Posted in Restaurant, Travel - Beijing

When In.. Beijing!

For the past 10 years, I’ve called Beijing my home. I’ve eaten in a lot of restaurants, been to a lot of places and experienced life living like a local. If you plan to visit Beijing, the top 4 places to visit would be Forbidden City, Great Wall (Mutianyu section please!), Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. However, if you talk about food, I give you fast 5 of Chinese cuisine you must try in Beijing: 

1. Beijing roast duck (aka Peking Duck): a must-eat food when you visit Beijing. The duck is roasted with wood in a stone oven rubbed with spices and no oil. Best to order this dish when you reserve a seat as it take quite some time to cook. The duck will be carved right in front of you for Instagram shots!  Notable restaurants are: Quanjude (Hepingmen Branch only, don’t bother with the other branches), Da Dong, Duck De Chine, Made In China (Grand Hyatt hotel). 

2. Jianbing and soy milk: the Beijing’s version of the breakfast of the champions. You can find them at street corners near office buildings. You have the option to go vegetarian or loaded with meat.   You may think it’s not too hygienic but nobody died yet!  Pair your jianbing with a hot soy milk.  

3.  Hotpot:  there are a lot of hotpot places that you can try in Beijing.  For the budget-conscious traveler,  Xiabu Xiabu (呷哺呷哺) offers the best deal.  For mid-range, go for Haidilao (海底捞) or Dong Lai Shun (东来顺).  Haidilao offers entertainment if you ordered their handmade noodles.  Dong Lai Shun serve their hotpot in a traditional pot.  There are different soup base to choose from (clear, spicy, tom yum, tomato), meats (lamb, pork, beef, seafood), vegetables, noodles/dumplings, sauces.

4.  Dumplings (饺子):  if noodles are considered the staple of the south, dumplings are considered the staple of the north.  A must-eat dish especially during Chinese New Year.  Families prepare their own dumplings and boil them to cook.  I miss the Chinese dumpling restaurant in front of our office building which serves good dumplings.  You can opt for vegetarian, meat lovers, seafood lovers or mixed fillings.  Some dumplings are wrapped in different colors from the usual white.

5.  Lamb Skewers (羊肉串):  the days where you can find in every corner a lamb skewer vendor who grills them as you wait are slowly dying.  My friends and I sometimes just sit outside on a warm balmy day with a bottle of cold beer and just these lamb skewers for dinner.  However, as the local government wanted to ensure the cleanliness and authenticity of the skewers, they are now mostly available in restaurants.  

There you have it!  Enjoy your stay in Beijing!
Photo credits:  Vivian Tang, thebeijinger
Posted in Travel - Beijing

Going to Beijing – How many days??

lovebjMy sisters and mom just left from their vacation two weeks ago and life is back to normal.  Hahahaha!  If you want my sister’s account of her travels in the city, check her commentary on her blog site.  As for myself, I did all that I can do in Beijing on my first year here with Marco.

So.. before we take into consideration as to how many days.. we must consider what kind of trip would you like to have.   Do you want an amazing race adventure or a light and easy trip?   When you’ve decided if you want to kill or relax yourself, decide how many days would you like to stay in the city.  3, 4 or 5 days?

In any case, here’s a 3 day itinerary for you.  When I say 3 days, that’s 3 whole days so make the necessary adjustments.

Continue reading “Going to Beijing – How many days??”

Posted in Banking

Banking for Dummies in China – Part 2

Late October last year, I posted a dummies guide to banking in China.  To start the Chinese New Year, I’m posting part 2 on my dummies guide.  Of the banks in China, I’ve banked with Bank of China, Bank of Communications, ICBC, China Construction Bank and China Postal Bank.  Among the services that these banks offered, I’ve only used online banking, credit card, savings account, time deposit account, salary account and bills payment.

Between October and the present, here are some stuff I missed in my previous note:

  • ICBC can only provide either a passbook or an ATM account.  Bank of China on the other hand can provide you both passbook and ATM when you open an account.
  • You can use your ATM card to withdraw in other countries as long as the ATM machine has the Unionpay logo.  Make sure it’s Unionpay as it also look similar to the JCB logo.  Maximum withdrawal per day is RMB 5,000 worth of whatever currency you’re in and RMB 15 for each withdrawal.  RMB 4 will be charged for balance inquiry.  This is a cheaper alternative than Western Union or Moneygram.          Continue reading “Banking for Dummies in China – Part 2”
Posted in Starbucks

Starbucks China turns 10

sbucks2Starbucks lovers are in for a treat as Starbucks China turns 10.  To celebrate their 10th anniversary, Starbucks rolled out their 10th anniversary tumbler, mugs and gift box.  Also, Starbucks lovers in Beijing and Tianjin will get 20% off this Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17 on their merchandise excluding hand crafted beverages, coffee beans and coffee passports.

So that means.. the Starbucks tumbler group lovers on multiply, should tell me to buy your faves this weekend to get 20% off.   Hahahaha!  Hey!  Any discount is always welcome!  Grab your favorite merchandise while it last!