Monday, March 27, 2017

Wangfujing’s Lively Street Life

The shopping, commercial and night market district of Beijing, Wangfujing is so lively and vibrant especially at night. You can stroll down the malls left and right for branded goods and clothes or dine with various restaurants along the commercial street-side. If that is not your preference, you can stroll down the secret alleys for souvenir bargains and when you’re hungry already you can try eating in their roasting stalls from seafood to scorpions! From high-end world-class shopping to exotic street foods, Wangfujing never runs out of choices to stroll by nighttime. It is one of Beijing’s best places to appreciate by night.

Wangfujing - The main star in Beijing at night.
The lights of Wangfujing shines brightly at night time.
But I bet Wangfujing is not quite of activity during daytime. During daytime, you can still shop around the corners and affordable bargains. You may opt to stroll around or you may go sightseeing but when night comes don’t forget to see Donghuamen Night Market. It is the most famous snack street in Beijing for me and very popular to both locals and tourists as well. After its pedestrianization, Donghuamen Night Market became the no.1 snack street in Beijing.

When the night falls, one can find a row of unusual food stalls from standard meat to exotic foods like lizard, scorpion and seahorse! And I dare you try it along with snake and starfish on stick! But they also offer “mellow things” like sugar dipped strawberry which I tried in Donghuamen Night Market. I also tried, Banana custard cake which was a yummy sweet treat for the night stroll. But the most addicting of them all was Tanghulu!

Donghuamen Night Market.
Donghuamen Night Market opens at 1800H.
Food trip, Wangfujing style.
I love Tanghulu! These are sugar caramelized fruits in bamboo skewers that can be in strawberry or Chinese hawthorn (the fruit taste like apples but in small version) fruit. This is so addicting! I remember I had 4 sticks on my first visit to Donghuamen Night Market and even begged for discount for the last stick! I like strawberry fruit a lot since it is my favorite fruit but other varieties are good to try as well like kiwi, orange and Chinese hawthorn which is an unusual fruit for me since I’m living in the tropics.

Strawberry dip in powedered sugar.
Banana custard cake.
Tanghulu, also known as bingtanghulu is said to be a traditional Chinese snack in which the skewered fruit is dipped in sugar syrup that hardens after. Just be careful in doing an excitement bite. The hardened sugar coating might caused you gum problems. But I tell you, Tanghulu is a must-try in Donghuamen Night Market or in your food trip in Beijing! It adds enough sweet experience on your trip to China!

Another must-try in Wangfujing, is the famous Peking Duck dinner. There are many restaurants around the area that offers Peking Duck but I would recommend Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant as it has a branch in Wangfujing area. Sampling the Peking Duck will definitely guarantee you an authentic Chinese cuisine experience like no other! Peking Duck is one of the must try cuisine while in Beijing. Roasted Peking Duck is a traditionally roasted dish cooked in either closed over or hung oven. After roasting, it is traditionally carved in front of the diners and you eat it with pancakes dipped in plum sauce or other vegetable sidings.  The prepared pancake wrapped meat with condiments and flavors makes a texture in the mouth and bursting with flavors while eating. But then I also tried eating the meat part of the roasted duck.  The roasted Peking duck is truly oily as what I read with other food reviewers but it was sweet, juicy and the taste is intact within the meat. The meat’s juiciness blends sweetly with the taste of its sugar roasted skin.

Tanghulu addicts! At Wangfujing, Tanghulu is a must for sweet tooth craving.
After a Peking Duck dinner, how about a stick of Tanghulu for dessert? Haha… Wangfujing is said to be a place that can be seen at day but better at night. And I quite agree. Wangfujing’s lively street life is better seen at night. There are a lot of things going at night. You can’t just hop on one night market to another but you can also be found but you appreciate the neon lights of the towering buildings of Wangfujing. They are like an amazing street show of lights! Shopping might be one of the endless activities in Wangfujing but you can try food trip like what I did with my travel mates. But do not be disheartened of not visiting it during daytime as there can be other activities that you might discover in Wangfujing during daytime. And that is something I have to try yet once I get a chance again to visit Beijing again!

Night market everywhere in Wangfujing!
Our last night in Beijing is spend in Wangfujing's lively street life.

How to reach Wangfujing. Lucky for us, our hotel is in Dongcheng District which Wangfujing is just one block away from our hotel street. But in case you are using a subway, take Line 1 and get off at Wangfujing Station. Go to Exit A that leads to the commercial street.

Peking Duck: An Authentic Chinese Cuisine is part of my Beguiling Beijing.Captivating China series where I share my birthday trip adventures, travel stories and first-time experiences in Beijing, China last March 20-24, 2012. You might also like the other parts of the series:
+Beijing - A Beguiling City
+Winter Sonata in China
+Roaming through Beijing
+One Spring Day in Beijing
+Forbidden City: Forbidden No More
+A Dragon Hike to the Great Wall of China
+Beijing's Architectural Wonders
+Peking Duck: An Authentic Chinese Cuisine
+Wangfujing's Lively Street Life
+The Imperial Gardens of Beijing

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