Top Music Festivals in China..

On September 19, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Festivals, Shanghai, Sichuan, by Jack Li

If you are a big music fan and planning a China tour you should definitely check to see if your visit coincides with a music festival. There are a variety of music festivals every year all over China (particularly if you travel to Shanghai or Beijing) with many genres having a place on the stage. […]

If you are a big music fan and planning a China tour you should definitely check to see if your visit coincides with a music festival. There are a variety of music festivals every year all over China (particularly if you travel to Shanghai or Beijing) with many genres having a place on the stage. I attended the Black Rabbit Festival this weekend which is a new festival for 2011 playing in Beijing and Shanghai. There was a mix of international and local talent including Yellowcard, PK 14, Ludacris and 30 Seconds to Mars.

 

Ticket were a fraction of the cost expected in the west, with prices at 210RMB for the full day event. Generally a ticket to see just one of these bands would cost that price. The festival itself was an interesting mix, where indie, rock and hip hop fans all came together to experience their favourite acts performing.

 

 

The festival in Beijing was located at Chaoyang Sports Park on the outskirts of the city, it was only a 32RMB cab ride there, however the journey back was a little difficult as taxi’s were not willing to stop and pick anyone up! So we resulted to hopping on the 350 bus back to Tuanjiehu (Sanlintun area) and continuing our travels by subway.

 

The grounds of the festival had a variety of entertainment, with a Chinese style market, food vendors and a bouncy castle. We were lucky enough to acquire some freebies of t-shirts and rabbit ears which helped us blend in to the festival crowd further!

 

Here is a short selection of some other popular festivals across China you may wish to check out!

 

MIDI Festival

Midi is China’s largest and longest running festival and usually runs for four consecutive days. It runs every year at the beginning of May in Beijing and the bands are usually within the Rock, Punk and Metal genres. Tickets cost around 200RMB for the weekend, and there is usually a combination of Chinese and International artists.

 

Strawberry Festival

Strawberry is another big rock festival held annually in Beijing (alongside other cities). It appears to be competition against Midi festival as they generally schedule to run at the same time, in the same city, just an hour apart from one another.

 

Zebra Festival

Zebra music festival is held each year in Chengdu, Sichuan province. Again it is a rock festival and tickets are 80RMB (for a day pass as weekend tickets aren’t available) with the festival running for three days.

 

Beijing Pop Festival

This festival, contrary to the name, is infact another rock festival! It was held every year (until 2007) in Beijing’s Chaoyang Park and features a combination of local and international bands. Notable acts that have performed there include Nine Inch Nails,  Public Enemy and New York Dolls. However, there haven’t been any performances over the past few years meaning it possibly could be extinct, considering Black Rabbit Festival has popped up in the month this festival usually takes place.

 

Other festivals to look into are Modern Sky Festival, China Music Valley Festival and Blossom Festival. However, festivals throughout China seem to be disappearing as fast as they begin, so it is best to continually check the line up and stability before planning any China Travel around this!

 

 

The Best Aerial Views Over Beijing..

On September 14, 2011, in Accomodation, Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Nightlife, by Jack Li

You may be interested to learn the best spots around Beijing for catching an interesting view of the city. When you travel to Beijing, although it is not quite as mesmerizing as Hong Kong’s skyline the views are still well worth the trip. The trickiest part is timing your visit with a clear sky for […]

You may be interested to learn the best spots around Beijing for catching an interesting view of the city. When you travel to Beijing, although it is not quite as mesmerizing as Hong Kong’s skyline the views are still well worth the trip. The trickiest part is timing your visit with a clear sky for good visibility. China hotels generally are some of the best spots for good viewing opportunities, particularly the high floor bars and lounges typical of the more upmarket establishments.

One such place is the Atmosphere Bar. This is a relatively new high end bar with drinks prices to match (cocktails starting at 65RMB), however on a clear day or night it easily takes the title for best views across Beijing. It is located on the 80th floor of the China World Tower 3, officially known as ‘China World Summit Wing’, which can be found on the Beijing east 3rd ring road. It is also easily accessed via the metro, simply catch Line 1 to Guomao.

Atmosphere is open from 12 noon until 2am, and specifies a ‘smart casual’ dress code. There are both smoking and non-smoking areas, and the bar offers views of the CBD, Sanlitun and the Tian’anmen area.

