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Beijing 2014

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Dongcheng, Beijing, China
“Our umbrellas are a part of our culture that is disappearing,” says Cheng Dehu, the owner of Beijing’s Ruo Shui Tang Oil Paper Umbrella Workshop. As China has modernized at a breakneck pace, most traditional oil paper umbrellas have been left...
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Want to learn how to make tasty dumplings? Or hand-pulled noodles? Or the cuisine of Hunan, Yunnan and Sichuan? The Hutong is a cozy retreat where you can gather with a small group and—all tools provided—learn how to make a dish or two. The Hutong...
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11 Beixiangfeng Hutong, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
I first went to this restaurant, hidden deep in a crumbling hutong (alleyway) neighborhood, by myself in a rickshaw one foggy November evening. It’s one of those unique, authentic finds that have remained intact for decades. The roast duck is...
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临9 Zhong Lou Wan Hu Tong, Andingmen, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
The old hutongs [alleys] near Drum Tower are lined with nameless snack shops selling what I call Chinese fast food. One staple is shui jiao, which are boiled dumplings typically filled with pork and fennel. You dip them in vinegar and soy sauce...
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6 Fangyuan W Rd, Chaoyang Qu, China, 100096
This is the best place in Beijing to buy contemporary Chinese ceramics. Spin works with artists in Jingdezhen, China’s porcelain capital, and the pieces here are original, limited-edition works of art at competitive prices. Attractive vases,...
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131 Fuchengmen Inner St, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
It's easy to get temple fatigue in China. Many tourists make the mistake of trying to see as many temples as possible, as if checking them off an invisible checklist. If you want to add this temple to your list, it is a very famous one. It is...
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186 Wangfujing St, WangFuJing, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
Wangfujing is first and foremost a tourist market. It's bold, brash, and unapologetic—and for that, it has my respect. Wangfujing is comfortable in its own skin, even when that skin is crawling with scorpions. I'll always have a special place in...
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138 Wangfujing St, DongDan, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
This was a bustling alley not too far from the famous Wangfujing Food Street, just a few blocks south of it. Here you can find tons of trinkets and souvenirs from giant antique metal necklaces to stuffed animal pandas. You can even catch free live...
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108 S Luogu Alley, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
Pass By Bar stood out a decade ago as the sole watering hole in a sleepy neighborhood. Now, as part of a strip with over one hundred cafes, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops, it stands as the veteran on the street. Begun by a backpacker who...
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3 Heizhima Hutong, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
A cooking school by day (Wednesdays and Sundays, to be specific), Black Sesame Kitchen hosts a 10-course family-style meal on Tuesday and Friday nights that allows visitors to sample Chinese dishes from a variety of regional cuisines. Most who...
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Haidilao is just as famous for what happens before dinner—those waiting for a table get free snacks and drinks, complimentary manicures, and their shoes shined, as well as access to board games and toys—as for the Sichuan hot pot it serves. With...
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Wangfujing St, WangFuJing, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
Don't expect to find any Beijing residents on Wangfujing Snack Street, home of spiders, scorpions, starfish and pretty much anything else that can be skewered and cooked. This is firm tourist territory, a place for visitors to test their mettle...
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"Guijie" street is lined with hole-in-the-wall hot pot places. It's also home to one of my favorite courtyard restaurants, Huajiayiyuan 花家怡园, which serves some of the best Peking roast duck in the city. There's even a kung-fu noodle master and tea...