Simple Vegan Crepes

I promised you a sweet vegan pancake recipe…well, you’ve got it!

This is my go to crepe recipe. I make American style pancakes all year round, but rarely make crepes, so it always feels special to whip up this batter on Pancake Day. Whilst I love chocolate, oat cream, jam, nut butters and such, my favourite combination is the classic lemon juice and sugar. I like to keep it simple when it comes to crepes.

Simple Vegan Crepes

  • Servings: makes 6 pancakes
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 cups of non dairy milk

Method:

  1. Whisk all the above ingredients together and set aside for 1o minutes or so.
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan. When super hot, pour a little of the batter in each time, lifting and turning the pan around in a circular motion to spread the batter around.
  3. These cook real fast, they’ll be ready to flip in just over 30 seconds. Flip and cook a little longer.
  4. Repeat with the rest of the batter

Smother these in lots of lemon and sugar, or whatever filling you desire.

I’d like to say I shared this plate with a loved one, but who am I kidding? I scoffed the lot and then had to lie down. Time for you all to do the same.

Thank me later!

Mexican Tofu Scramble Pancakes

You probably don’t know this, but I bloody love pancakes. So obviously Shrove Tuesday…aka PANCAKE DAY is one of my favourite days of the year. Unfortunately I’m also pretty darn disorganised, so I don’t ever get a blog post together in time for the big day. Well, this year hasn’t been much different but I was determined to make it happen, so I made some savoury pancakes for lunch.

I used to be really anti savoury pancakes. ‘What’s the point?’ I thought..’why would you not put sugar all over a pancake?’. But then I realised that if I include savoury pancakes into the Pancake Day, I could have more pancakes…and that’s only ever a good thing right?

Mexican Tofu Scramble Pancakes

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For the Pancakes:

  • 3/4 cup gram flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander

For the Tofu:

  • 1 medium block of tofu
  • tofu seasoning mix (more about this below)
  • sprinkling of nutritional yeast
  • 1 small onion
  • oil

Toppings (you don’t need to use all, or mix and match what you want):

  • 1 avocado
  • vegan cheese
  • chopped coriander
  • salsa
  • hot sauce
  • mayonnaise or sour cream
  • fresh lime juice

Directions:

  1. First off, prepare the tofu scramble. Heat some oil in a pan and cook off the onions for 5 minutes or so.
  2. Crumble the tofu into the pan and cook until browned and slightly crispy (about 10 minutes)
  3.  Add the tofu seasoning and some nutritional yeast and stir through. Cook on a low heat while you prepare the pancakes
  4. Mix together the gram flour, water, salt and coriander. Heat a teeny bit of oil in a frying pan. When hot, pour half the pancake mixture into the pan and cook on a low heat for around 1-2 minutes, until it the top begins to bubble.
  5. Use a spatula to flip the pancake, sprinkle some grated cheese on top and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Pop the pancake onto a plate and top with the scramble, some chopped avocado, salsa and fresh coriander. Folk over and then top with more salsa and some mayo/sour cream and some hot sauce.
  7. Before devouring, squeeze half a lime over your masterpiece and enjoy.

This was so delicious and simple to make, I love it.

I used to put together my own spice blend for tofu scramble…until I came across Vitam-R’s Tofu Scramble Seasoning. Now I don’t use anything else, it’s ace. I’ve not come across it in the UK, only Germany unfortunately, so I stock up everytime I visit. Feel free to use your own blend for this.

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So there you have it, a pancake recipe for pancake day! I will be making some classic crepes with lemon and sugar later but I likely won’t post it up for a few days. Keep your eyes peeled!

What pancakes will you be eating today? Let me know in the comments

Budget Noms: Jammy Pasta

I’ve enjoyed writing about my trip to Beijing but it’s time to get some recipes up on this blog. I’m returning to my ‘Budget Noms’ idea because I’m still aiming to feed myself and Jake for just £10 a week. I haven’t kept up with this constantly, I didn’t fancy a budget Christmas and New Year but generally I’ve found it really easy to follow.

Occasionally I do get a bit bored of eating the same root veggies all the time and sometimes what ends up on our plates can be pretty bland and uninspired. I was in a bit of a rut with it all when I remembered a recipe that I used to make all the time when I was a student.

It’s a simple, sweet tomato sauce with caramelised red onions and balsamic that works really well stirred into pasta. It always feels a bit wrong eating it because it is very sweet, it’s kind of like stirring a tomato and onion chutney into your food but I think it works…plus it’s cheap cheap cheap!

