Yandai Xie Street (烟袋斜街) is as hip as Nanluoguxiang (南锣鼓巷). I have written a post on Nanluoguxiang (南锣鼓巷), you can read it here. Yandai Xie Street has been awarded the Chinese Historical and Cultural Street. The second street with this title. The first was the Guozijian Street (国子监街).
The entrance to Yandai Xie Street is from Di’anmen Outer Street (地安门外大街).
Another Street View
There are lots of different souvenir shops. Each and every shops are selling different things. Lots of things to see, shop and buy.
Clay Figurine Shop
There are bookshop, T-shirt shop, clay figurine shop and pub.
A Souvenir Shop
If you walk further you will reach Qianhai and Houhai. These are lakes. It is surrounded by pubs.
After the tiring strolling, you can drop by the pub for a drink and to enjoy the scenery. Some of the pub are really very cool and hip.
Beijing Xiao Wang’s Home Restaurant (北京小王府) serves Beijing style home cooked food. There are a number of Beijing Xiao Wang’s Home Restaurant in Beijing and I went to the one in the Ritan Park (日坛公园). It was located in a lovely park. Lots of residents in the area were enjoying the greens in the evening.
The restaurants has three levels, two indoors and on the roof was outdoor. If the weather is good, the roof top would be the best spot to enjoy both the food the scenery of the park. I chose to sit indoor.
I ordered the dumpling and my favourite Chinese Cabbage as mains. Both the dishes were extra delicious, very flavourful. The dumpling has a rich pork taste and the spring onions added increased and enhanced the flavours, while the Chinese Cabbage, the stock was well absorbed into the vegetable. The Chinese Cabbage was soft and very flavourful. I think the stock tasted like chicken and some preserved Chinese ham was added as well. It was extremely good.
I like BaSi very much and I rarely get this in Singapore. So I won’t missed the chance of having BaSi. I ordered the Banana BaSi. It was great. Not too sweet. The caramelised sugar and sesame together with the banana paired off so well. Yummy.
I have a great dinner at Xiao Wang’s Home Restaurant. I will surely return for more when in Beijing.
Xiao Wang’s Home Restaurant (小王府)
Ritan Park, Ritan Lu (Enter via North Gate of Park)
Tel: 8561 5985
Daily 1100 to 1400, 1730 to 2200
By Subway: Line 2 or 6 – Chaoyangment station (朝阳门站); Line 6 – Dongdaqiao station (东大桥站) [Enter via the north gate of Ritan Park]
Every places of interest in China is huge, so is the Summer Palace in Beijing. The place is so huge, you might have to spend at least 4 – 5 hours there to cover most of the park if not the entire day.
Entrance of Summer Palace
Summer Palace Sign
Within the summer palace, there are a few other places of interests. These “special” places of interest, has an entrance fee. So if you are interested to explore all of them, you might want to consider getting the combined ticket which will be more value for money.
Kunming Lake seeing the temple
A View of Kunming Lake
By the side of the Summer Palace is the Kunming Lake. You can take a boat ride and view the serene, peaceful scenic view.
Every corner of the Summer Palace, you could find these intricate designs and arts.
Decor on Floor – Bird
Decor on Floor Flower
Decor on Floor, Another Flower
Even on the ground, it is beautifully decorated with birds and flowers pictures from stones
The famous long corridor (长廊), is featured in many Chinese dramas, both produced from China and Taiwan.
Foxiangge Temple (佛香阁)
Foxiangge Temple Sign (佛香阁)
Foxiangge Temple is on a hill. This is one of the “special” places of interest within the Summer Palace that has an extra charge. As it was on a hill, I didn’t want to climb the extra steps, so I skipped by the attraction.
A Bronze Qiling Ornament
A Gate in Summer Palace
Another Gate in Summer Palace
I walked a little further, passing by a few gates in the palace and I am a little tire so I decided to end for visit by exiting the palace via the North Ruyi Gate
The Summer Palace is very scenic. It’s a pity that it is too crowded otherwise, it would have been perfect.
For Period 1 April to 31 October: Daily 0630 to 1800
For Period 1 November to 31 March (next year): Daily 0700 to 1700
For Period, 1 April to 31 October
Entrace Ticket for Adult: CNY 30
Combination Ticket: 60
DeHe Garden: CNY 5
Temple: CNY 10
Wenchang Hall: CNY 20
Suzhou Street and Danning Hall: CNY 10
For Period, 1 November to 31 March (next year) Entrace Ticket for Adult: CNY 20
Combination Ticket: 50
DeHe Garden: CNY 5
Temple: CNY 10
Wenchang Hall: CNY 20
Suzhou Street and Danning Hall: CNY 10
By Subway: Line 4 – Beigongmen station (北宫门站)
Tips: You may want to bring your own lunch and drinks and maybe a picnic mat. There are a few drinks and food kiosk in the Summer Palace and a few restaurants but these are in the centre of the Palace, so when you needed that drink you may not be able to get it.
