Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beijing Nov 09:Miscellaneous

How I wish this happened just today!
-Our welcoming dinner, hosted by Dominick.
This is a nice courtyard restaurant called 花家怡园 in 簋街.
The original name of this street was 鬼街( Ghost street ), as any time of the night, you will find someone eating here.
However, this sounds crude. A more appropriate word 簋, which sounds exactly like 鬼, was used in stead.
Every restaurant along the street is well decorated with Chinese lanterns.
Oriental atmosphere is very strong.

Served the Best Peking Duck, as voted by the Tan family :)
Well, very good, but portion was a little too small lah ;)
Ok Ok, that's because we ordered so many other dishes.

One interesting activity, especially for HK, is shopping, as China made goods today is of reasonable quality.
This place is called Guan Pi, a whole sale market, 官员批发市场
The exciting part was watching how Dominick used his charm to sweet talk all the 美女to agree selling us at very cheap price:)
2 years in Beijing had made him street smart, and ???hehe.
This is an instant changing room in the stall ;)

Interesting walk in this very old, well preserved lane, called 南锣鼓巷.

A peep into a courtyard house, cozy.

Interesting to see they have a letter box for newspaper and mails,
and a separate white box for milk
A visit to the old residence of 宋庆龄, the wife of Dr, Sun Yat-Sen.
It has a nice garden.
Had tea in this place called, 9 meng xiao zhi
九门小吃 (北京小吃)
Experienced local Peking food, and also halal
Chinese Muslim food.
Sorry to say that they did not dance to our taste buds.
Lamb innerts were supposed to be a local Muslim delicacy, but not for HK, me and Julie.
Dominick consumed almost the whole bowl ;)
Read from the Internet that 香山看红叶 is such a beautiful sight.
This is the main entrance to take a ski lift up 香山
We were so excited!
Riding this ski lift was equally thrilling.
However, we were 2 weeks too early, despite this excursion being arranged till the last part of our Beijing visit.
Leaves were just beginning to change their colours.
Most trees were still green ;(
This was the only autumn leave experience we brought back ;p
The second most popular Beijing tourist spot is now the 'Bird Nest'
So we went......
As we walk nearer, we could only see these huge steel bars.
Our impression: huge, strong, solid but nothing much to offer.
It's just another modern engineering display.
Perhaps 2 thousand years later, people look back, and say, " Interesting over - designed project.
where the hell did they get all these steel those days?"
The cube, where Olympic swimming competitions were held
The world famous Peking duck.
Any visit to Beijing will never be complete without eating here:)
We went at 12:00+, and the formal restaurant only had vacant tables available at 4:00pm!
So we opted for the 'only duck' section.
Well, it's OK, after all, we came here only for Peking duck.
We ordered half a duck per person, yummy!
Still the same old good taste as we had 5 years ago.
Sorry I remembered to take this photo after consuming half a plate of duck ;p
This famous little eating street in Beijing was different from what I saw 5 years ago, more organised.
and the scorpions were all alive and moaning in pain!
Still did not gather enough courage to eat them.
Yet, this place was still packed with tourists
Dinner at this Hubei restaurant was an interesting experience.
江湖一家 (湖南湖北菜 )
especially this chili fish head with mee made from tofu.
Surprised to learn that near to Beijing, there is this limestone cave
This cave is huge, and 7 levels deep underground.
So far we could only go down till level 4.
However, as we had a number of similar cave experience, it was not so fascinating for us.
I think the colour lightings made the cave looks artificial....
A visit to this flea market in 潘家园古玩.
There were so many antics being sold there, real?
Ended up buying the set of 4 chinese paintings on the 4 prettiest ladies in history. 中國四大美女。
Huge place.
Walk till my left leg almost broke!
Had to sit down for some exotic and expensive coffee.
This is one photo keep sending my saliva dripping.
3 layered pork well marinated and prepared to the right softness. Yum yum!
This was taken in a Shanghai Restaurant, 圆苑 (上海菜)
The most impressive was their male toilet.
It has 4 LCD panels displaying various channels: CNN, Bloomberg, sports and news.
Couldn't help taking this memory back to share with all.
This is one place near Beijing which I could never expect-龍慶峽.

龙庆峡 - 既有南方的妩媚秀丽,又有北方的雄浑壮观,被人们称誉为“塞外小漓江”、“中国小三峡”
A long escalator moving in the dragon's body brought us up to the dam above, and we boarded a boat for the river cruise.
Scenery was so cool.......
Looking up, a lone gazebo sat on the mountain cliff.........
We then took a cable car up to the top of the mountain, and in this little bell tower, we hit 10 times, citing some verses, bringing peace and prosperity to the whole family, friends, and the whole world ;)
We did some hiking......
This place is supposed to be so high that we could admire clouds below, and listen to rain drops passing by......
A further climb towards the peak brought us to this highest plateau of the mountain.
The gazebo could be seen higher up.
When I shot this picture, HK whispered," Sau Kuan, how I wish you are here :~("
On our way down, we need to pass through this narrow gap, which allowed only 1 person to go through at any one time.
This is how it looked like inside.
We came down at about 12:30pm, and entered this nice big restaurant, rejecting many restaurant promoters who volunteered to chauffer us to their restaurant lower down.
We discovered that we were the only customs in both the first and second floor!
Grill fish was good, but the egg plant was so salty that we requested for 1 bowl of hot water each, soak the egg plant for a while before they became edible, or rather tasted good!
See how thick the water became.
Price was cheap, but service was bad!
Later, we found out that this was another government operated restaurant.
No wonder.......!
Every good thing must come to an end.
This was the last dinner we had in Beijing, an excellent Korean BBQ, in this popular restaurant, 火炉火, selected by Zane.
Shaun and Zane has grown up, yet still remain so handsome :)
Dom's mum is an excellent cook.
We really enjoyed her cooking.....
It was a pity MeiLing could not join us, as she had to go for another compamy outing.
By the way, we missed all those home massage by Dominick's angels a lot.
As I cannot send my love to them, let me redirect our love to Lily .......the new addition to the Tan family :)
Thank you, Dom & Karen.
See you in Penang soon.....

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