Jammy Pasta

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Ingredients:

 
1 large red onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Generous splash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Enough pasta for 4

 

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook on a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until soft and translucent
  2. Bring another pan of water to the boil. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the onions, lower the heat and cook through for another 10 minutes or so.
  3. Add the garlic and cook through for a further 2 minutes
  4. Once the water is boiling, add enough pasta for 4 and cook according to the packets directions. Add the tomatoes, a splash of balsamic and a little water to the onion mixture. Bring the heat back to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, drain the pasta and stir through the sauce before serving

I was surprised how much I still loved this dish, I cooked some right shite during my uni days. This is definitely a pasta sauce that I’ll be coming back to time and time again, I imagine it would be pretty tasty with some beans or tofu stirred through too. This probably didn’t cost more than 40p per portion, which ain’t bad.

Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Vegan in Beijing Travel Tips

Now that I’ve finished my Beijing Round ups, I thought I’d write a post on how I found Beijing, how I prepared for my trip and how I found eating vegan in the city.

Preparations

Visa

Getting a visa to China is a bit of a pain in the arse. You need to do it at least a month in advance of travelling and you need to have both fights and accommodation booked before applying. Annoying right? As I was staying with my brother it was extra complicated for me to include his apartment in my application as I’d need a letter of invitation from him as well as a copy of his tenancy agreement. To avoid this I booked a cheap hostel that could be cancelled last minute without a fee, I just didn’t turn up and was charged something like a fiver for the first nights stay. If you’re staying with a friend or relative this does violate the terms of your visa but honestly they don’t seem to check, I didn’t have any problems leaving although I may have problems entering in the future. In this circumstance you’re supposed to go to a local police station to tell them where you’re staying and fill out the correct forms…but none of them speak English so this was impossible for me to do. If you’re wanting to book accommodation more last minute then go ahead and book a hostel to cancel, as long as you check into a hotel or hostel during your stay, they will send the relevant documents needed to prove where you were during your visit and you should be okay.

I got my Visa at a center in Manchester. I didn’t book an appointment and showed up on the day, the room was packed full of people. Luckily because I had everything booked, no letter of invitation and was only spending a week there, I was fast tracked and seen immediately. If you’re planning to stay longer then make sure you book an appointment or prepare for a long wait.

Learning the language

I didn’t have long to prepare for this trip at all, I booked my flights on a whim just over a month before I flew out so realistically there was only so much I could do beforehand. I felt at the time, and still do feel pretty embarrassed and awful about how little Mandarin I knew while I was out there. I felt pretty ignorant. I managed to learn a few basics such as ‘hello’ ‘thank you’ and ‘I am a vegetable eater’ before I left but that was about it. I decided to focus on learning food related phrases because I knew that eating out would be when I needed the most help. Here is a youtube video that I found really helpful by Fiona Tian

I knew that wouldn’t be enough to get me by, so I did a lot of research and checked out some blogs written by vegans who have spent a lot of time in China. Vegetarian China was a great resource for me, loads of valuable phrases are written in both Pinyin as well as Chinese characters. I printed out all of these phrases, cut them out and stuck them all in a notebook that I took everywhere with me. I can’t tell you how useful this was, it helped me make sure I’d be getting a vegan meal in lots of non vegan restaurants.

Happy Cow

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Happy Cow is a life saver for any vegan traveller. If you’ve not heard of this amazing website…where have you been?! Happy Cow is basically an online vegetarian and vegan guide. All you need to do is type in the city you’re visiting, or a postcode and it will list all the vegetarian, vegan and vegan friendly restaurants and shops in the area, including user reviews. The site does rely on members to add and update information so occasionally it’s not totally up to date but I found the Beijing listings to be spot on.

This really helped with my planning, it was pretty long winded but I bought a map of Beijing and marked down all of the options available to me. This involved me writing a list of every restaurant in the area, I split it into 2 sections Vegetarian and Vegan and then I assigned each restaurant a letter or a number. I then looked up each place on Google Maps and matched it up to my own paper map of Beijing. I would then use a blue pen for vegetarian and a black pen for vegan and mark down the letters of the restaurants at their location on my map. It took hours but it was super helpful to me. When I was out and about and hungry, all I would have to do is check my map for the closest option to me, I would then carry a paper copy of the list I created (which included a description of what the cuisine was, prices, opening hours etc) and see what was available to me. This meant that even if I had any last minute plans, I wouldn’t have to worry about finding an internet connection to see where was closest to me, I had all the information in my back pack all the time.