Before my trip to Beijing, I google the net for some good noodle places. I found the Noodle bar. There was numerous review and were rating it as Excellent so I went down to check it.
The shop is rather small and the menu is simple. They served mainly beef noodles. There are only three choices with tendon, tripe or brisket.
The indoor seats were counter seats for 12 guests. You could see the chef making the noodles fresh for the customers. There are some outdoor seats as well, if you prefer.
I ordered the beef brisket noodles and a vegetable
You could add some condiments such as the chopped parsley to the noodles to enhanced the flavour.
The broth was great. I could taste the natural sweetness and the noodles were chewy and soft, not soggy. I love the radish most. It has absorbed the essence of the soup and it tasted so good.
This is definitely a must try place, if beef is not a food restriction for you. The restaurant is located in 1949 The Hidden City. In 1949 The Hidden City, there are many other restaurant. There is also a Chinese restaurant that serve great Peking Duck there.
1949: The Hidden city courtyard 4, Gongti Bei Lu, Chaoyang district (behind Pacific Century Plaza Gongti)
Tel: 6501 1949
I previously have a post on if you only have time for one attraction in Beijing, which will you choose, The Forbidden City or The Great Wall. The poll can be found here. I chose The Forbidden City for various reason. And now, there is one more reason why you should choose the Forbidden City instead. I recently read an article from Business Insider (if I remember correctly), China is going to restrict the number of visitors to the palace. If this is true, you got to act fast.
The Beijing Forbidden City is extremely huge. You won’t be able to comb the entire palace even within a day. Depending on how much and how detail do you want to tour the palace and plan accordingly. I spent only half a day in the palace.
Meridian Gate (午门)
Entrance to Forbidden City (故宫)
There are two entrance into the palace, either entered from Wumen (午门）or via the North Gate (北门). I chose to get into the palace via the Wumen.
In the palace, there are many halls such as the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Hall of Central Harmony, Hall of Preserved Harmony.
Each and every halls are used for different purpose and it is very elaborated decorated.
Interior of Hall of Central Harmony (中和殿)
Interior of Hall of Preserved Harmony (保和殿)
Not only is the hall richly decorated, within the palace, you could see bronze cranes, tortoises and lions. There are decorations on the roof, at the ceiling, everywhere.
Copper and Iron Vat
Imperial roof decoration
Water spouts to prevent flooding on the higher levels.
Ceiling of Palace of Heavenly Purity
Even the concubines are living in luxury. The Ci Xi Dowager Empress rooms are very westernised. There is even a piano. Wonder if Ci Xi played the piano or it is more of a ornament.
Ci Xi’s Living Room
Ci Xi’s Dining Room
Within the palace, there is also a garden, with some pavilions and towers for the concubines and emperor to enjoy themselves.
A View of the Palace
Pavilion of Beautiful Scenery (丽景轩)
Gate of National Prosperity (景云门)
Finally, I exited via the North Gate (北门).
As I exited the palace, I saw the Jing Shan Park. You should be able to spot the pavilion, like the one in the photo.
It was a very tiring half day. I have written a post on the Great Wall as well, to read, click here. So now what would you choose if you only have time for an attraction when in Beijing? The Great Wall or The Forbidden City. I would encourage my read to poll.
The Forbidden City (故宫) China, Beijing, Dongcheng, 景山前街4号
Tuesday – Sunday 0830 to 1600; Monday 0830 to 1100
By Subway: Line 1 – Tiananmen East station (天安门东站)
Tip: You may want to bring along some water. And if you are going to spend an entire day, you may want to bring some food or snack. Though there are food outlet but there are only a few and are located mainly in the centre of the palace.
There are quite a number of Hua’s Restaurant in Beijing and along Guijie, there are three. We went to the Hua’s Courtyard Restaurant at Guijie Street (花家怡园 四合院店). The restaurant is in a siheyuan (四合院). Siheyuan is a historical residential architecture in China. The structure is mainly a square courtyard surrounded by one storey building with rooms.
In Hua’s Restaurant, there are nightly cultural performance as well. The best seats are in the courtyard, near the stage. I would strongly recommend these seats, eat while enjoying the performance, provided it is not during the hot summer or cold winter.
We ordered a few dishes, the cold dish, sweet sour fish, meat roll, chicken and the freshwater crayfish. The freshwater crayfish is a very popular dish in Gu Jie. It is usually served as a spicy dish (麻辣).
We ordered a dessert as well, but I forgotten to capture a photo.
The food is excellent, great ambience. You can savour the food while enjoying the architecture and performance.
Do make sure you make a reservation in advance as the courtyard seats are very popular.