs really reminded me of back home. I actually felt like we were back in Denmark and it was truly a nice feeling.

After not long, we decided to take a break at the nearby “Royal Smushi House” cafe for a coffee and cake fix, and to my surprise, they serve Danish food too! This was definitely not my typical China experience but i was actually kinda liking the whole East meets West culture.

Once you walk into the lobby, you are greeted with this vibrant yellow wall contrasting against a white wall, and there’s this stylish black staircase that leads up to the restaurant. I really like how they have this contemporary Scandinavian design to the place with a twist of Japanese culture infused into it, at least that’s what they say. I ordered Jasmine tea and it came in this lovely pot that was designed with butterflies and nature. It sure helps  to feel more relaxed and posh when you are being served in beautifully nature inspired tea pots and cups, don’t you think?

When you are in Beijing, one of the “must do”  tourist attractions is without a doubt, the Forbidden City and eating their infamous “Peking duck”. The Forbidden city was actually the Chinese imperial palace throughout the Ming Dynasty until the end of the Qing Dynasty. It was also the place that served as home for the emperors.

This magical City is huge and there are many buildings and rooms to explore so be prepared to use up at least half a day to fully experience this historical place. What really captivated me about the Forbidden City was the vibrant colors, design, and detailing of the buildings. I actually felt like i went on a time machine and was back in the Qing Dynasty.

After a long day of walking we decided to cure our hunger with some delicious local Peking duck at this well known restaurant called “DaDong”.  The duck skin was thinly sliced and there was not too much fat on the meat, which is just how i like it. There were different types of sauces and toppings such as the gingers and cumbers,  for the Peking duck to add more flavor to it. I really can’t express enough how spoiled it is of us to be able to experience both the East and West in Beijing, especially when it comes to food.

And with that said, we ended the night at the Mesh Bar inside the “the Opposite House”  hotel, where i enjoyed my Lychee and Passion fruit martini with my girls. And yes,  that completed my night!


Filed under Travel

Easter break in Beijing

As those that follow my blog will know, i’m off to Beijing, China, for my Easter vacay. My BFF and i are going to see our other BFF who is currently working there. We are flying from Shenzhen, another region within China, as it costs a lot cheaper than flying from Hong Kong. I am so not looking forward in waking up at 5am to catch our morning flight at 8am!!! I heard that it can get quite chaotic at the Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, so we thought it be best to be earlier than usual to avoid any last min problems.

I actually went to Beijing in 2006 during its coldest period in December so i’m really looking forward to a more warmish Beijing this time. But i did hear that it can drop as low as 3 degrees Celsius, and to think we are already in April!!! The weather is really going crazy.

Photo source: we heart it

With that said, i’ll be away from blogging once again but i’ll be sure to take plenty of photos to capture each and every moment. Until then, i hope you all have a fabulous Easter holiday whether you are traveling or staying home with your loved ones.

See you all in a weeks time!!!!


Filed under Fun, Travel