Thursday, December 26, 2013

China Trip Day 7 - Just couldn't Wait to Cycle in Beijing

This is my new folding bike, Dahon Jifo16A 16" baby made for city use and posing in front of the hotel a minute before I start my morning ride in the city of Beijing. The sky was bright & clear and temperature was 1°c.
These are bicycles for the use of the citizen of China, I thought it was for renting. Seen somewhere near Prime Hotel.
I managed to find my way to Tiannamen Square.
I was stopped a few times by the traffic wardens and policeman for non compliance of my riding pattern.... hehehe but these officers were all friendly there was no summon issued to me. 
For being too eager to ride in Beijing I forget about my breakfast and eventually found this eating shop for a late breakfast.
Steamed mini dumplings stuffed with minced meat and eaten with shredded ginger and vinegar. And including an egg soup all for only 7 Renminbi (about US$1) . It was awesome I like it very much.
The exploration continued with hitting down the many alleys or hutongs 衚衕 of Beijing , seeing how the neighbourhood lives their life.
I tried to get used to the cycling system it could be tricky at times especially in the initiate period... what I did was just to follow the way they do it....and you will never be wrong.
Passing by one of the scenic lakes at the vicinity of Forbidden City.
This is behind the Forbidden City surrounded by the moat. The weather was so cold until the water surface freezes. 
One for the record at the Forbidden City. Many would think that Beijing is always covered with thick smog and with poor air quality but not during my stay here.
A view of the hotel we were staying and strong sun rays shining down, Prime Hotel at the end of Wangfujing Street.
This is an ingenious way to protect dogs' pee, seen at one of the back alleys.
Like I have said earlier being first time cycling in Beijing could be a bit stressful, the bicycle lanes are sometime shared with cars and to know the traffic light system as where to wait at junctions for crossing....right of way from the other road were essential.
Certain stretches of the bicycle lanes have guided rails like this.
The most challenging part was going through a roundabout. It looks scary with many cars moving here and there but again you just follow the local riders you will be safe.....
The second part of the day was to visit one of the popular hutongs 衚衕 in Beijing. This time no bicycle. We got help from the hotel and was advised to go to NanLouGuXiang using the rapid transit network. 
The crowd was very encouraging probably it was weekend where the city folks would chill out there. The photo showing people crossing from the train station to the entrance of the Hutong.
Most of the people were young, lots of young couples courting and having fun.
So many hidden corners and alleys.
From a traditional courtyard living to a commercial attraction ...  colourful and lively with western touches here and there.

Of course it is food , food and food everywhere....
Salud 老伍 is the name of this pub at 66 Nanlougu Xiang, Dongcheng District. This was the place where I met a Frenchman whom he shared his FB account for my usage in China. FB is actually banned in this country. Thank you Amine for your generosity.
Prior to visiting Salud we tried some street foods like braised beef tripe and oyster omelette.
Time for a proper dinner.
A Hunan spicy rib soup with added glass noodle and veggie.
A bottle of Chinese wine with an alcohol content of 45% (gosh).....
The name of the local Chinese wine.
Crunchy long bean spicily stir fried with chilli and it was yummy.
The Hunan dinner for Day 7.
Yes, at last no more street food but a restaurant that was quiet and conducive for a relaxing meal.
In a subway train heading back to Dongsi Station and Good following day will be a full day cycling in Beijing... hooray!!!

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