Looking to do something a little different in Beijing? I recently returned from China and having visited a few times before, I decided to try something new – learning how to prepare authentic Chinese dumplings in a local home and taking a ride up the love elevator in the Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium. Here, I gives you a glimpse of my day …
The morning starts with a rickshaw ride through the beautiful hutongs in the middle of the city. Winding alleys and traditional houses give us a fascinating insight into how Beijing used to look. We disembark our rickshaw and jump on bikes which we cycle to the local market. The market is filled with local Beijingers doing their weekly shop, taking advantage of the variety of fruit and vegetables and also the good prices, as the local markets are much cheaper than the big supermarkets.
Once we’ve bought our ingredients for today’s lunch – we’re making dumplings – we get back on our bikes and cycle back through the hutongs to a local house where we begin our preparations. Chopping vegetables and preparing the pastry for our dumplings is quite a skill! After lots of laughing mostly from the host’s amusement at my terrible cooking skills – we were tucking in to our spoils. Dumplings, Kung Po Chicken and fried potato – delicious! Suitably full we say our goodbyes and head to a very different part of the city – the Olympic Park!
The world was first introduced to Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium on the 8th August 2008 when they performed their spectacular opening ceremony for the 2008 Olympics for millions around the world to see. Luckily unlike many past Olympic venues which are left to rack and ruin – this one is not! The stadium is now open to the public to visit as well as concerts and events being held here. Once inside we take a look at the photo gallery of the opening ceremony, the games and events since. Then it is all aboard the ‘love elevator’ – great piece of Chinglish – to the top of the stadium. My legs got a bit wobbly as I neared the top – but the view was fantastic and you could really imagine the noise and atmosphere that would have been here during the summer of 2008.
To find out more about Ann’s trip to China, please email her at Ann@onthegotours.com.