Up for an insect hot pot at the busy Donghuamen Night Market? Go on, try it, and then stroll in the maze of old courtyard houses nearby. Beijing has the best of both worlds: modern, glittering skyscraper, communist squares and old alleyways, all just a short taxi-ride from the majestic Forbidden City with its red painted walls and almost 10,000 rooms. You can still see ‘hutongs’, the narrow alleys, flanked by old courtyard houses inhabited by several generations, who are likely to be smiling and looking curiously at you.
Most restaurant tables in Beijing are round, allowing you to talk to anyone at the table. Dinner is a social event!
In the early hours, pensioners practise tai chi or dance like they were 20-somethings. Take in the atmosphere and find time for a daytrip to climb the steep stairs of The Great Wall. In the evening pop into one of Beijing’s estimated 66,000 restaurants for the famous Peking roasted duck.