Another recommended bar is ‘China Bar’ located on the 65th floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel, this previously held the title for Beijing’s highest bar before the China World Summit Wing was built. Being another luxury hotel the drink prices are steep starting at 70RMB for cocktails and 60RMB upwards for beer, however the views are great across the Central Business Disctrict taking in the CCTV headquarters (known as the ‘pants building’) and the Bird’s Nest Stadium on a clear night. Opening times are 5pm until 1am, and it is accessed from the same metro as the Atmosphere Bar so you could visit both in an evening.

The Park Hyatt also has a restaurant called China Grill on the floor above which is Beijing’s highest restaurant. The panoramic 360 degree views are stunning, and they serve a range of Western food alongside Chinese and Japanese.

For unmissable views over the Tian’anmen and Forbidden City area, head for Jingshan Park (admission 2RMB). The park is located just north of the Forbidden City and on a clear day has fabulous views across Beijing, including Lake Beihai to the west and the Bell and Drum towers in the north. Whilst here you can visit some traditional Chinese temples and also the spot where emperor Chong Zhen hung himself in 1644, after the Imperial Palace was broken into by rebel troops.

Other good views across the city can be found at the Drum Tower and CCTV Tower (not to be confused with the CCTV Headquarters), and many Beijing Hotels also have great views of the city, particularly toward the higher floors.

Make A Splash at the Water Cube!

On September 13, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Modern Architecture, by Jack Li

Beijing National Aquatics Centre, more commonly known as ‘The Water Cube’, is one of the famous constructions created for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing’s Olympic Park. It is a popular attractions for tourists who travel to Beijing and is easy to get to from all Beijing hotels. It cost over 10 billion yuan to build […]

Beijing National Aquatics Centre, more commonly known as ‘The Water Cube’, is one of the famous constructions created for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing’s Olympic Park. It is a popular attractions for tourists who travel to Beijing and is easy to get to from all Beijing hotels. It cost over 10 billion yuan to build and was designed to host the swimming, diving and synchronized swimming events during which 25 world records were broken.

If you just want to take a look around, head there in the evening as the Water Cube is lit up a vibrant neon blue and takes some great photos. Nearby the Olympic Torch and Bird’s Nest Stadium are also very brightly lit and photogenic. You may also find yourselves the target of some photographic attention as it is a popular spot for out of towners who may not have seen many westerners before. This can range from shy attempts to photograph you to a request for you to pose in front of the landmark with their child or whole family!

The area is simple enough to get to via the Subway and the less often used Line 8 will take you right to the grounds. You can alight at either Olympic Park or Olympic Centre as they are either side. Be wary if you are there in the late evening that once the lights go off at 10pm, the last subway is usually just over 20 minutes after this. However if you do find that you’ve missed it then a taxi to the city centre will usually be around 40RMB (insist on the meter), although finding one may be difficult.

On August 8th, 2010, marking the two year anniversary of the Olympics, the Water Cube was reopened as a water park known as ‘Happy Magic’. Entry prices are steep for Beijing, costing 200RMB for adults and 160RMB for children, but it may be worth the fee to experience the largest water park in Asia, complete with 60 lifeguards! If you can’t justify the price tag, you can also pay 50RMB to just go for a swim in the Olympic pools.

The water park is open from 10am until 9.30pm and is a colourful wonderland complete with vibrant slides, plastic jellyfish and surreal decoration. Should you not have suitable swimming attire with you in China, the park has swimwear, towels, goggles and rafts all available for purchase. Lockers cost 100RMB to rent, although 80RMB is refunded when you return.

The park features a spa, wave pool and lazy river alongside thirteen water rides including the Speed Slide, Bullet Bowl and Tornado. A day trip here would be an interesting contrast to the city and a great way to cool down if you are visiting during the hot and humid summer. There is plenty to do for adults and children alike and you can finish off at one of the water themed restaurants in the cube itself.

If you find yourself strapped for time, the water cube is only a small detour from the city on the way to or from the airport, so why not stop by before or after catching your Beijing flight!

KTV: Sing, Dance and Be Merry!

On September 8, 2011, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Entertainment, Nightlife, by Jack Li

KTV (short for Karaoke Television) is a popular social activity in the far east, and is an interesting twist on the typical bars and clubs we commonly visit in the UK, Australia and America. It is an experience any tourist should try at least once when they travel to Beijing and there are KTV venues […]

KTV (short for Karaoke Television) is a popular social activity in the far east, and is an interesting twist on the typical bars and clubs we commonly visit in the UK, Australia and America. It is an experience any tourist should try at least once when they travel to Beijing and there are KTV venues located all over the city near to many Beijing hotels and attractions, you will usually spot them by their big sign with ‘KTV’ in neon lettering.

