Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
style Yonghe Gong, the Taoist Baiyun Guan, and the astonishing Temple of Heaven, once a
centre for imperial rites.
With its sights, history and, by no means least, delicious food (all of China's diverse cuisines
can be enjoyed cheaply at the city's numerous restaurants and street stalls), Beijing is a place
almost everyone enjoys. But it's essentially a private city, one whose surface, though attract-
ive, is difficult to penetrate. The city's history and unique character are in the details: to find
and experience these, check out the little antiques markets ; the local shopping districts; the
smaller, quirkier sights; the hutongs , the city's twisted, grey stone alleyways that are - as one
Chinese guidebook puts it - “fine and numerous as the hairs of a cow”; and the parks , where
you'll see old men sitting with their caged songbirds. Take advantage, too, of the city's bur-
geoning nightlife and see just how far the Chinese have gone down the road of what used to
be deemed “spiritual pollution”. Keep your eyes open, and you'll soon notice that Western-
ization and the rise of a brash consumer society is not the only trend here; just as marked is
the revival of older Chinese culture , much of it outlawed during the more austere years of
communist rule. Witness, for example, the sudden re-emergence of the teahouse as a genteel
meeting place, and the renewed interest in traditional music and opera and imperial cuisine -
dishes once enjoyed by the emperors.
Search WWH ::

Custom Search