International Academic Programs, University of Wisconsin Madison
Summer Palace and Favorite Foods
Yesterday, we went to Beijing again. Only this time, we went to the Summer Palace (Yíhéyuán 颐和园). It was so beautiful there! At first it was a little bit hot because it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but then a mixture of probably clouds and pollution covered the sun which made it a lot more bearable to walk around. It had taken us approximately 4-5 hours to get to Beijing from Tianjin because we had some struggles with the bullet train and tickets. China’s system is sometimes really confusing! I hope that we will get better at using the high speed trains (gāotiě 高铁) soon. Every time we go, we collect a little bit of info on how best to buy tickets next time.
I think that it looks really magical here.
Pro tip: if you ever visit the Summer Palace, start at the North Gate and then walk down to the East Gate! It’s a really great way to see a lot of the Summer Palace in a short amount of time.
The weekend before in Beijing, we had gone to Tiananmen Squate(天安门 Tiān’ānmén) and also the 798- the Art District. The day of the Art District, we also visited the place where I was found in Beijing, which was really nice to visit again and show my friends(I went last year with my family). That was after we accidentally left Andrew behind at a restaurant 20 minutes away!! Another pro tip: announce to the whole group that you’re going to the bathroom. Our group felt really bad, but luckily he made it safely to the Art District on his own via taxi and we met up with him there.
Also this past week, on Wednesday during the cultural activity we went to the Tianjin Museum and learned a lot about the history of the city. Chinese history is really interesting and the museum was so well done.
We also went on a boat ride in Tianjin at night and got to see the big ferris wheel! I definitely want to go back and ride on it at some point.
I thought I was going to have more time to make blog posts, but it seems like I am really busy with school work or going out experiencing life in China. Friday evening a group of us went to see the Incredibles 2 movie in theaters, and I was sitting in my seat at one point in awe thinking, “I can’t believe I’m in China.. watching a movie.. in English.. and when I leave the theater I’ll still be in China.” My brain was so confused. Time is going by fast and I’m still trying to soak everything in. I love the late night dumpling runs, practically drowning in bubble tea, and biking everywhere so much. Our school is also in a really great location to a lot of yummy restaurants.
Here is a list of my top favorite things that I have eaten so far in China:
菠菜牛肉面 (Bōcài niúròu miàn) Spinach noodles with beef. I don’t have a picture unfortunately, but those noodles are my favorites that I have eaten so far. The noodles were green, but didn’t taste like spinach, it was just really cool as well because they were hand-made.
鱼豆腐 (Yú dòufu) Fish tofu. Soooo yummy! Wherever I eat it, it’s always delicious. Tonight we ate at a barbecue place and the tofu had some sort of spicy seasoning on it and it was delicious.
Cheese Bacon chips. These chips are so addicting. I have several bags stocked in my room so that I won’t run out, and I’m really sad because they definitely don’t have them in the US, nor can you buy them on Amazon or anything! I will definitely have to figure out a way to bring some back or get them in the US.
To be honest, pretty much all of the food that I’ve had here has been wonderful, except for the intestines I tried today on accident. Welp. Last pro tip: it is very important to look up all of the Chinese characters of a meal online first when you order a meat dish because you might accidentally order some body part that you do not want to eat.
When that does happen, we just shrug and say, “it’s all part of the experience, I guess!” Everything whether good or bad is part of the experience in China, and they’re all good tests of patience and flexibility. You can learn more than just Chinese when traveling to China!