Memos from Asia

5 Things You Must Try in Beijing, China

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Beijing is a city where tradition and modernity blend. The traditional feelings of old Beijing, coupled with an authentic and pure Beijing accent tells the blood of the nobles in this city; the relics of the imperial city are mainly located in the central area of the city, and the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, Qianmen Street and other attractions along the central axis; In the western suburbs, in addition to the historical Tsinghua and Peking University, there are Xiang Mountain and various ancient temples hidden, definitely satisfying your curiosity about history and culture.

Modern Beijing is full of brilliance, where high-rise buildings and surging traffic make people feel the rapid development of science and technology; the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube have become Beijing’s new landmarks. If such a collision and fusion cannot satisfy your fresh heart and pursuit of literary and artistic feelings, then Shichahai, Nanluoguxiang, Sanlitun, Wudaoying and 798 Art District will surely satisfy you.

Here are 5 things you must do in Beijing to get a better feel of its charm.

Go to Beihai (North Sea) Park to See Lotus

Although also a Royal Garden, Beihai Park has a much smaller planting area than Yiheyuan (Summer Palace), but there are not so many tourists here. It seems to be more like a “street park” for the Beijingers, for cooling off the heat.

“Let us swing the oars, the boat pushes the waves away, the sea is reflected by the beautiful white tower, surrounded by green trees and red walls…” This beautiful song depicts the North Sea fairyland-like scenery.

As early as the Ming and Qing dynasties, Beihai, as the imperial garden, planted lotus for the royal families to enjoy. Here, you can feel the noble and graceful style of lotus flowers.

Go to Happy Valley for a Whole Day

Happy Valley theme park in Beijing, China.

Beijing Happy Valley is a theme amusement park, located at the southeast corner of Sifang Bridge, Chaoyang District, 10.2 kilometers away from Tiananmen Square, and 5 minutes drive from Beijing Central Business District (CBD). Covering an area of 1 million square meters, it consists of six themed areas: Fjord Forest, Atlantis, Lost Maya, Aegean Harbor, Shangri-La and Ant Kingdom. Beijing Happy Valley has more than 120 projects to experience, including more than 40 entertainment facilities, 50 cultural and ecological landscapes, 10 art performances, 20 theme games, etc., which can meet the needs of different groups of people.

Young people can enjoy the stunning experience of the world’s six top entertainment equipment such as Crystal Wings and Sun God Cars, while the elderly can follow the footprints of the Aegean Bay and Mayan towns and board the soothing Atlantis Spaceship, looking for historical relics, sorting out the context of civilization, and feeling the humanistic charm of major thematic zones. Children can walk into the Ant Kingdom to learn about society, nature, and ecology, and experience acceleration and weightlessness.

Go to the Old Hutong to Experience the Culture

(Credit: Geoff McKim, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The daytime in Beijing Hutong belongs to the elderly. On a fine day, the old people, either alone or in groups, move a small chair or stool under thier eaves, guard at the door of their home and yard, do needlework, or do small interesting chat with thier neighbors, one morning or afternoon passes in such a peaceful atmosphere. At dusk, however, the hutong belongs to everyone, the narrow hutongs show the real traffic. At night, except for the warm lights from every window, hotong is as quiet as no man’s land .

Beijingers living in such hutongs will definitely think of many ways to enhance the sense of tranquility, such raising dogs, birds, cats, pigeons, flowers and other things that can enhance the fun of life are something that many Beijingers in the Hutong talk about. Don’t be surprised if you see a bunch of old men surrounded by a little bird jumping and singing in the cage. And if you see two middle-aged people fighting over who has the purer breeding dog, you can also laugh it off. Yes, those dogs, cats, flowers, grasses and so on are already part of life in this quiet hutong life.

Go to the Water Cube Enjoy the Fun of Waterpark

Photo: Arne Müseler / arne-mueseler.com / CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Water Cube (National Aquatics Center) Waterpark was designed and built by a Canadian company and introduced Canadian facilities. It is currently one of the largest and most advanced indoor water parks in China, and has a number of water amusement facilities that debuted in the world.

The east side of the park is equipped with a rafting area and a children’s Water Play area, the central part has an exciting wave-making area, and the west side has a stimulating project that simulates a tornado. The tallest slide is 23 meters high and features 11 slides in total, all of which are translucent. All visitors can see people playing in the slide.

Go for a Bowl of Deep-fried Noodles

When it comes to Beijing noodles, it seems like everyone knows about the “deep-fried noodles” It is a traditional noodle dish that popular in Beijing, Hebei, Tianjin and other places, it consists of noodles mixed with vegetable and deep-fried sauce. Cucumber, toon, bean sprouts prepared into thin vegetable shreds for later use. Then make deep-fried sauce by frying diced meat and onions and ginger in oil and adding soy bean-made yellow sauce or sweet sauce for deep-frying. After the noodles are cooked, mixed with vegetable shreds and sauce to serve the noodles.

(Credit: Archon6812, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Beijingers remember the noodles as a boisterous dish, with a seductive mix of colors, aromatic meat and sauce, and soft and elastic noodles. Faced with a bowl of fried noodles, the most refined Beijing girls won’t care about their image.

The most common and luxurious of all, this is the noodle dish that make countless people in Beijing dream of it.

It is commonplace because it can be eaten almost anywhere on the streets of Beijing and anyone can afford it. It’s luxurious because you can never find the best bowl, and the richness of the taste comes from the patience of the cooking and the countless memories accumulated behind it, which can’t be bought with money.

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