Beijing Day 7: A Walk at HouHai

Upon return from the bus trip from Badaling, Ben brought me to Houhai.

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Houhai is the middle lake among three lakes, Xihai, Houhai and Qianhai, located north west of the larger Beihai. It is a pleasant walk along the tree-lined lake.

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Local people come to the lake to fish.

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Houhai is surrounded with hutongs. The above is a typical hutong lane with tall walls and narrow pathway.

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Houhai is famous for nightlife. There are many restaurants, bars and cafes here. It is popular with foreign tourists and expatriates. You can see a roof top bar in the above photo. (more…)

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Beijing Day 7: I made it to The Great Wall of China

Badaling was the first section of the Great Wall to be restored. It was restored in 1957. Due to it’s proximity to Beijing, it is the most visited place of The Great Wall.

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The entrance to The Great Wall is RMB45 (about CAD7.50) per person.

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The wall at Badaling is 8 meters tall. The entrance to The Great Wall is at an altitude of around 600 meters. Our destination is to reach the North Tower 8 (where I’m pointing) which is a climb of 300 meters. When Ben took a Great Wall tour during his first visit in May, it included the cable car ride to and back the North Tower 8 and was given an hour or two to wander around. If I remembered clearly, the tour also included a lunch. The tour was RMB412. This time, Ben wanted to walk all the way up.

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We were lucky that it was a sunny yet chilly day with blue sky. We started our journey quite early and the crowd was still manageable for photo ops. (more…)

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Beijing Day 7: Brunch at the foot of The Great Wall Badaling

After a day of rest, we were all ready for a new day of adventure. It’s going to be a day that is tiring but yet rewarding. Here we come, the Great Wall of China.

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When Ben worked in Beijing in May 2011, he joined a day tour to The Great Wall. The day tour costs RMB 412. This time, Ben decided that we will go on our own. He did some research on  the internet. We took the subway to the Badaling bus station. Subway ticket is only RMB2 per trip. At the Badaling bus station, all the bus operators tried to get people to get on their buses. But we had to look for the right bus which is the above 919.

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The bus ride was quite comfortable. It only costs RMB6 (CAD1) per person.

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The bus ride was about an hour or more. At last we were at the foot of The Great Wall Badaling. The signage of the above photo is literary translated to “He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man”. I made it. (more…)

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Osaka Supermarket Bakery in Yaohan, Richmond

After our lunch at Yaohan Foodcourt, we walked past Osaka Supermarket. We just cant resist the temptations of the pastries from the window of the bakery.

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We bought a few items for our next day’s breakfast. Nanzaro wanted the Pineapple Croissant. This is $1.39. The croissant itself is flaky and the pineapple custard topping adds sweetness to it.

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I had the Coffee Danish with Crispy Topping; also for $1.39. (more…)

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XO Beef Noodle in Yaohan Foodcourt, Richmond

It’s comfort food time. We went to the Yaohan food court for some simple comfort food. Nanzaro wanted to have the Spicy Lamb Noodle from Want Want Hot & Spicy House in the foodcourt.

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I decided to try a relatively new stall called XO Beef Noodle. It serves Vietnamese style food.

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It also has a section of prepared dishes.

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I decided to go for their combo for $7.50 which includes a hot drink of coffee or tea. (more…)

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Beijing Day 6: Dinner in a Szechuan Restaurant in Oriental Mall

Day’s 6 dinner, we went to a Szechuan restaurant in the Oriental Mall. This restaurant has a very oriental feel to it.

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The good thing about restaurant here is that they have a photo menu displayed at the restaurant front. You can browse through the menu before deciding to go in or not.

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For drinks, I ordered a red dates drink (on the left). It was thick and mildly sweet. Red dates are good for blood circulation.

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We ordered 3 dishes to share. For appetizer, we ordered some kind marinated meat and egg dish. (more…)

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Beijing Day 6: Beijing Snack, Sugar Coated Haw

With the community kitchen breaks for summer, I’m resuming my travel to Beijing series.

When I was in Beijing in the late fall, one of the popular street snacks is sugar coated delicacies. They are various fruit like hawthorne berries, crabapples, water chestnuts, grapes, strawberries, pineapples, etc that is placed on skewers and bathed in rock sugar syrup that hardens into a shiny candy coating.

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On day 6, we decided it should be a rest day after five days of heavy walking. We leisurely stroll the street and intended to go to a book store to look for some culinary books for a friend. There is one bookstore on WangFuJing of 7 stories high. It is very big. We even came across a couple of staff having competition retrieving books from a rack based on a list to test their knowledge of how the books are organised.

On the way to the book store, we came upon one of those street vendors who sell sugar coated delicacies.

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This one that we came across seemed to be an old Beijing brand. The history of this snack can be dated back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The story is about a concubine of Emperor Guangzong who fell seriously sick and the court physicians failed to find an effective treatment. But one day a doctor from outside the court volunteered to try and cured the concubine’s illness. The prescription for the concubine’s illness is … (more…)

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Vancouver City Center Photo Walk

After the breakfast at Bel Cafe at the corner of Hotel Georgia, Polly and I took a walk along West Georgia Street.

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Here are some of the photos of Vancouver City scenery and skyline along our path. Enjoy.

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Bubbly fountains.

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Bel Cafe at Hotel Georgia, Vancouver

Polly and I managed to get together once on a Saturday morning for breakfast.

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e met up at the Bridgeport station and took the Canada Line to Vancouver City Center station. From there, it was just a  short walk to Hotel Georgia. We had breakfast at Bel Cafe which located at the corner of Hotel Georgia.

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We were there quite early, just before 9 am on a Saturday morning. It was not busy at that time. But, by the time we were about to leave, the place was full.

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The decor is modern and sleek.

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The above were the items we shared. (more…)

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