We were in China with Intrepid Travel on an 18 day China Gourmet Traveller tour. The trip started in Beijing and ended in Hong Kong. There was a professional cooking instruction in Beijing which was really good.
The Bejing San Train Station from where we took the train to shanghai
Beijing is the capital of China which you all should know. It changes dramatically at the moment. There are old quarters torn down and new avenues are built. Everything is on a real big scale here. The big roads have 2 lanes for bicycles and 4 lanes for cars, for each direction! And it will go on and change a lot until the Olympic Games in 2008.
Food in Beijing is generally great, if you like Chinese cuisine… The differences in prices, however are huge… We had dinner in the Imperial Park one evening and paid 30 $ per person for it. The next day we ate lunch in a small restaurant just beside our hotel and had real good food for 8$ for four people including drinks.
One of the Corner Towers of the forbidden city
We went to see most of the major attractions, such as the great wall, the Forbidden City, the imperial gardens, some temples.... Speaking of temples there are two that I really liked: the Yonghegong Lama Temple and Tiantan - The Temple of Heaven
The best thing was this old hidden restaurant just behind the Tiananmen square (which we would not find anymore) where we ate delicious Beijing duck.
What's really great:
View through the kitchen door of a bigger restaurant
We had a lot of fun in the small restaurant next to our hotel. They spoke no English and our Chinese was even poorer. But we had our little Chinese phrasebook and tried to talk a little bit with the chef and the waiter. Happily the phrases were also written down in Chinese so we could show what we tried to articulate.
We did a little Mandarin course in the restaurant with the staff, which was a big laugh for all of us and the other customers too.
So when staying in China try to learn some phrases it can be real fun.
View of People waiting for the entry to Mao's mausoleum, in the background the line goes on
The Tien an men square is a great sight, the line of people waiting for the entry to Mao's Mausoleum is nearly a mile long....
The hidden city is huge and you should try to spend at least half a day there.
There are plenty of small restaurants which serve very good food at reasonable prices the kitchen are all open so you can always control the quality of the food prepared and the hygiene before you enter.
Soft seater Train from Singapore to West Lake everybody was tried
Try to take a train ride from bejing it is realy fascinating. We had a hard sleeper train to shanghai. The hard sleeper/seater watinig room is one of the busiest places to be and it is very interesting to look how local people interact.
Sorry the text for the picture is wrong! It should say: Shanghai and tired and not Singapore and tried