 

 

The entrance lobbies are generally very grand with extravagant decor, vibrant colours and giant chandeliers. You are usually met at the entrance and shown to your booth for the evening. KTV rooms are available to rent for an evening or per hour, and there is a broad price range which varies between establishments.

 

 

They have many different rooms ranging from a simple 2 person room right up to big rooms suitable for work gatherings and birthday parties.  The idea is to rent out a booth with a group of your friends, select your favourite tracks and sing your heart out. The booth is closed off and private, and provides television screens with the music video and lyrics so everyone can sing along with you. In Chinese culture it is a very popular pastime even if you are not so vocally talented, and the locals use it as a place to vent their emotions, socialise and relax.

 

KTV establishments normally provide food and beverages or have them available to purchase giving you no reason to leave your private area, and each room has a spacious dance floor for those who feel less than confident about singing in front of their friends!

 

There is normally a variety of music to choose from with both English and Chinese favourites available, including all the latest popular chart hits from back home. Karaoke rooms are kitted out in style with fancy couches, a modern computer playlist and giant flat screen televisions. The atmosphere is generally very party orientated with twinkling coloured lights, disco balls and dimmed lights.

 

KTV was originally invented in Japan and came to China about 25 years ago, originally existing in mostly expensive four and five star hotels, before moving on to nightclubs and specific KTV establishments. Alongside the private rooms there is usually a general public karaoke area where groups can gather and sing together.

 

KTV is the perfect way to chill out with your friends and sample the culture first hand, a must see on for your China travel itinerary!

Shop ‘Til You Drop’ at the Beijing Silk Market

On September 5, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Shopping, by Jack Li

One of the Must See Attractions when you travel to Beijing is the enormous six storey Silk Market. It is very convenient on the subway from most Beijing hotels and taxi prices are reasonable, just be sure to get the chinese name for where you are going as there is a very high chance the driver […]

One of the Must See Attractions when you travel to Beijing is the enormous six storey Silk Market. It is very convenient on the subway from most Beijing hotels and taxi prices are reasonable, just be sure to get the chinese name for where you are going as there is a very high chance the driver will not speak any English.

You will find a huge amount of stalls selling a variety of merchandise, and there is an entrance directly from Yong’anli subway station which brings you into the centre of the action, starting at the lower floors selling mostly handbags and shoes. Goods are mostly imitations of well known designer and high street brands, although non branded items are available alongside this. All the big brands are here including Chanel, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton, Christian Louboutin etc and there is quite a range of high street from Adidas to Zara.


The pedestrian entrance walking from the subway to the market itself is also worth a look, as it sells a range of trinkets, magnets, gadgets and stationary – perfect as a gift for someone back home! There are also unusual inventions here that you would expect to see in Asia, for instance a mini fish tank complete with a built in alarm clock, side light and pen holder!

 

You can catch the lift or take escalators up to the further levels selling clothing, electronics, jewellery, children’s toys and homeware products, you name it and there is a high chance it is probably for sale at the market somewhere! Even newer and less obvious brands are replicated at the Silk Market, for example Cath Kidston’s iconic floral printed accessories and the very popular Lelli Kelly embellished children’s shoes.

 

There are many restaurants and snack stalls around, they appear to be more concentrated on the higher levels and prices are reasonable. The famous Quanjude Peking Duck restaurant has a space on the sixth floor and there are also other food options such as a McDonalds within walking distance.

The market is extremely busy, usually attracting around 50,000 visitors on a daily basis, therefore the sellers are very experienced and will start with extortionate prices. Be prepared to haggle hard as the starting price is likely to be hugely inflated, it is possible for a starting price of 5000 RMB to be haggled down to around 80 RMB. It is easy to spend all day there, exploring the various stalls and different quality of items available.

 

If you are after a slightly easier time with more chance of a bargain or just a tiny bit more space it may be worth visiting in the early morning or evening, as the market is open daily from 9am until 9pm, however due to the guaranteed hoards of potential customers you may still end up paying more than you should be.

 

If you are unsure about navigating the market or the sights and sounds of china, there are many Beijing tours available including specialist shopping tours. There are options for whatever length you require, including multi trip tours that also visit other major Chinese places of interest such as Shanghai and Xian.

