Collected by Laura Zeyer
When I first visited Beijing in 1993 many of the locals looked at me like I was from another planet. Okay, I’m 2 meters tall so that might have had something to do with it. However, it still seemed as if they had never seen a foreigner before. And...
Zhongshan East 1st Rd, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
Architecture lovers flock to the Huangpu River's western side to stroll the Bund, a waterfront tourist magnet in central Shanghai. There's a glorious mishmash of late-19th- and early-20th-century styles here, from Gothic revival to art deco. Walk...
170 Anyuan Rd, Jing'an, China, 200060
The original Jade Buddha Temple was built in the late-19th century to house two jade Buddha statues brought from Burma by a monk named Hui Gen. They remain the principal attractions of the temple, especially the larger of the two, a seated Buddha...
People's Square, Huangpu, China
Yu Garden - This is the traditional Chinese garden, a very large garden. The feel is very zen. Again, I went there in pouring rain, but still very pretty. There are other major sights that you should go once in Shanghai: 1. The Cheng Huang Temple...
China, Beijing, Dongcheng, Andingmen, Zhonglouwan Hutong, 临9号
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...
24 Zhonglouwan Hutong, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
Explore the back streets near Andingmen Station for a glimpse of everyday life in the hutongs of Beijing. While in the area, stop for a drink at the unexpectedly hip Siif Cafe. As the sign out front says, they have good coffee, along with...
Xicheng, Beijing, China
This adorable old woman reminded me of my grandmother despite the fact that they look nothing alike. I saw her outside Mr. Shi's Dumplings (74 Bao Cao Hutong) which was written up by Time Out Beijing and consequently was filled with white tourists...
Qian Hai Bei Yan, ShiChaHai, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100009
One element of experiential travel is in the local transportation; in Beijing, the hutong pedicab tour is a great way to experience the city and learn how people lived, both past and present. Pedicabs wind through the narrow streets with open...
China, Beijing Shi, Dongcheng Qu, Dongsi 10th Alley, 东四十条甲22号南新仓商务大厦1-2层
You can’t leave Beijing without having Peking duck at Da Dong. I eat the crisp skin first, dipped in sugar. Then I pile the skin, meat, leek, cucumber, and sweet, fermented sauce onto pancakes. I finish by drinking the broth from the carcass. —...
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...
Nanliu Alley, Zhong Lou Shang Quan, Beilin Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China
There are many night markets in Xi'an. One of the best is in the ancient city, near to the old Drum and Bell Towers. It's the perfect starting point for an evening walk through town or just a great option for fresh, authentic, and cheap food.
Zhangjiabao Shangquan, Weiyang, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
We spent a great day with our German and Israeli friends biking the old city wall in Xi'an I had never biked on top of an old city wall before. The bikes were a little bit old and used, but it was a ton of fun! I definitely enjoyed it more than...
Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Lianhu, Xi'an, China
You can't visit Xi'an without having a dumpling feast. Defachang is considered one of the best dumpling houses in the region. Call ahead to request the 18-course dumpling banquet so you can sample the many varieties. One of my favorites is this...
Huajue Alley, Bei Yuan Men Xiao Chi Yi Tiao Jie, Lianhu Qu, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng, China, 710001
Located in the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an, China is the Great Mosque, the country’s oldest and most renowned mosque. The mosque dates back to 742 AD. From all outward appearances, it looks like a Chinese temple and not a mosque; pagodas have replaced...
3 Chongwenmen Outer St, Chong Wen Men, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
One of my favorite moments in Beijing was sitting around the cozy circular bar at Noodle Bar for front-row action of the chef pulling our noodles by hand. The menu is simple and straightforward: all noodle soup with your choice of brisket, tendon...
Donghuashi Beili, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
Yunteng Binguan specializes in the cooking of the Yunnan province. The restaurant is hard to find, but their cheese is worth the hunt. It’s like a milk cake of fresh curd topped with fried Szechuan peppercorn. —Fuchsia Dunlop Bldg. 7, Dong Hua Shi...
The Great Wall of China runs more than 21,000 kilometers (over 13,000 miles), not as one continuous wall but rather as fortified wall sections. Some of the sections date back more than 2,500 years, though only 8.2 percent of the existing wall is...
100 Century Ave, LuJiaZui, Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200120
Tucking into Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings), throwing back cocktails along The Bund, strolling with locals in Fuxing Park, trolling for antique treasures in the shops on Dongtai Road, and taking in the past and present at one of the many museums...
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