Saturday, January 23, 2016

TOP SPOTS IN BEIJING FOR THE WINTER NIGHT


Winter time. The nights are longer than days. 

Should I sleep more? No.  It is a wasted opportunity. 

But how can you stroll and wander when temperature makes you shiver and leaves frost bites as souvenir.  To drink alcohol in the likes of vodka, tequila and beer is a given in warming up the body but there is more than being bed-ridden the following day and nursing a hangover.

Here are some of the best spots to loiter on one winter night (alcohol-free).

TOP SPOTS IN BEIJING FOR THE WINTER NIGHT

OLYMPIC PARK

Taking the subway line 8, we disembarked at the Forest Park South Gate or the Olympic Sports center station.  It was quite different now as compared to my last visit.  More commercial buildings built, hence, more spaces to shelter with from the coldness of the night.

But the inevitable is to walk down the open park and have a glimpse of the famed National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) and the Aquatics Center (Water Cube).

TOP SPOTS IN BEIJING FOR THE WINTER NIGHT

TOP SPOTS IN BEIJING FOR THE WINTER NIGHT


These structures were built during the 2008 Olympic Games and remain functional even at present.  Visitors can actually enter the said structures but definitely at imposed fees.

   
DONGHUAMEN NIGHT MARKET

For the more adventurous food lovers, Donghuamen Night Market is a sanctuary.  On aligned stalls set up fronting the gutter of the street.  The array of Chinese food delicacies in the most exotic sense are being offered. 

I for one loves barbeque or any skewered meat for that matter.  But would you dare eat sheep’s penis, deep fried crickets, centipedes, silk worms, scorpions, lizards and snakes on a stick?

No without reservations for me.








Displayed food are raw and deep-fried in a large Wok upon request.  I’m not that adventurous when it comes to a culinary discovery.  I could have tried it if it’s the only means of survival.  But there are other options, so we opted for other Western foods available.




Getting there is easy, just take the subway and get off at Wangfujing Station.  The food market is open from 4PM until 10PM daily and average cost of snacks ranges from RMB5 to RMB50.

DONGHUAMEN STREET

Apart from the night market where diners are obliged to stand while eating as they need to move from one stall to another, a walking distance from the said night market are restaurants that closes late and offers a variety of authentic Chinese cuisine.

I may have forgotten the name of the restaurant and the name of the dishes, but the same are memorable for me and served as comfort food for the night.  I am not into spicy food but our dinner was served good.  Hotel Kapok is the landmark, since the various restaurants aligned are situated on a street across the said hotel.



WANGFUJING STREET

Right at the center of Beijing, the Wangfujing Street has the best location for hotels and the shopping area.  It is a walking distance to landmarks and heritage sites.  On the said street, there are aligned restaurants and a mall that offers varied shops of known brands. 


Even at night, shoppers roam around on the said street unmindful of the chilly weather, with stores catering to mid-range and the high social class.  Even for just a window shoppers’ stroll, Wangfujing will not disappoint.




HOUHAI LAKE

Residential houses along the lake of Houhai has been converted into restaurants, bars and cafes. The area is popular to tourists and expatriates for a chill night life.  Apart from dining and the drinking sessions, the landscape is panoramic and scenic as well during night.


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The nights can indeed be long but the weather may not permit for more time of wandering especially for us who have lived in a tropical country all our lives. 

The opportunity though of being in Beijing is something that needs to be maximized.  And these are just some of the many landmarks to visit while in Beijing.

  

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