Pingyao County

On August 26, 2011, in Adventure Trip, Cultural Experience, Must-sees, by Jack Li

When travelling to large countries it is always difficult to decide what to see. The large cities always offer many attractions and ways to occupy your time. However smaller towns and cities should not be neglected and if possible should most definitely be visited. Steeped in rich cultural history they offer a truer representation of […]

When travelling to large countries it is always difficult to decide what to see. The large cities always offer many attractions and ways to occupy your time. However smaller towns and cities should not be neglected and if possible should most definitely be visited. Steeped in rich cultural history they offer a truer representation of the way China used to be opposed to what it is trying to rejuvenate itself into. China Tours operates trips to see these cultural hot spots so book your China Flights now!

Pingyao is a Chinese city and county in central Shanxi province. It is located about 715 km away from Beijing and 80 km from the provincial capital, Taiyuan. During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was the financial center of China. It is now renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pingyao still retains its city layout from the Ming and Qing dynasties, conforming to the traditional bagua pattern. More than 300 sites in or near the city have ancient ruins. All of the streets, storefronts and houses to this day retain their charm and character. The intricate detailed architecture has been preserved and gives the place an added magnificence.

In the spring and autumn seasons, the county belonged to the kingdom of Jin. It was part of the kingdom of Zhao in the Warring States Period. In the Qin Dynasty, it was known as Pingtao. During the Han Dynasty, it was known as Zhongdu County. In 1986, the People’s Republic of China designated Pingyao as one of the Chinese Historic and Cultural Cities. Further to this it became a World Heritage Site in 1997.

The city walls of Pingyao were constructed in the 3rd year of the Hongwu Emperor’s reign (1370). The walls have six barbican gates. The north and south sides have one gate each. The walls measure about 12 meters high, with a perimeter of 6,000 meters. A 4-meter wide, 4-meter deep moat can be found just outside the walls. Aside from the four structured towers at the four corners, there are also 72 watchtowers and more than 3,000 battlements. In 2004, parts of the southern walls collapsed but were reconstructed. However, the rest of the city walls are still largely intact and are considered among the best-preserved ancient city walls on this scale. This makes the city walls the centerpiece of the Heritage Site.

Increases in tourism have put pressure on the ancient walled city of Pingyao. During the tourist high season, the amount of visitors to the city can reach up to 3 times its maximum capacity per day; however, the small town does adequately cope with this demand and is well worth visiting for an excellent cultural experience (China Hotels).

 

Central Business District, Beijing

On August 25, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Cool Places, Nightlife, Shopping, by Jack Li

Beijing’s Central Business District, or more commonly known as CBD is the main area of finance, media and business services in the capital. It covers about 4 kilometers squared of the Chaoyang District, in the eastern part of the city. China has become a global economic giant, and the CBD is at the heart of […]

Beijing’s Central Business District, or more commonly known as CBD is the main area of finance, media and business services in the capital. It covers about 4 kilometers squared of the Chaoyang District, in the eastern part of the city. China has become a global economic giant, and the CBD is at the heart of the nation’s business transactions. The District has attracted 117 Fortune 500 companies in the financial, consulting, IT and media sectors. The CBD is home to many of the world’s most impressive skyscrapers as well as Beijing Hotels. These include: the China World Trade Centre, the CCTV Headquarters, Fortune Plaza, Beijing TV Centre and the Beijing Yintai Centre. You would probably see these skyscrapers from your Air China flight when you are approaching the capital.

On one of my first few days in Beijing, I woke up a bit late so there was no time to go and visit the major sites, so I thought since I’ve only got the afternoon free, I’ll take a walk down the Business District, and I am so pleased that I did. I even came back one evening, because the skyline looks even more stunning at nighttime.

My personal favorite is the China World Trade Centre Tower III (right), not to be confused with the China World Trade Centre. TowerIII has 81 floors and 30 elevators (which travel at 10 meters per second!). Completed in 2009, this architectural giant stands 330 meters tall. It is thus the tallest skyscraper in Beijing. It serves many purposes. Firstly, it houses an exquisite 278 room 5-star hotel. Offices occupy the building up till the 55th floor. The 79th till 81st floor is special. It is home to one of the finest bars and restaurants in Beijing. Imagine sipping on a martini 300 meters high whilst overlooking one of the most spectacular cities in the world. It was a great experience. When I come back to Beijing, my first nightspot visit will be the bar at the top of the China World Trade Centre Tower III.

