China and Hong Kong
Collected by Nadine Lomakin
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...
3 Chongwenmen Outer St, ChongWenMen, 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...
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...
Dong An Men Da Jie, DongDan, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
After an aimless walk through the calm hutongs in the centre of Beijing, we suddenly came to a crowded night market. It was only one row of food stalls, but it stretched for several hundred meters! Among other things, you can find more unusual...
24 Zhonglouwan Hutong, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
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...
2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100096
How a complex of German-built factories became one of East Asia’s hottest art destinations is also the story of modern China. When construction on a number of electronics factories began in Dashanzi in 1956, the area was farmland. Joint...
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,...
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...
15 Guozijian St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100011
Across the street from the Lama Temple is the Guozijian, or Kong Miao. However, as my philosophy teacher warned, the Confucian philosophy is not to be confused with religion—that is to say, this is not really a worshipping temple. Rather, it’s a...
3 Hufang Rd, Xicheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
While visiting Beijing on a Fulbright over the summer, we were given the opportunity to attend a traditional Peking Opera. Though the show was entirely in Mandarin, it was highly entertaining and lively. The vibrant colors of the venue, coupled...
Wangfujing, Dongcheng, Beijing, China, 100006
One of my all-time favorite things about China was the candied fruit that was available in every night market. This was in WangFuJing in the very center of the city. Kebabs of grapes, kiwi, plums, crabapple, and much more, all dunked in hot sugar...
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...
12 Yonghegong St, Dongcheng Qu, China, 100007
To understand China, it's imperative to understand the important role religion and philosophy play in the culture. Buddhism is one such influence, and this gorgeous temple tells a bit of that story. Yonghegong is in the northern part of Beijing...
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...
Pudusi Back Alley, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100006
Never leave a country before you taste its street food—there will many differences from one country to the next, but it's always tempting while wandering the streets and a good way to better understand local culture. Donghuamen Night Market is...
186 Wangfujing St, WangFuJing, Dongcheng Qu, 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...
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...
Dongzhimen Inner St, DongZhiMen, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
After visiting the Yonghe (Lama) Temple in Beijing, stop and enjoy fresh made dumplings. This gem is located at Beixinqiao 1st alley, which is near the Beixinqiao northeast station exit. You will love the variety they offer (and the price). If I...
While at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, I decided that I had to see Chairman Mao. While I was checking out the line, one of the guards--off duty, I think, saw my friend and I. He walked us across the street to drop off our bags--cameras included. He...
1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
This complex of Taoist religious buildings was constructed in the early 15th century under the Yongle Emperor, who also commissioned the Forbidden City, just to the north. The temple's central building is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a...
1 Jianguomen Outer St, GuoMao, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100004
Few venues give as unique a view of Beijing as does Atmosphere Bar, set atop China World Summit Wing, the city's tallest building. On a clear day, you can see landmarks such as Tiananmen Square, the Bird's Nest stadium from the 2008 Olympics, and...
23 Qianmen E St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
Maison Boulud is a pleasure for food, drink, and history lovers alike. Formerly the U.S. Embassy during the Qing Dynasty, and site of secret confabs between Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger ahead of President...
33 E Chang'an Ave, DongDan, Dongcheng Qu, China, 100006
If only Writer's Bar in the Raffles Hotel could tell its own story. This venue, known simply as the Beijing Hotel before Raffles relaunched it in 2006, has more than a century of history, and has hosted everyone from Sun Yat-Sen and Mao Zedong to...
42 Guozijian St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
Located off the busy streets in the middle of a quiet hutong alley, this store has gone from modest to modern chic, and has moved into beautiful furniture. They used to have beautiful laser-cut wood accessories made by Chinese designers and have...
61 S Luogu Alley, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China, 100007
If you're looking for something more original than the ubiquitous "I climbed the Great Wall" T-shirt, then look no further. Plastered is an original design T-shirt shop that specializes in tongue-in-cheek treatments of Chinese and Beijing culture....
Nanliu Alley, ZhongLou ShangQuan, 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.
Xiahe, Gannan, Gansu, China
Contrary to intuition, one of the best places to experience Tibetan Buddhism is inside China. I learned that the Chinese government places caps on the number of monks allowed to reside in any single Buddhist monastery inside Tibet. In China “...
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