- Home-cooking 家常菜
- Recipes 食谱
- Travel 旅行
- Email List
- Hike the Great Wall 长城 from Jinshanling to Simatai.
Four hours of breathtaking views along unrestored-to-restored wall. Wear sunscreen, pack water, and during winter wear layers. Extra time? Camp on the Great Wall.
- Wander the corridors of the Forbidden Palace 故宫.
I recommend at least a day, if not 2, and don’t miss Tian’anmen Square 天安门 across the street from the south gate.
- Cycle through the maze of remaining hutongs.
Rent bikes along Houhai Lake 后海湖 (approximately 20 RMB ($3 / day) then note where the sun is and get lost. Visit Nanluoguxiang, Drum and Bell Towers, and snack on grilled chicken wings (烤鸡翅), deep-fried smelly tofu (臭豆腐), and grilled lamb skewers (羊肉串).
- Scale the hill at Summer Palace 颐和园 and wind your way down to the lake.
Combine the trip with a stop at the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic stadium 北京国家体育场 and “Water Cube” or Beijing National Aquatic Center 北京国家游泳中心.
- Visit the Temple of Heaven, listen to older Beijinger’s play musical instruments and sing Peking Opera.
Exercise your joints and join some folks while they practice Taijiquan 太极拳.
- If you’ve never seen a mega dance club that looks and feels like an MTV music video set, go to Worker’s Stadium‘s north and west gates and gape as you realize, this is a China you never dreamed existed.
- Shop for clothes at wholesale prices in the markets across from the Beijing Zoo.
You can find some fakes here, but those aren’t the allure as much as the variety of cheap clothing to choose from.
- Buy fabric at Muxiyuan fabric market then take your materials to Yashow’s 3rd floor to have clothes or costumes tailored.
Whether you’re outfitting for a future interview or Burning Man, this is the way to dress up.
- Check out the live music scenes at D-22 (Chinese Indie Rock), East Shore Jazz Club, Dos Colegas (eclectic tastes from grassland throat singers to performance art), MAO Live, and Yu Gong Yi Shan. Pick up one of the expat mag’s (TimeOut, City Weekend, or The Beijinger) at The Bookworm for talent and schedules.
- Eat Beijing Roast Duck 北京烤鸭 at Da Dong. I’ve tried duck at other restaurants, and while some other’s like Li Qun are still tasty, my taste buds vote Da Dong as the best. However, if you want a little dilapidated courtyard chic to pair with your duck, many have trod the rubble into Li Qun – it’s fun! After dinner, go for a Chinese traditional foot and/or back massage at one of Oriental Taipan‘s many locations in Beijing. Acupressure attention to your feet and muscles are a bargain to the dollar / euro prices that thwarted you from pampering yourself before.
After finishing this list, I’m realizing there are more than ten things I love doing in Beijing. I’ll have to save those for a continuation of this thought. More to come like 798 and other eats! What are some of your favorite things to do in Beijing?