10 things you need to know about Beijing

By Abhik Dutta

1.  They are very polite and disciplined.

2. They are many. There are many people everywhere.

3. Chinese cuisine is NOT bland. Sample the Sichuan cuisine – try Chicken fry Sichuan style at Made in Beijing  (Jiangtai Road, Chaoyang) or at Shanshujian

4.  There is a superb vegetarian fine dining Chinese restaurant – Pure Lotus at the erstwhile Holiday Inn Lido (now called Metropark Lido).

5. Most places have names that are unpronounceable. Get used to it.

6. Beijing subway is cheap -Yuan 2 for one-time unlimited ride. And its very user friendly (except for point no. 5 above)

7. There is a shop in Chaoyang called ‘Made in China- Original.’

8. They are trying very hard with their English. Period.

9. The ‘Legend of Kungfu,’ show, based on Shaolin Martial Arts, opens every night at 5.15pm and 7.30pm at the Red Theater  in Xingfu Avenue, Dongcheng and is definitely worth a dekho. Go for the ground floor seating (the upper floor seats don’t have great views of what’s happening at the edge of the stage and in front of it).

10. Myth: You don’t get veg food at The Wangfujing Snacks Street. Reality: Of course you do. I sampled skewered watermelon and strawberries!

About Abhik Dutta: After a short stint in the corporate world, Abhik met up with two close friends who shared his passion for travel and together they started The Wanderers. He has traveled the the length and breadth of the Indian Himalayas. Some of his most memorable forays have been through Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, the dimly lit backstreets of Thailand to the temples of Cambodia, Java, the dunes of Namibia, Lapland in the Arctic, the fjords of New Zealand and other places. Passionate about bird watching and fishing and inept at both, he hopes someday he will land himself a fish.

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