The China World Trade Centre is a group of buildings of which Tower III belongs to. It has everything from a hotel to an exhibition hall, offices and even a high-end shopping mall called China World Mall. Not only does it have Fendi, Hermes, Tod’s, Christian Dior, Shanghai Tang, Armani stores and boutiques, it also has an ice skating rink. So after you’ve been to the shops, bought a few things the best way to recover from the open-wallet surgery is to cool off and wind-down on the ice.

Another important attraction at the CBD is of course the CCTV Tower (left). As you can see from the picture, it is a very unique piece of architecture. It is 234 meters high (44 stories). It is the headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV), the major state television broadcaster in Mainland China. Due to its unorthodox shape, it is said that a taxi driver once nicknamed it, ‘da kucha’ which roughly translates to ‘big boxer shorts.’

The CBD is one of the most remarkable financial districts in the world, equally as impressive as Canary Wharf in London, or Wall Street. Sure, it may not be tourist attractions per say, however it is still well worth a visit when you Travel to Beijing.

 

National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing

On August 24, 2011, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Must-sees, Tours, by Jack Li

Travel to Beijing and there are many buildings that will catch your eye. A China Tour will allow you to experience the rejuvenation of a nation that is steeped in great history. During the period of the Opium War in 1840 to the final establishment of People’s Republic of China in 1949, Chinese architecture has […]

Travel to Beijing and there are many buildings that will catch your eye. A China Tour will allow you to experience the rejuvenation of a nation that is steeped in great history. During the period of the Opium War in 1840 to the final establishment of People’s Republic of China in 1949, Chinese architecture has witnessed a blend in Chinese style and western style. Although the traditional Chinese architectural system still retained the prevailing style, buildings serving for the entertainment industry, such as theaters, restaurants, and hotels, as well as the business buildings, such as department stores, food market and so on, all made breakthroughs out of the traditional architecture style and succeeded in building up business sites in a combination of Chinese and Western elements.

The National Centre for Performing Arts in the Centre of Beijing is one of those iconic buildings that have broken through the mold and produced a structure that is new, exciting and increasingly resembling of western architecture. The main construction of the building is formed via a very unique shell shape that is 47 meters high. The shape of the building is the only one of its kind in Asia. The exterior of the theater is clad in titanium-accented glass that is completely surrounded by a man-made lake. This makes it looks like an egg floating on water from the air. It was designed as an iconic feature and something that would be instantly recognizable all over the world just like the Sydney Opera House.

Located in the middle of Beijing adjacent to Tian’anmen Square, Great Hall of People and The Forbidden City, it is in the hub of a touristic location. However, this caused much controversy amongst locals and the government as this futuristic and modern is juxtaposition very traditional and ancient Chinese monuments that behold the beauty of China’s Heritage. However, the architect Paul Andreu tried to design with large open spaces, water, trees, and it was specially aimed to complement the red walls of ancient buildings and the Great Hall of People in order to melt into the surroundings as opposed to boldly standing abrupt against them.

Further controversy was caused when the building cost rose from what was expected to be 2.7 billion RMB to a finished grand total of 3.2 billion RMB. The major cause of the cost increase was a delay for reevaluation and subsequent minor changes as a precaution after a Paris airport terminal building collapsed. The cost has been a major source of controversy because many believed that it is nearly impossible to recover the investment. The government for the first three years subsidized 80% of the operating, maintenance, and general usage costs, and now that amount has fallen to around 60%. Much of the revenue is being reinvested into theses operational costs and therefore it has become a non-profitable cause.

Used for many performing arts exhibitions and theatre shows the centre is becoming an increasingly popular venue in Beijing. The magnificence of the building outweighs the controversy it has created, and it is a must see attraction. So book your Beijing Tours and witness a piece of China’s growing architectural promise.

 

Are the Chinese Pots?

On August 22, 2011, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Must-sees, Tours, by Jack Li

As well as having worldwide renowned sights China also has many other cultural experiences to offer. The talent of China is on display in every street and the industry of the Chinese work force can be seen around the cities everywhere. Travel to Beijing and see why china has the best manufacturing capacity in the […]

As well as having worldwide renowned sights China also has many other cultural experiences to offer. The talent of China is on display in every street and the industry of the Chinese work force can be seen around the cities everywhere. Travel to Beijing and see why china has the best manufacturing capacity in the world. As an emerging world force China is advancing in technology and manual labor is declining. However, there is still very much an emphasis on the heritage and traditional methods of producing native ornaments and intricate local items such as pots and vases’. (Beijing Tours)

Chinese ceramics are an ancient art form that date back to the pre-dynastic periods. In china it is one of the most significant art forms and over the years it has emerged as a major form of Chinese design. China is embedded with lots of the raw materials that are needed for making these intricate pieces. This almost gives china a monopoly status amongst the pottery making business. The porcelain used to make these objects is more commonly know as “china” in English.

