When I arrived in Beijing, I had a car service bring me to my hotel (some people on my tour took a taxi and had to wait in a 2 hour line at the airport)! The traffic was so bad that the driver drove along the side of the road for most of the way! When I made it to my hotel, it was a bit nippy and raining out, but I was so excited to be in a new city that I bought a poncho and took a quick walk before meeting my Contiki China Adventure tour group for orientation.
Our group is 15 people from across the globe including Australia, New Zealand, the UK, America and even Germany. That is one of the things I like most about Contiki tours – you travel the world with people from around the world!
After receiving a quick preview of our trip from our Contiki Tour Manager, Kristin, we left our hotel to check out a “Night Food Market” in Dongcheng a few blocks away from our hotel. They had everything from the traditional dumplings & rice bowls to fried scorpion, frogs, starfish & snakes! I had a bite of the snake – it tasted like calamari, but was surprisingly a bit boney.
One of the stalls that had a wide variety of delicacies
The Night Food Market had a lot of different stalls!
Proof that I ate snake
After the street food, we headed to a mall food court for a quick bite to eat of more “standard” fare. I decided to be a bit adventurous and get a “make your own” hot pot. It was essentially a buffet where you put all the meats you want in one bowl an all the vegetables you want into a different bowl, then you give it to them and they cook it for you. I will admit that I had no idea what some of the things I put in there were! It was so spicy I could only finish half of it, but it was a great way to kick off my trip!
My “Make Your Own Hotpot”
After our dinner, we decided to head back to the hotel because we have a big day in front of us tomorrow!