The importance of food in China is well pictured in one of their greetings, which translates to “have you eaten?”. Eating opportunities are all over the city, and even if there is no restaurant or food stand nearby, there will be a trailer or grill at the corner serving cooked, roasted or raw delicacies. I’m open to any new experiences so I wanted to try everything the locals eat too. This article sums up my food related adventures in Beijing.
After a successful presentation at the conference, we had the whole Friday and Saturday to discover Beijing. Probably all travel guides will tell you to arrive at sights as early in the morning as possible, because they all tend to get very crowded. So our first destination early on Friday morning was the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The best way to approach the world’s largest square is from Qianmen subway station. Although the events of 1989 are taboo and heavily censored in China, you can still feel the consequences of the student protest. Just to enter the square you have to go through security checks, for some sights you even have to get rid of any bags and every pocket is double-checked by guards. Additionally, the square is full of security cameras. Well, Beijing itself is full of cameras too, but at the Tiananmen Square the number of security cameras is even more pressing – most lanterns have 6 to 8 cameras gazing in every direction.
Only 20 years ago Beijing was mocked being the largest village in the world. After a rapid restructuring of the city and finally due to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Beijing quickly evolved to a modern cosmopolitan city. Fortunately, the city managed to keep its charm.