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.
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.
Daria also recommended these tasty seaweed pots, they were yummy.
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.
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
My pizza had kale, courgette, lots of garlic and courgette on it. It was really, really good.
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.
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.
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