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Adventure, Art, Culture, Food

A Saturday in Beijing

You never really know what you will come across in China. We started our journey last Saturday planning to go see the main park in Beijing, climb up to the tower to see the forbidden city from afar, and then visit Huihai Lake in the evening.  The weather was nice after raining all day the day before.

When we got to the park we were impressed by the number of people enjoying the weekend, and by the park itself. We took some selfies and decided we would see what Beijing had to offer for Mexican. TripAdvisor highly recommended Sand Pebble Beach restaurant near Lama Temple. So we hopped on the metro for 2 stops and ended up getting off at Guludajie and walking from there.

The walk took us about a half hour and we planned to go to Huihai Lake after dinner, but along the walk we fell upon a sign that read “Saturday day party at The Other Place” with an address listed at the bottom. So we agreed we’d look it up during dinner. We were quite excited to get to party on a Saturday, it had been a while since we went out.

During dinner we looked the party up and found the address with very little detail about what the party would be like, since it was mostly on the way we decided we would check it out. While dinner was not impressive in the small run down home that seemed to be converted into a 3 story Mexican Restaurant, the party that followed was.

Waking down the little streets of village shelters lining city blocks with little homes and small shops reminded me of walking past camps at Burning Man on your way to one of the sound camps. People strolled down the street, some playing cards on the side of the road. Small shop owners stood outside with lights welcoming people into the stores. It was very cute and lively. After 10 minutes of walking we found the party, as we walked up we could hear the house music bumping from a distance. We knew we found the right place.

Walking in the place was a small terrace surrounded by 4 walls. There was a DJ booth set up in the back with a DJ plying his selection of nudisco and house tracks. We were glad we came.

As we began to settle in we noticed the setup was actually a terrace dance floor surrounded by tables and a person grilling on the side. Inside one of the walls was a bar and some tables and a couple windows facing the terrace. In the corner of the terrace there was a small bathroom, and then on the opposite wall, by the entrance to the terrace, there was a room where people were lounging and having drinks. The setup was cozy and comfortable. The crowd was 90% expats, most from Europe but also some Aussies and South Americans. It was a very nice vibe, and I mentioned multiple times it reminded me of a Burning Man party.

Soon we learned that the one if the owners of “the other place” was an expat from Germany and this was their first summer party. We also found our that another one of the owners was the biggest distributor of DJ equipment in Beijing, unfortunately he has just sold out of the Traktor Z1 mixer I was looking for.

Unfortunately we had to leave a bit early because we were heading to Datong at 5am, by train, and we’d need to understand how to get to the train station.

The party was a wonderful experience and really helped shape and change our perspective of Beijing. Some of the party goers told us where we can find similar parties and told us about other events that happen in Beijing. They mentioned the Beijinger as a good resource to learn about what’s happening in the city, and told us that the best place for expats to hang out was Sanlitun.

If you’re in Beijing and looking for a fun vibe make sure to check out The Beijinger and Sanlitun to have a good time.

Thanks for reading 🙂

David

Culture, Food

Korean BBQ – Delicious!

Korean BBQ is an experience to be had by all.  Although the most popular selections for Korean BBQ are pork and beef, there are vegetarian options for the main course as well.  For those of you that have not seen the set up of a Korean BBQ, I’ll explain…

The tables throughout the restaurant are either round or square typically with a ventilation system directly above.  A long metallic tube extends to the center of the table from the ceiling to take the smoke from your personal BBQ out of the restaurant.  Some establishments are open air, while others occupy a more traditional restaurant space.

Now for the experience…when you are seated you are only expected order the main dish (meat(s) of choice or vegetables) – there are several side dishes, all of which come regardless.  These consist of Kimchi (the most popular Korean specialty, of which there are nearly a dozen varieties – mainly a pickled vegetable with chili and fish sauce), pickled onions, pickled carrots, possibly a form of potatoes, garlic cloves (to roast with main dish) spicy chili sauce, and rice.  In addition to this, they will bring a plate of lettuce and leaves to wrap everything up in together. Of course, these BBQs all have their own spin on things, but in general you get 4-5 sides dishes and then have the option to add on soups, which are quite nice.  Once you order, the real fun begins.

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