Long weekend in Beijing – my 2017 pilgrimage

It’s a spring holiday at the university, so I make my 2017 pilgrimage to glorious Beijing. A long weekend in Beijing starts with a 5-hour train trip from Hefei. Photos are hard to capture at 208 kms per hour!

This time I am staying at the Lu Song Yuan Hotel in the Banchang Hutong. It’s just off the end of Nanluoguxiang Hutong where I have stayed before. I always stay in the beautiful old courtyard houses that have survived the urban renewal bulldozing that preceded the Olympics. Easy to find and book on Booking.com.

First, off to Panjiayuan Market – like a giant bazaar of collectables and characters.

There are so many choices, that I couldn’t make up my mind. I bought nothing!

Back at the hutong, I regained my energy at the Pass By Restaurant and Bar. I liked it so much I went every day after that. Better Travel Than Dead.

I use a fabulous website called Viator to book tours, and this night I went first to the amazing and shocking fast food street to eat roasted bats and toasted scorpions. Not really. I just looked.

And then cruising around to see the night lights in the city. You’ll recognize the landmarks. I wasn’t driving. I had a great driver and tour guide, and I really recommend it.

Staying in the hutong is brilliant because there are so many things in walking distance. Next day started at the Lama Temple – Buddhist temples are always so relaxing and photogenic – I am addicted.

Just wandering in the hutong area is fascinating. I always carry my hotel address so a taxi can take me home when I’ve wandered too far.

But I want to see more, so I’ve booked a daytrip to the Summer Palace, and it is splendid!

And then it is time to say “See you next year” and grab snacks for the train trip home to Hefei.