Archive for the ‘China Travel’ Category

Gala Dinner on Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve

Friday, January 20th, 2023
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For most Chinese people, the dinner on Chinese new year’s eve is the most important one in a year, which is nicknamed “Family Reunion Dinner”. People either eat at home or dine out for a family reunion dinner.

Home made a new year eve’s dinner generates more affection while booking a table at a restaurant keeps you from heavy workload for cooking new year eve’s dinner at home. There are pros and cons to the two ways to spend a new year eve dinner.

Each year my father in law insists in making the special lunar new year eve’s dinner at home instead of reserving a space at a restaurant. Usually it takes over one week’s time to prepare for the dinner, buying, cleaning, cooking, etc.

This year’s Chinese new year eve’s dinner falls on Jan 21, 2023. I just show you some of the lunar new year gala dishes prepared by my father in law in 2012.

My father in law at work in the kitchen

My father in law at work in the kitchen
A table of hand-made dinner on new year’s eve

Babaofan (Eight-Treasure Rice), a sweet and sticky Chinese New Year rice with ingredients including sweet beans, dates, ,almonds, peanuts, melon seeds, raisins, dried apricots, walnuts, crystallized fruits, any other available dried fruits and nuts, like Ice pudding in the west.

Babaofan (Eight-Treasure Rice), a sweet and sticky Chinese New Year rice

Jiaozi (dumpling), a must for a new year’s eve dinner, especially in the northern China.

Jiaozi (dumpling)
A fried Mandarin fish with Soy Sauce
Fried smoked fish
Oily bean curd stuffed with meat and coupled with black fungus
Salted duck slices with soy sauces
Salted pig tripe
Chinese green vegetable with mushrooom and bamboo shoots
Stir-fried celery with lilies and ginkgo nuts
Dessert with ingredients including lotus seeds, dried longan

Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Beijing guided tours:

Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Packages
Great Wall Tour
Beijing City Tour
Beijing Winter Tour
Beijing Autumn Tour
Car Rental in Beijing
Beijing Tours
China City Tours
China Tour

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Beijing
How to plan a trip to Beijing

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Walking Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Gui Jie ( Ghost Street) Food Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Chinese Lunar New Year Dinner Menu

Thursday, January 19th, 2023
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In China, younger generations seldom cook at home. Old people still stick to the tradition of home cooking. Cooking and eating at home generate more family affection. But, speaking of the abundant Chinese Lunar New Year gala dinner, many families tend to give up preparing it at home due to the tedious work needed to be done to plan this family reunion dinner.

Many families rather choose to eat out at a Chinese restaurant for the Chinese lunar new year’ dinner than make it at home. For dining out during the lunar new year eve, very often people have to reserve the tables one year in advance due to high demand. When finishing this year’s new year eve dinner, then people would book the next year’s one immediately.

Like some other stubborn old people, my father hates eating out. He prefers to have the Chinese lunar new year eve’s dinner at home. He also likes cooking, and very good at it.

In the past week, my father in law has been busy preparing for the new year eve dinner. Every time I ask him whether he is tired, he would say he is not tired because it is a family reunion diner and he feels happy about it.

At 5:00pm, we start to have the important Chinese new year dinner ( 2011). There are over 10 courses on our new year eve dinner menu. If you are interested in our Chinese New Year’s Dinner recipes, please check below the pictures and I would introduce to you the menu one by one:

My father in law has made all the new year food. Now he is deep frying the spring rolls.
A table of new year eve’ dinner for four of us.
Spiced eggs are always my favorites
Fried Spring Rolls are also musts on our new year menu
Fried salted shrimps
Fried Mandarin fish
Stewed Spring Chicken
Salted pig bags and spiced pig tongues
Pork cooked in sauce with bamboo roots
Sea cucumber with mushroom and hot pepper
Bamboo roots and saltds shrimps with salted vegetable
Snow pea with black fungus
Lunar New Year Rice Cake
White fungus and dates
Ice pudding (steamed glutinous rice with bean paste, lotus seeds, preserved fruits…
Last, but most important Jiaozi just coming from the pot.
All the new year food coming from this simple and clean kitchen

Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Beijing guided tours:

Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Packages
Great Wall Tour
Beijing City Tour
Beijing Winter Tour
Beijing Autumn Tour
Car Rental in Beijing
Beijing Tours
China City Tours
China Tour

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Beijing
How to plan a trip to Beijing

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Walking Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Gui Jie ( Ghost Street) Food Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Spend Spring Festival in Beijing

Wednesday, January 18th, 2023
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When planning Beijing winter tour during Spring Festival or Chinese Lunar New Year, many first-time visitors would ask the same question “How to spend Spring Festival in Beijing”.

