March 31 - April 9: Michele and Alex visit Beijing!

Part I: The arrival and first few days

Day 1

Michele and Alex arrived at the Beijing Airport at 4 in the afternoon. Michele wasn't too happy about the flight. The food was bad, the service was bad, and there was turbulence. She should have flown with an Asian airline. After checking into their hotel, Zheng Ye Hotel, we headed over to our place.

Ah...relaxing in our apartment after a long flight.

That night we went to dinner at the Nine-headed Bird Restaurant that serves Hubei Food. It's our favorite restaurant in the area. Yummy.

Day 2

Michele, Alex and Nancy headed off for a day at the Panjiayuan Flea Market. Bryan decided to pass as shopping is just not his thing. First, we had for some breakfast at a local department store.

Crossing a busy intersection for the first time. Check out the Mankattan bread cart.
Michele's first and last bus ride on the 302.
The many bicycles on the sidewalk around the Panjiayaun flea market.

We had lunch at a local restaurant serving Beijing homestyle cuisine. We had garlicky eggplant, tofu with bean vermicelli soup, and pork slivers wrapped in tofu skin. It was delicious!

Here we are checking out the kite flying on the way to Longtan Park.
The first public toilet that Michele had to use in China.
At a small park somewhere in Beijing.
Want to go bungee jumping?
Many Chinese people bring their birds to the park and put them in the trees.
These little furry animals could be won at games in the park.

We had fun paddling around the lake at Longtan Park. Michele sat back and enjoyed the view.

A brave little girl!
Ping-pong tables at the park. Too bad we didn't have any paddles.

We all went to an acrobatics show at Chaoyang Theatre. We had great seats - fourth row center.

We had dinner at a local chain restaurant that has a pig as its logo. The staff all wore paper hats with a pig on it. Cute. Their specialty was roasted pig head, but we passed. Instead we had tofu, shrimp, fish soup, some clay pot dish with a mishmash of stuff, and some chive dumpling thing.

Day 3: The heart of Beijing

Hanging out at Tiananmen Square.

Having our pictures taken with Chairman Mao Zedong in front of the Forbidden Palace entrance.

Check out the baby butt. In China, babies are potty trained at a young age and do not need to wear diapers. When nature calls, their mothers hold them over a receptacle (or quite frequently some out-of-the-way spot on the sidewalk) and they pee.
At the Forbidden Palace (gu gong).
Michele and Alex just visited Starbuck's. Yes, inside of the Forbidden Palace.
'Ohhhhh, my head is so cold!'

Inside the garden. What nice spring flowers! What a change from when we came in the winter.

An awesome paroramic view of the Forbidden City from the top of Jingshan Park.

A view of Beijing from Jingshan Park.
A vew of Beihai Park from the hill at Jingshan Park.

We went to the Beijing Zoo to see the giant pandas!

Relaxing on a nice spring day at the zoo.
'Hey look - it's the aquarium! But it's closed ... guess we'll have to go another day ...'
On our way to dinner the cabbie took a short cut through this really narrow street.
What better way to work up an appetite before dinner than by watching cake decorating ...
Dinner at Tian Wai Tian Roast Duck Restaurant. The best roast duck that we've had in Beijing so far.

This was Alex and Michele's first Beijing Roast Duck in Beijing. We had a whole duck along with 'do miao,' cashew chicken, and black bean garlic chive and pork. Alex at most of the fat from the duck by himself! Mmm...

Back at the hotel, we taste the cake that we watched being made at the bakery.
Back to: Wuhan

On to: Michele and Alex visit Beijing! (Part II)

Back to Bryan and Nancy's Trip to China Main Page