I think never in my life have I ever been so happy to be a professional photographer while traveling. Beijing is such an incredible, colorful, full of character place. It’d be impossible to take a bad picture here, really.
Sometimes, when I’m on the road, I can’t be bothered to take my camera out with me. It’s bulky and heavy. It means I have to be constantly alert and remembering not to leave it on restaurant tables when I walk out after I’ve had a glass or two of champagne (true story, that’s happened). Being responsible does not come naturally to me. It mentally exhausts me! So there are times I’d rather leave my equipment at home.
But in Beijing there was no way. NO WAY. I don’t think I ever felt so motivated to have a camera on me at all times.
These photos were all taken on the walk from the hostel to the metro, which I did multiple times a day. But still, every single day, I’d keep my camera out and continue to take more and more pictures of the same place. Because there were always interesting faces and interesting things happening to photograph. Beijing had me inspired.
While I’m not a very adventurous eater and didn’t eat any living or dead bugs at the night market, I did want to try at least a few crazy foods aside from Cucumber flavored Lays (DELISH, by the way).
So I hit up this adorbs little dessert cafe.
The above sweet treat was called “Specialty Stewed Egg White With Milk & Red Bean & Coconut.”
Take special note of the Slippery Milk Shake….
And the Thai Black Glutinous.
Being all by my lonesome on this trip, I ordered a couple items and just ate a bite or two of everything — which was fine because I can’t say I loved anything I tried.
One item of note was a “Durian Pancake.” It had some really weird sweet stuff inside. Wow, that’s an amazing description — I should probably be a food blogger. Haha…not. China was full of flavors my taste buds had never before encountered, I don’t have anything to compare it to.
Happy Yummy was not the place I ate, I just liked the name
After I had my dinner consisting of dessert, I walked on down to the Drum & Bell Tower District. There’s tons of shopping, cafes and bars. It was a happening place.
I bought…everything. I swear, went into each store and probably took home least one item from them all.
Everything was stupid cheap! The most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned (admittedly, they’re sort of ugly. But in a cute way. Like a manatee!) were $10 bucks. And jewelry cost next to nothing so I stocked up.
I took fashion inspiration from the Chinese and purchased some sweaters and dresses to wear together that totally don’t go together at all. I like their mismatching style. When in Rome…
The stores were open pretty late and the district was full of Chinese tourists. The district is another typical Hutong neighborhood. I loved the whole vibe.
This was my last night in town so I stopped for a grass/mint smoothie, which strangely tasted like neither grass nor mint, and then headed home.
I had an early flight to catch the next morning, and I was going to be on my way to meet my mom in Spain, so of course I was super pumped. But I was also immensely bummed out not to have had more time to explore Beijing and China as a whole. I’m absolutely dying to go back. Tomorrow, please.
Looking at these photos fills me with great memories but also makes me sad because the trip already feels like it was a million years ago, on a different planet.