Days 42-44: Beijing Bites

I went out looking for water and accidentally found this pedestrianized area around the corner from the hotel. It’s in Wangfujing and just next to the Imperial Palace in Central Beijing.  (You can click on photo for captions).

Above, see the variety of food from street vendors.

Below, the vendors where I bought items to sample and the food repackaged for dining at the hotel apartment (chestnuts, sticky rice in Coconut, Tripe, and refried mini-pork buns).

The next day, I took an afternoon stroll in the neighborhood at the “Forbidden City”, or Imperial Palace. Having been here multiple times, I could finally absorb and appreciate its grandness and scale. From the outer to the inner courtyards, each progressive complex of buildings paced you from the formal to more intimate parts of imperial life.

Details and interiors of the latter half of the Imperial Palace are below. I did my best to allow the hoards of tourists from deterring my own personal enjoyment. It did flash across my mind, however, about the last encounter with the floods at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg last year. I couldn’t excuse the cruise ships for unloading here this time. I gave way to the primarily Chinese tourists who may have come from the outer reaches to finally see the centuries of human capital used to build the empire, or maybe like me, were just taking a stroll around the block.

In the evening, we made our obligatory stop to the Peking Duck Restaurant, again, only steps from the hotel on Wangfujing:

After Dresden as a pit stop, Beijing was a rallying point to meet husband Gee Kin and travel partner for the rest of the trip.  We leave for Ulan Bator (Mongolia) on Friday morning, so the highlight of the second half of this 80 day adventure is about to begin.

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