The first weeks in Beijing were amazing but it is time to go back to reality. It was almost like living a dream for a couple of days, going to new places, meeting people from everywhere, and knowing more of this beautiful country. Oh well, I am really excited about speaking Mandarin and stop looking like a dumb person in front of locals when I’m trying to ask for a bottle of water, at least they understand my sign language. Now that I am adjusted to the time change, the cold weird weather, the (contaminated) air (cough, cough) and experienced a little bit of what Beijing has to offer it is time to study hard.
Beijing has opened my appetite to new flavors and different types of food. The smell of every restaurant and bakery shop I walk by makes my mouth water. I am always looking forward to my next meal! I spent my first couple of days in the central area of Beijing and there are tons of restaurants which serve traditional Chinese food. Not like the Chinese food we eat at the restaurants int the US. This is a lot better and because I am not selfish I’m gonna share with you! Continue Reading
Quanjude restaurant is very famous for Peking Roast Duck. Is located on Qianmen Pedestrian Street, near the Tiananmen Square. They have two locations right next to each other. There is the very fancy one on the right side where the chef brings the duck out to the table and slice it in front of you and the people can see how they are cooked. You can immediately tell when you walk in that eating here will cost more than the usual. The price per duck can run anywhere from 1,000RMB to 2,000RMB. Next to it, there is another entrance where they also serve duck cooked the same way but at a cheaper price and this is the one where my friend and I went. Continue Reading
There is a famous saying in China, “You are not a hero until you climb the Great Wall,” and I’ve conquered the Great Wall so I am a hero! This site is even nicer than I thought. It was a nice clear day when I went, the only bad thing was the cold wind. I was freezing up there, but walking and climbing lots of steps help you keep warm. Continue Reading
The Forbidden city was once home to a long line of emperors. With its magnificent halls, winding lanes, and stately courtyards that will leave you in awe is Beijing’s treasure. It is now the palace museum of the city and the world’s largest palace complex. The museum has been rebuilt so not all of it’s original, but the architecture it’s the same. It has 800 buildings and more than 8,000 rooms (you might need more than one day to observe each building). Its construction began in 1406, so it has a history of nearly 600 years and 24 emperors ruled the whole country from here for nearly 500 years. Continue Reading
Yay!! So I made it safe to Beijing! It has been an experience, few people speak English and the little Mandarin I know has been enough to get me around. I took a shuttle bus from the airport to the Beijing Train Station, that is the cheapest way to get to the city since the airport is in the outer part of Beijing and taxis want to get the most out of you. Then I took a cab to the hotel and paid a total of 36RMB, which is $5.70. A taxi from the airport would have charged me 200RMB ($32). Advice for future travelers – Beware of black/illegal cabs, they tend to approach you, insist you ride with them and might charge you twice as much. Continue Reading
There is a Chinese community in the city of McAllen, which gathered last Friday to celebrate the Lunar New Year. For the first time I got to see and be part of a different culture celebration. Continue Reading