Before you take that China flight back home there is one stop everyone has to visit in Beijing. If you want to be adventurous with your foods and see how your taste buds and stomach can handle a different perspective, head down to Wangfujing Street. This street is very well known when it comes to different foods that the Chinese people eat and cook. It is also very easy to access, the subway is the best way to go just get off on Line 1 at Wangfujing Station, exit A.  So if you want to experience a true cultural difference than compared to your Western foods, Wangfujing Street is a must for your Beijing Tour.

 


Wangfujing Street itself is a major shopping district, with many department stores and centres, souvenir stalls and has the largest bookstore in Beijing which also has a foreign selection. This upbeat area of Beijing is exciting with music and bright lights everywhere, one would definitely be very entertained and fascinated by everything that is on show. However your main destination is the Wangfujing Snack Street (Wangfujing XiaoChiJie) it is in a side alley of the main shopping area and it doesn’t pick up until 6pm. There are stalls either side of the alleyway packed with different cuisines, Chinese souvenirs and mini marts.

 

Now not everyone will be gamed enough to try some of these foods but there are foods which can be eaten by all without freaking out the taste buds. They consist of different styles of dumplings, kebabs, spices, different types of desserts and toffee covered fruits. It is highly recommended that you at least try these foods. However, it is also very entertaining witnessing someone who is game enough to try out the ‘different’ cuisine. The adventurous eater may want to try scorpions (either have a large one or three little ones), bugs, centipedes, star fish, snakes, spiders, silk worms, mutton testicles and many more. Majority of these are placed on a stick similar to a kebab. A recent review by some people in regards to the smaller scorpions on a stick is that it tastes similar to pork crackling but there were some people who disagreed with this observation, guess it is up to that person and their taste buds. It is recommended to have a beverage with you just in case you have underestimated the taste.

 

Whilst enjoying this cuisine, you can also check out the stalls. Majority of these stalls are full with Chinese souvenirs for example many silk products, key rings and figurines, as well as scarves and purses. But be warned as being a tourist they will definitely start at an interesting, ridiculous price, so be prepared to haggle with them so at the end you get a good bargain for the item. However this can only be done at the street stalls, not at the department stores and shopping markets.

 

This area is very central to everything, with many hotels in this district. This entire street has a lot to offer and one can truly spend majority of the day here. Wangfujing Street is probably one of the only pedestrian streets in Beijing, it is said that it can take about 30 minutes to walk from either end and that is without looking inside the shops. Within your Beijing trip, Wangfujing Snack Street cannot be neglected at all. The foods are famously known around the world and this is the street to get it. So definitely bring your camera or even a video camera to get shots of these foods to impress people at home and also the reactions on people’s faces when they first eat this interesting cuisine.

Jack Li

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