Family and friends were worried for me about water in China. They told me to only drink Wahaha distilled water.
Actually, if you stay in major cities, there is absolutely no need to be worried about the brands you might find in small shops or supermarkets. I've drunk different brands and there were no problem at all.
We had a fantastic traditional Chinese dinner of hot pot... This dinner features a central container of boiling hot water in which you can dip and cook slices of meat... Delicious!
One of the golden rules of travel... The locals always no best where to go for great dining experiences!
On the express train from Hong Kong, I met a wonderful Beijing couple that took me and a Swedish traveling friend out for an absolutely succulent meal of Beijing duck and other Chinese delicacies. They took us out to a fantastic restaurant packed with nothing but locals that we would have never found on our own! And they were very helpful in telling us what everything was and even instructed us on the proper Chinese method of using chopsticks...!
Pictured here is myself and traveling friend Par from Sweden at the restaurant. Some people think we look almost like twins... In case you're not sure, I am the more handsome guy... on the right...!
Ah, the good old days before Starbucks and Red Bull. For less than a dollar you could get a six pack of orange soda on just about every street corner in Beijing.
Fondest memory: This photo was taken during the summer of 1988 when the sight of a flatbed tricycle loaded with flat orange sodas was just as flat out refreshing as the drink.
I have to say that I often remember of the chinese breakfast. It is so different to the european breakfast and I really miss it.
What did I eat:
Baozi (stuffed steamed rolls)
Dou jiang (bean juice)
Fondest memory: If you speak a little bit chinese it would help to order what you really want to eat. Unfortunately I don´t speak that language but with the help of native people I never ate anything which I didn´t like to eat.
Favorite thing: sample the food there. As is the case with visiting any part of China really, eating is a must. Food is such an important part of Chinese culture that to really experience the country is to pig out!! Aside from the local Northern cuisine, the city contains a large variety of restaurants representing all parts of the country. But in particular you must try the local dishes, including dumplings and Peking duck. If you are not going to make your way further north or west, then Bejing would be a great place to sample cooking from the ethnic minorities in the north and west.
There are plenty of McDonalds and KFC restaurants to go to if you get tired of the local fare, but I think the most exciting venture was just taking a chance and trying out what I call, 'Point & Eat' restaurants where there is no menu in English. You are taking a chance, but you get to sample some really interesting meals!
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Beijing was just taking a leisurely stroll down Chegongzhuang, buying some bottled tea and sitting with the elders to read my China Daily newspaper. The elders are never in a rush, very friendly, with so much character in their faces! They play Chinese chess, cards, practice their Tai Chi exercises and just sit and chat in Mandarin. They were very warm people!
The marvellous porcelain and the chinese culture to drink tea. This is really a ceremony and takes a lot of time. At first sight they realize if the tea is still too hot do drink or not.
The cup at your left hand side has nothing in it, the other one is filled with hot water. Do you notice the change of colour of the phoenix?
Here we are at a KFC outlet located within the compounds of BEIHAI PARK.
Get this: a KFC whipped potato costs only US$0.10 cents here! But the taste sure is funny... It tasted like vanilla instead of potato! Oh well.. that's finger-licking goodness for you...
Fondest memory: We went to this restaurant in the 'hutong' area wich name I don´t remember and nobody there speaked english. So we ordered something with our travel guide chinese language section and hope for the best. Well it was one the best and cheapest meals (60remimbi for to persons includind drinks)in Beijing.
Favorite thing: Attend a tea ceremony in China. It can be fun and educational. You can arrange this at any tea house and at the Summer Palace Tea House.