Flights

I’ve barely flown since I went vegan nearly 9 years ago, so this was my first experience asking for a vegan meal on the plane. I flew with China Southern Airlines and honestly, I was dreading it. There are some really bad reviews online and a lot of folk complaining about there being zero entertainment on their flights. I thought they were fine, I ended up with a tv in the back of my seat that had loads of films available, including Inside Out which I loved. I thought the seats were reasonably comfy, I was offered drinks fairly regularly…maybe my expectations were low, but it was what I expected it to be.

In the week before flying out, I rang to confirm my vegan meals 3 times. Pestering obviously worked because I ended up with 2 vegan meals on each flight. Here’s a photo of my food on the way out

So what delights did I have here? The main dish was stir fried veg, tofu and some rice. I then had a pre-packed slice of rye ‘bread’ with vegan spread, the spread was actually marked vegan. The rye bread was gross. A small portion of salad…it wasn’t great but fair enough and fruit salad. All in all it was pretty good for flight food and looked far better than the shite folk around me ended up with. I also got my meal before everyone else and it was still hot. I was pleased that there was protein in my meal with tofu and the chickpeas in the salad. I just wish they wouldn’t assume vegans need to eat rye bread.

Meal 1

 

This was my breakfast. The rye bread and spread returned, I didn’t eat it this time. The main dish was surprisingly nice, it was a sort of lentil stew thing with peppery polenta. I had fruit salad and then a polenta based dessert, it was like an Indian sweet but was quite tasty. Not really breakfast food but to be honest it didn’t feel like the morning at this point in my flight anyway.

I did get 2 meals on the way back too but unfortunately I have no pictures because I realised on the way back that my phone wasn’t supposed to be on at all, even on airplane mode. Oops. I had a similar veg, tofu and rice thing and then a tomato pasta for my breakfast. I did get non vegan spread and some cakey thing that didn’t look vegan on the way back so I didn’t bother eating it. I preferred the meals on the way out, they were prepared in Amsterdam so I have a feeling they had a better idea of what vegan was than at Beijing airport but to be honest they were all fairly acceptable meals.

Travel Friendly Food Supplies

I spent a fortune bringing loads of food along with me for emergencies. My suitcase was full of cartons of chocolate milk, Spacebars, Nak’d & Trek bars, biscuits, fruit purees and Ella’s Kitchen smoothies. The Smoothies were particularly handy, forget that they’re for kids, they’re the perfect size to travel with you in your hand luggage as they’re under 100ml. Definitely worth having a few of these with you for long flights in case you don’t get lucky with a vegan meal.

I barely touched any of these supplies because I had no problems finding vegan food in Beijing, but I’m glad I brought them along with me. Unfortunately the fruit purees I bought busted out of their foil packets in my luggage, so I’d recommend bringing jars of puree instead, as they won’t burst and leave your entire suitcase stinking for days.

Here are a few other handy things to bring along: cereals/oats, dried noodles, soya puddings, crackers, pate.

How was Beijing?

Considering the language barrier and the short time I had to prepare my trip, Beijing was a pretty darn easy city to eat vegan in. I was amazed at how easy it was, I was expecting to go hungry a lot and I remember telling myself that it wasn’t a foodie holiday….but it totally ended up being one! Perhaps not as extreme as my trips to Berlin but I ate a lot of good food.

The thing I found hardest was being constantly stared at. Folk had no problem pointing at me, talking about me and having a good old laugh at me, it was so obvious…there was no shame in how they did it. It was hard to get used to that. For a while I found it quite funny that I was so fascinating to people but when I was travelling alone, sitting by myself in a park and being stared at full on for 20 minutes until I left, it was pretty intimidating.

I also struggled with the sheer amount of people in the city, it’s really crowded and there is no concept of queuing over there, it’s really chaotic. I hated all of the security every time you go through a subway station, I hated the army propaganda that played on a loop on the trains… and I wasn’t made to feel particularly welcome there. Beijingers don’t seem like us Westerners that much, I’m not particularly surprised by that, I don’t like a lot of us either but it was really difficult to visit a city that was so unwilling to help if you got into trouble. It was a miracle that I came across Donna and Percy when I visited The Great Wall, no one else was particularly nice to me, folk were constantly trying to rip me off, I ended up trusting no one because it didn’t feel safe to do so.

