Unique Chi­nese cui­sine

Sunday World - - Lifestyle -

ON our sec­ond day we en­counter some au­then­tic Chi­nese food and it cer­tainly

– isn t that Chicken Chow Mein

’ we ve so in­cor­rectly la­belled

’ the na­tion s cui­sine.

’ Break­fast and lunch fare THE next morn­ing, hav­ing to wake up for the his­tor­i­cal tour af­ter a night of par­ty­ing, is in­deed a great chal­lenge.

Some mem­bers of the team only got back to their ho­tel rooms at 6am and two hours later we have to leave for the tour. Grumpy is my mid­dle name. We ride to the moun­tains for our first des­ti­na­tion, the Ming Tombs, where 13 Ming Dy­nasty Em­per­ors are buried. It’s a freez­ing morn­ing with cold winds cut­ting through our skin and tem­per­a­tures reach­ing a whopping mi­nus 15 de­grees.

Our next stop is the jade fac­tory. Jade is one of China’s pre­cious com­modi­ties.

I find noth­ing spe­cial about the well with fa­mil­iar food such as minia­ture cook­ies, mel­ons and other fruit.

But the evening of­fer­ing is some­thing far more bold a

– se­lec­tion of steamed veg­gies and rice, fried rice, steamed pre­cious stone, but it’s fas­ci­nat­ing see­ing the crafts­men metic­u­lously carv­ing the stones, which are said to have mean­ings per­tain­ing to health and wealth.

This is fol­lowed by a much an­tic­i­pated visit to the Great Wall of China. There’s no be­ing in vis­it­ing China with­out see­ing one of the most talked about places in the world!

It is ex­cit­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence but the walk is a steep, cun­ning ex­er­cise, to­tally ex­pos­ing my level of un­fit­ness.

The next and final stop is the silk fac­tory where all things re­fined are re­vealed. We are shown the art of silk mak­ing, right from its raw stages of whole fish, baby oc­to­pus and

goose web ”. “

Most of it has a slimy tex­ture and odd sweet and sour flavours.

By the end of the week I couldn t wait to bite into a juicy

’ steak, burger or a per­fectly roasted chicken com­forts we

– eas­ily take for granted. col­lect­ing the silk worms through to the beau­ti­fully crafted gar­ments. I cer­tainly have a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the ma­te­rial.

The day has been ex­haust­ing and fi­nally it’s time to head to the air­port, but not with­out mak­ing a last stop at a Chi­nese eatery for din­ner.

Again, the food is un­der par. Then our tour guide, nick­named Bruce Lee, whisks us off the air­port.

It was a fab­u­lous trip, de­spite the food! DO visit the mar­kets. They are fun and of­fer an ex­cit­ing shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.

Be sure to bar­gain. Start at the low­est price and work your way up.

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