Day By Day

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Return to China -- Part 8, Shopping Opportunities

The rickshaws [some prefer the term "pedicab"] deposited us near the canal connecting the Houhai and the Beihai lakes. The lakes and canal are beautiful and after dark the area is a hotspot of Beijing nightlife. We, however, were there in the middle of the day and the numerous bars and clubs were empty.

Such a lovely, verdant setting in the middle of a city of twenty million people.

The group met near the Silver Coin Bridge, then wandered through the district packed with small specialty shops.

These were nice, but the real function of the area was fun, fun, fun after dark.

The canal was lined with bars and clubs and, it appears, much of the action takes place on the roofs of  buildings. 

Even in the shopping area the roofs of the shops were set up for after-dark activities. Of course, by the time the district started to rock, we were long gone.

A couple of parting shots -- decorations deteriorating on the outside of a bar, and rickshaw [pedicab] operators waiting for new customers.

From there it was a short bus ride to Beijings high-end shopping district -- Wanfujing Street, home to hundreds of specialty shops and major department stores. Many of the women in our group was ecstatic. They immediately formed up in small groups and scattered. For a while I walked down the street with "She Who Must Not Be Named" and a couple of her friends, but when I stopped to look at a building, they disappeared. Amazing how they can do that. So I ambled around, took a few pictures, checked out the local cuisine [the street vendors famously specialize in exotic foods -- fried insects, scorpions, and animal parts not normally thought of as food]. I didn't buy, just looked. Then it was back on the bus and off to our next destination.

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