In Beijing we explored a beautiful commercial street that is delectably Chinese.
At the entrance is a large character meaning 'spring'.
The shop entrances are ornate and decadent, with many of my favourite things on sale.
And every now and then, the not-so-decadent peeks through.
The street is even more beautiful at night.
We sat down for some famous Beijing duck, which the Chef carved in front of us.
Wangfujing is an area famous for street food, and it has all the hard-core delicacies typically associated with Chinese cuisine in abundance.
Starfish, seahorses, scorpions, spiders and snakes...
Unhatched chickens, birds complete with head and feet...
Black tofu, frogs...
Hot pineapples stuffed with red beans and rice...
And some delicious nut squares made by pounding a lot of nuts together.
To my western mind, this street seemed like a brutal carnage of small creatures, and I struggled to accept that these things are even digestible, let alone eaten as delicacies. But to an Eastern mind? I could detect some pride in the sellers of these goods, and they seemed fed up of the disgusted faces of gawking westerners. The fact that the street was full to bursting of people shows this food is popular, and people are even willing to pay premium prices for it.
We also went to see an incredible kung-fu show which displayed great talent- even a balancing on a spearhead act!