 

The development of these ceramics has lead to different styles and designs being associated with different times in history. However, the processes behind making the pieces have not changed at all since the early days of pot making. This is evident when visiting the small factories in which these pieces are made. One or two highly skilled individuals whom have been passed on their skills from their older generations carefully carry out each stage of the production.

 

The first stage of the production is making the shape of the desired piece. By carefully sculpting the shape several times the final body of the item is placed in a furnace where it is heated then rapidly cooled. After the main body of the ornament is created, the product goes through many stages of refinement to get a professional and perfect shape. The design that will be transferred onto the ceramic item is carefully drawn out by an artist. This is then outlined with a golden wire. Enamel pigments are then used to color the different sections of the design, this process is very time consuming and requires an extremely steady hand. Once again the finished pot is put into a blast furnace that is heated to over 1000 degrees for a final 10 to 15 minuets. Once the pot comes out it is very dirty and has to be polished. Different grades of stone are used to give the item shine and a silk like finish.

 

This process is time consuming, however, the end result is majestic. This very process has had very little amendments throughout the years and continued to produce timeless classics. However, this industry is starting to become extremely valued as the amount of specialist skilled workers is decreasing. This is threatening the viability of continuing to produce these ornaments. The supply is still very much in ascendancy making it difficult to keep the price of the objects low, hence the more desired pieces are becoming rare collectors items that come at a price.

 

It is a shame that such a beautiful method of making ornaments is becoming extinct. The risk of losing such a precious Chinese culture is a sad moment in ceramic history. Therefore, in order for you not to miss your chance to cash in on some future collectables book your China Flights now!

 

Breakfast in Beijing

On August 22, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Cool Places, Restaurants & Food, by Jack Li

After a long sunrise trek of the Great Wall, I found myself rather hungry, so we decided to stop at a nearby local restaurant/stall for breakfast. This was my first traditional taste of a Chinese breakfast. We asked what there was on the menu. The owner simply replied, “Congee” and “Miantiao.” Miantiao essentially means vegetable […]

After a long sunrise trek of the Great Wall, I found myself rather hungry, so we decided to stop at a nearby local restaurant/stall for breakfast. This was my first traditional taste of a Chinese breakfast. We asked what there was on the menu. The owner simply replied, “Congee” and “Miantiao.” Miantiao essentially means vegetable noodle soup. Congee (below) is a type of porridge found all over Asia. This got me thinking that breakfast wasn’t such an important meal in Beijing. People start their days very early so this meal is usually a matter of getting something quickly to fill their stomach till lunch time, a stark contrast with a full English breakfast in London or a stack of pancakes with two rashers of bacon in New York. Many Beijing Hotels will be able to give you a taste of everything in the morning during you china travel.

There is a wide variety of congee. However, it is essentially rice boiled in water, which turns white porridge. One can eat it with salted duck eggs, lettuce, dace (type of fish) paste, bamboo shoots, rousong (pork floss), pickled tofu or century eggs. The best condiments to have it with would be pepper or soy sauce. The dish can also be made from brown rice too. It is sometimes used as a cure for illnesses. The Chinese believe there is some therapeutic value to congee. It is also fed to young infants as a full meal. Congee is a popular dish in Malaysia, Portugal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

To turn to a more exclusive Chinese breakfast dish, youtiao is also something one eats in the morning. It literally translates to ‘oil strip.’ Think of it as a Chinese donut or bread stick. They are long, golden-brown deep fried strips of dough. Lightly salted, they can thus be torn lengthwise into two. Youtiao (below) usually accompanies rice congee or soymilk. Another savory dish you can try at breakfast is doufu ru, or xiandoufu. This dish consists of pickled, fermented tofu. A very salty dish, so its best served with a bowl of pain rice.

Finally, for those who prefer something a bit more sweet in the morning, you have to give baozi a try. Baozi (below) is a type of steamed bread in the form of a bun. You can have it with just about anything. Sometimes it comes filled with minced meat or vegetable fillings. I personally love to dip it in soy sauce. Other times Ive tried bazoi, I’ve dipped it in honey and it is delicious.

So, if you’re ever in China and you are a fan of these dishes, or you simply want to experiment the local delights, give it a go. Go ahead and book your Beijing Flights to experience this unique culinary culture.

 

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