Our final sightseeing venture of the day was the very fun Donghuamen Night Market, which connects with Wangfujing Street (a major thoroughfare and shopping destination). It's been going on since 1984. If you go to Beijing, don't miss this (even if it is uber-touristy, not to mention an exploitation of Chinese culinary tastes for a Western audience).
This was part of the Forbidden City, unless I'm very much mistaken - we walked up along the eastern side of it, before turning right (east) onto Donghuamen.
A non-market locale on Donghuamen.
Looking down Donghuamen toward the market in the distance.
Finally we arrived at the stalls.
The people all work together, so it seemed. Everyone had identical uniforms, but each stall offered something different.
Approaching from the west, we came across the exotic seafood first, including starfish and sea urchin.
The lady really wanted me to buy squid and other fare.
The red lanterns light the way down the street. The market is entirely on the northern half of Donghuamen.
Snake... which I ordered and didn't particularly care for (chewy and not very appetizing or substantial, in my opinion).
I consider myself a brave guy, but I couldn't bring myself to try the tarantulas, or the similarly large scorpions. I did however order more of the small scorpions (not as tasty as the hutong variety from before, but still good).
Centipedes (again, couldn't do it).
The less threatening ostrich (left) and venison. The ostrich was amazing.
Around the corner from the Donghuamen Night Market was St. Joseph's Cathedral, the second oldest church in Beijing (1655, although the current structure only dates to 1904). It belongs to the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), a government-backed Catholic organization that is not in communion with the Vatican.
A choir sang outside on that particular night (Saturday).
Looking back down Wangfujing, with the Apple Store just visible on the left.
It was our last night at Traders Hotel in Chaoyang District, which we really enjoyed. China Spree did a good job picking the hotel for us.
We were right across from the China World Trade Center Tower III, which is 1,083 feet tall. It is the tallest building in Beijing and the 48th tallest building in the world.
If you recall my first China post, we went the next morning to Mao's Mausoleum, where cameras are not permitted (I may be good at sneaky photography, but the Chinese had me beaten by a mile). Thus, that concludes the posts for the Beijing trip. Hopefully my wife and I can return to China someday in the not-so-distant future and explore other wonderful areas of the vast nation.
Coming up = Cartagena and Bogota, Colombia. Stay tuned.