I found transport and map reading really easy in Beijing, it’s essentially just a grid system so very easy to get around.

A few things to be aware of

  • Be careful crossing roads! Cars do not always stop when there is a red light. I pretty much used the locals as a shield and ran across roads internally screaming.
  • Most toilets are a hole in the ground, a lot don’t even have a door or curtain…they’re pretty public affairs. There’s also never usually toilet roll available, so remember to bring your own. On the off chance that there is a Western toilet, there probably won’t be a queue as locals don’t like to use them…win? I spent a lot of the time just not going to the toilet in public areas, I really didn’t want to fail at squatting and piss all over myself in public.
  • If someone invites you somewhere for tea, don’t go! They will rip you off. Do not use rickshaws unless you can negotiate, they will rip you off! Taxis are generally trustworthy, make sure they have their meters running. Taxi drivers speak zero English but you can point to the closest subway station on a map and they will get you there safely…they’re also super cheap so a perfect solution if you’re lost.
  • The subway is easy to use, buses less so. A bus will not have stations written in Pinyin, it’s all in Chinese characters, make sure you write down your location in characters and pay attention to what comes up on the screens. There are conductors who sit in the middle of the buses, I found them pretty helpful so try and ask them to tell you when the stop is.

That’s about it, that’s all the advice I can give after only 7 days in Beijing. Have any of my readers travelled here? Can you offer any advice?

Vegan in Beijing – Day 7

So here it is, my final day in Beijing. Much like my first day, this day was very chilled out. Sam and Daria had the weekend off so I got to spend the whole day and evening with them. My flight wasn’t until around 11pm that night, so I had plenty of time before I had to head to the airport.

I slept in fairly late because I was exhausted from my walk on the wall the previous day. My thighs burnt. Daria wanted to show me the wonders of 7 Eleven’s breakfast, so we headed to the nearest shop just around the corner from the apartment. I was lucky to have Daria with me because there was nothing written in English here. So, what did I end up getting?

Warm sweet soy milk and some goodies in broth.

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The broth thing was cool, it was all vegetable broth and you could pick a few things to go in it. I picked some tofu, rice noodles and seaweed to go in mine. So good!

I must have forgotten to take a photo of a dish the previous night at Jin Ding Xuan because I’d bought these sweet peanut buns. I was too full to eat them but I remember dipping them in my soy milk. The soy milk in China is VERY beany but it’s okay because it’s nice and sweet. I couldn’t finish the whole drink though.

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Daria also recommended these tasty seaweed pots, they were yummy.

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After breakfast Daria had to head to her Krav Maga class for a test, so she headed off to that. I hung out with Sam for a bit and then we headed to meet Daria at The Great Leap for lunch.

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This place was really good, Sam and Daria had heard that the pizzas could be veganised, so there were lots of options for me. We ordered ready for Daria’s arrival. One word of advice if you end up visiting here, the base sauce of the pizza isn’t tomato, it’s cheese…so if you ask for no cheese on your pizza, you need to check they know to remove it from the base as well. The first pizza I ordered came with cheese, they dealt with it pretty well though and a new pizza arrived soon after, just in time for Daria who obviously kicked ass at her test.

Look at the lovely couple! Aw

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My pizza had kale, courgette, lots of garlic and courgette on it. It was really, really good.

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After lunch we wandered over to a cool bookshop and cafe that had a weekend market on the roof called The Bookworm. This was really cool, there was lots of tasty food around but unfortunately none of it was vegan.

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I experienced a Chinese Mall during the afternoon, whilst they look pretty impressive from the outside, they’re terrible. There’s nothing in them! They are really, really bad. Don’t bother going in any of them.

When the evening came we went out to eat at Hai Di Lao Hot Pot. This place was soo busy and pretty badly organised. Despite booking a table we still had to wait around for a table. It was a bit confusing. They sort of sit you down and you end up waiting for quite a while, normally this would be okay but my travel anxiety was beginning to show, I feel sorry for Sam and Daria being around me while I was like that. I was constantly clock watching.

After a lot of pestering we finally got seated and I got to experience the amazing Hot Pot. It was so worth the wait. Basically you get two hot smoking oily broths brought out to the table and then you pick things that you can cook yourself in the broth. Amazing right? Sam and Daria got a meaty broth and I picked tomato.

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I was so anxious that my appetite wasn’t up to much, so I just went for rice cake and mushrooms and I think I nicked a few potato things from Sam and Daria too, I can’t quite remember.