There are many choices to celebrate the new year in Beijing. Different people have different tastes in terms of sightseeing, events, shopping, entertaining,etc.

You may check out my personal suggestions for spending Spring Festival in Beijing as follows:

1. How to spend Chinese lunar new year’s eve in Beijing

Participate in the new year activities at your hotel, such as:
1) Making dumpling
2) Find a comfortable bar to kill your time during the new year’ eve
3)  Spend Chinese new year’s eve with a local family
4) Stay up for the TV gala
5) Purchase some fireworks or firecrackers at the local designated outlets
6) When new year comes, go out for viewing the fireworks and join in them

2. Beijing Temple Fairs

Visiting one or two temple fairs is a must for spending Spring Festival in Beijing. Though temple fairs in Beijing don’t have much change every year, people still flock there to sense and feel the new year,  which main activities include special local food and snacks, plentiful products of arts and crafts, souvenir stalls, food vendors and recreation places for the games.

At a temple fairs, you will eat local flavor, view or buy local arts and crafts and play games at a temple fairs.

Check out What to see and do at the temple fairs in Beijing for more information.

Longtan Park Temple Fair

Major temple fairs in Beijing

Longtan Lake Park Temple Fair
Entrance Fee: RMB 10 ( non-temple fair time: RMB 2 ) Children under 1.2 meter high: free
Bus lines: North Gate: 743、822、35、41、957、750、705 get off at Guangminglou Northwest Gate: 60、8、116、6、12、352、958 get of Beijing Amusement Park East Gate: 122、51、T3 Get off at Beijing Tumor Hospital
Add: No.8, Longtanhulu, Chongwen, Dongcheng District, about 1km east of Temple of Heaven Complaint
Tel: 67144310, 67185980


Ditan Park Temple Fair
Entrance Fee: RMB 10 Children under 1.2 meter high: free
Tel: 6421-4657
Bus lines: 13, 116, 62, 44, 117, 909, 800, 807, 820, T2, 27, 104, 358, 119, 407, 328, 803, 18, 850, 113, 858, 644, 643 or Subway Line 2 at Lama Temple

Chaoyang Park Carnival
Entrance fee: 10 RMB Add: 1 Chaoyang Gongyuan Nanlu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Bus Lines:  No. 31, 117, 302, 406, 608, 703, 705, 731, 758, 750, 815, 831, 834, 8473.

Beijing Ice Skating

There are a number of open-air ice skating rinks inside some lakes in Beijing. Shichahai Lake and Kunming Lake in Summer Palace are two of the most important outdoor ice skating rinks for many local skaters.

Ice Skating on Shichahai Lake

There are a few top indoor ice skating Rinks such New World Champion Skating Rink, all Star Ice Rink, New World Champion Skating Rink and more.

Ice Skating on Shichahai Lake

4.Beijing Hot Spring Bathing

A nice soak in one of Beijing’s many hot springs is an excellent way to the perfect place to wash off the dirt and relax your body. There are three popular hot spring resorts around Beijing: Chunhuiyuan Hot Spring Resort, Jiuhua Spa & Resort and Huaxia Hot Spring.

Chunhuiyuan Hot Spring Resort and Jiuhua Spa & Resort Actually have the same springhead – Xiaotangshan hot spring. Xiaotangshan has been famous for its hot springs for over 300 years. Local legend has it that the imperial family of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) went there to relax.

5. Beijing Snow Skiing

Skiing has become increasingly popular with Chinese. There are over 10 ski resorts around Beijing which are suitable for both beginners and advanced skiers.

To meet the various needs from customers, most of the the Beijing ski resorts offers snow related activities such as stimulative Motorcycle on snow land, snow flying disk, romantic sleigh drawn by dogs or houses, Ice garden, and Snow garden.

Add-on

Top 10 Ski Resorts in Beijing
Top 10 Ice Rinks in Beijing
Houhai Winter Ice Skating Rink
How to Visit Great Wall of China in Winter
Top 8 Things to Do in Beijing in the Winter
How to Visit Longqing Gorge Ice Lantern Festival
What to see and do at the temple fairs in Beijing
Snow and Ice at Bird’s Nest (National Stadium)
How to Spend Spring Festival in Beijing
How to Spend Christmas Eve in Beijing
Longtan Lake Park Temple Fair

Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing Winter Tour
Beijing 5 Day Winter Tour Package
Car Rental in Beijing
Beijing Day Tour
Beijing Tour Packages
Great Wall Tour
China City Tours
China Tour

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Beijing
How to plan a trip to Beijing

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
Top 10 Tourist Scams Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.