Previous posts of this trip:
Here I will present some places in Beijing that are not exactly “sights”, but places you should definitely visit.
Wangfujing is the big shopping street in Beijing. There are many malls and shops and it is full of lights at night.
You can spent days there of course. But if you are interested in actual mall shopping, the malls of Xidan are much better. Wangfujing is just nice to walk. And for the “touristic part”. The part where you can buy these kind of things:
Somewhere in Wangfujing you turn and you see the entrance of the touristic part, which is this:
And then you find dozens of small stores selling souvenirs.
And of course these:
Do you want a closer look?
Scorpions, cockroaches, earthworms, usually still alive, are waiting to be thrown into boiling oil and become tasty treats.
No, chinese people don’t eat cockroaches.
I have seen chinese tourists as surprised and shocked by this as western tourists. These places exist for touristic purposes only.
But there is also normal food there, no need to eat scorpions.
I include this image to make you forget the scorpion image
I see it mentioned as Shichahai on travelchinaguide.com, but we know it as Houhai.
I really like this area.
First of all, it is surrounded by hutongs.
the lady with the dog, whose house we had visited the year before!
Secondly, there is nature there, two lakes, trees, parks…
Thirdly, souvenir shopping is seriously much classier there. You usually don’t even have to bargain (but check again, using my strategy).
this store was selling almost exclusively matches! all these are matchboxes! I bought two!
And finally, it is full of bars, which might be tacky, but are very cozy for tourists.
Around Houhai you can find many places to eat hotpot.
Also the Bell and Drum Towers are in that area.
Or as we call it, “the embassy area”. We discovered it randomly, when I had to visit the Armenian embassy to get a visa for my next trip.
If you want to go out and you find Houhai tacky (it is true), this is your area. The most western and surely fancier place I have seen in Beijing.
Full of designer stores:
of course 🙂
There are international restaurants. This is the he Greek one:
and a supermarket selling international products to the diplomats living in the area. Overpriced of course.
And there are many bars and clubs, mostly full of westerners
The cocktails were much more decent than in Houhai.
So if you are ever too tired of everything being so chinese, go to Sanlitun to get a dose of west.
That is it I guess.
I will make another post with “precious memories” from our month in Beijing and then I will proceed with describing the rest of the trip.