Sam and Daria ordered the best thing ever, which unfortunately wasn’t vegan but was amazing to see..they ordered a dancing noodle man. Basically a guy comes over to the table with noodles (sadly egg :( ) and a portable speaker and stretches the noodles out by dancing to techno music. Oh my, this was HILARIOUS! I wish those noodles were vegan! Here’s a video I found of it on youtube.

One word of advice for Hai Di Lao…make sure you wear your crappy paper apron. Eating Hot Pot is a smelly business and you will get splashed…I feel really bad for the poor people sat on the plane next to me on the way back. I reeked of Hot Pot!

The food here was good, dancing noodle guy was amazing but the wait was pretty awful, I can’t imagine navigating their system without speaking Mandarin.

And that was pretty much the end of my trip! We went back to the apartment, I grabbed my suitcase and then went with my brother back to the airport. I was really sad to be leaving, Beijing was a great experience but also I’d had an amazing time with Sam and Daria and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

Luckily for me they have moved a lot closer to home and are now living in my favourite city, Berlin! I’ll be heading out there in a few weeks so keep your eyes peeled. Also this isn’t the end of my China posts, I’m planning to write up tips for travelling there, planning etc so watch this space

Vegan in Beijing – Day 6

This day was a pretty big one for me, I decided to do The Great Wall…all by myself. I was super scared about doing this, if Sam and Daria were expecting me to get lost venturing out to the 798 Art District how the hell was I going to fare travelling a few hours out of the city?

Despite being terrified and the fact my feet were covered in blisters (goddamn the heat made my feet swell) I knew I had to do it. I did a fair bit of research into what part of the wall I would go to. I wanted an easy trip there but I didn’t want to be surrounded by tourists. Badaling is the most popular part of the wall, you can get there by train but I’ve heard it’s not a pleasant visit as it’s so crowded and it’s been completely restored so not really an authentic part of the wall. In the end I settled for Mutianyu, it wasn’t too far away, not too crowded and although it’s had some renovations to make the climb easier, it still has original parts of the wall there. Perfect.

I borrowed Sams phone, loaded up on food, packed a load of water and headed to Dongzhimen bus station. I got myself on the 916 Express coach heading to Huairou North Avenue, from there I would need to try and negotiate a price in Mandarin with a taxi driver. Scary stuff.

Finding my coach was easy, the bus station is clearly marked and they’re a lot comfier than the normal buses in Beijing. I had Huairou North Avenue written in characters in my notebook but as I knew it was a long ride I settled down with some tunes on my ipod and tried not to worry. Just as we were setting off, I moved my bag off the seat next to me for a passenger getting on board…this was a wise move. I was thanked in English by the person sat next to me and he asked me where I was heading to, he said he’d let me know when the station approached. Win!

The ride towards Mutianyu is okay, not really scenic but it went quickly, after 45 minutes I was starting to feel like everything was going okay, I’d probably get ripped off for the taxi but the coach ride was going really well, I didn’t even have to pay attention to the characters displayed on the electronic screen thanks to the lovely guy next to me.

Great right? Do you know what’s not great? Coaches terminating early.

GODDAMMIT!

Can I just say that for someone who has anxiety, a bus stopping for a reason you can’t understand in an unknown country is really bloody scary. I had no idea where I was, I had no idea how I would get home. I was so lucky to have one of the only English speaking passengers on that coach sat right next to me. He explained that the bus had terminated and that we would have to leave, during all the confusion and questions he didn’t really explain much else, I sort of just followed him and his friend around for a while. Once he had worked out what was going on, he offered to take me to Mutianyu as they were heading there for the day. He introduced himself as Percy and his friend as Donna. Basically what followed was one of my best days in China.

Percy and Donna were awesome. Not only did they get me to Mutianyu safely, they spent the entire day with me and then got me back to Dongzhimen in one piece too. I’m also in a load of their holiday snaps! I honestly can’t explain how kind and amazing these people were, they went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and calm and really made the day something special. I will never forget how lovely they were, I am so lucky and grateful. If they ever come across this, THANK YOU!

I loved visiting The Great Wall. We all decided to get the cable cars up to save time and agreed that we’d walk an hour along the wall and then head back.

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It was so hot up there and I made the mistake of not wearing sun screen. I’d not been burnt so far but I guess that was thanks to all the Beijing smog, I was completely exposed to the sun on the wall and I got pink almost immediately.

