Monday, March 26, 2007

5 Items not to miss out on China, Beijing

I've have done a circuit tour along the Pearl River Delta visiting Guangzhou, Macau, Hongkong and some smaller cities but i have yet to visit China's Capital City - Beijing. There will be so many things for me to do but i think the following five things are the ones that i will definitely not give a miss.

5) A meal at Bai Family Big Courtyard Restaurant, 15 Suzhou Street, Haidian District, Beijing. Former residence of a Manchurian prince, the opulent courtyard has now become a posh restaurant where you can dine like a royalty.

4) Try their delicious traditional snacks. Bingtang hulu(candied hawthorn fruits), lu dagun(a sweet glutinous roll with red bean filling) and matuan(crisp sesame pastry). Try some exotic offerings at Little Snack Street in Wangfujing, which starts business in the evenings.

3) Visit Beijing's old hutong which are disappearing fast. Catch a glimpse of how Old Beijing looked like, take a pedicab tour of the picturesque Shishahai Lake, where traditional courtyards and alleys housed the common folk of Beijing for hundreds of years. End the tour at the Lotus Garden Market where upmarket pubs and eateries light up in the evening.

2) Avid gardeners must not miss the Beijing Botanic Gardens, at the foot of the West Hills, near Xiangshan. It showcases China's amazing flora, with vast varieties of peonies, peaches, bonsai, roses and cherries taking turns to bloom throughout the year.

1) History buffs must spend a day at the Forbidden City Palace museums. The palace is a time capsule of China's past glory and was home to more than 20 emperors from the 13th to 20th centuries.

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