It was amazing though, the views are incredible

It was a tough walk in the heat though and I was glad that I decided not to visit a more ‘wild’ part of the wall. I drank a ridiculous amount of water but didn’t pee all day because I was just sweating it all out. Gross and too much information but deal with it.

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The only annoying thing about visiting was the ridiculous prices for food and water there. Yes I may well be happy to spend £1 on a bottle of water here in the UK but in China? OUTRAGEOUS! A SCANDAL! Bloody rip off, I paid it though because I’d have paid anything for a cold drink on my way back down.

I was sad when the day ended and I had to say goodbye to Percy and Donna. I returned back to my brothers apartment to his shocked face. He couldn’t believe I’d made it back without getting lost…he was even more amazed when I explained that the coach had terminated early.

It was 5pm when I got back, so I thought I’d chill on the sofa until it was time for dinner…I pretty much fell asleep immediately. I was so tired after that day.

When Daria came back from work we headed out for dinner. We were all super hungry so decided to return to Jin Ding Xuan. This was a bloody great idea. I WAS SO HUNGRY. Here’s what I ordered

Deep Fried Sugared Sweet Potato (yes, that’s actual sugar on top)

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Chilli Potatoes

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Rice Cake with Sesame

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Oh my God this was all so good. I loved it all and was super sad when I got full up so quickly.

We spent the rest of the evening walking around some night market type thing close by where I bought some cheap tack for last minute gifts. I was gutted that I would be leaving Beijing the next day, it felt like I’d only just got there.

Vegan in Beijing Day 5

After having such a nice day with Sam and Chris, my confidence was back up to go exploring. I decided I wanted to spend the day exploring the 798 Art District in Chaoyang. Despite having it’s own section in my Lonely Planet guide book, it’s not included on the map they provide. It also wasn’t on my super big detailed map of Beijing. Whyy?!

I looked up details on how to get there and realised that I would have to take a bus. The problem with Beijing buses is that all the stops are written in Chinese characters and of course I don’t understand them. Luckily for me Daria could write me a short message to show the bus supervisor (that’s what I’m calling them, basically someone who works for the bus company sits in a little box thing in the middle of the bus). I filled myself up on leftovers, packed some emergency snacks and took my brothers phone so that I could call Daria if I got lost.

I headed to Dongzhimen subway station to get my bus. You’ll need to leave at exit C and look for the stop for the 909 bus, if I remember right the markings for the bus stops are on the floor. It was really easy to find. My bus came in no time and I nervously got on and found the bus supervisor. I said Ni Hao! Smiled a lot, pointed at the message from Daria and said lots of xie xie (thank you). The supervisor was so nice to me, she didn’t speak a word of English but she got me to sit in front of her so that she could tell me when my stop was. Throughout the journey she kept checking on me, which I kept thinking meant I had to get off the bus but I think she was just reassuring me. It was about a 15-20 minute bus ride before I got there.

As soon as you get off the bus you’ll see a big sign with 798 in massive red letters, so it’s easy to find once you get there.

798 is filled with galleries, cafes, street art and sculptures, you can definitely spend a whole day here, which is pretty much what I did. There’s also a 7 Eleven by the entrance, so if you know what vegan snacks to look for, you can stock up there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I went on the Thursday, a lot of the galleries were free. It was really easy to just wander around here all day, popping into galleries, visiting shops. The gift shops here are really cool, not much of that cheesy tacky merchandise, but really cool gifts. It was so hot out that I didn’t really get hungry, I just drank a lot of water. But, there were enough places to eat that I’m sure there would be some vegan options if you wanted to go look for them. Some of the bars would at least do fries I’m sure.

I headed back late afternoon. I was a bit scared of going back because I didn’t have a message to guide me back to Dongzhimen, but I knew I should be able to recognise it. I did, it was easy, the station you can see very clearly from the window. I hopped off and headed back to Sam and Daria’s.

As soon as I entered the room Daria said ‘I can’t believe you didn’t get lost!’. Apparently it’s quite hard to find 798 and they were expecting me so phone them. Haha, I felt so proud! We ate at the apartment that evening, Daria made me a really delicious Turkish lentil soup…must get the recipe so that I can eat it again, it was really tasty.

That night we headed out to a bar called 8-Bit in the Dongcheng area…a bar where you can play old school games and drink game themed cocktails! It was so cool! Here’s my terrible photo of it.

I feel like I haven’t written a lot about this day but it was one of my favourites, I really loved 798. If I’d had more time in Beijing I probably would have gone back for another visit, definitely worth seeing if you visit.