Monday, September 29, 2014

Beijing To-Do: Find Something to Read

This is one of several posts about my trip to Beijing in July, up on Mondays.

You know the Great Wall and the Forbidden City already, but what else is there to do in Beijing? Well…

I’m incapable of visiting a foreign city without stopping at a minimum of one bookshop, and Beijing was no exception. Expat haven The Bookworm is small, located off the main street and elevated from the ground. Their poetic motto 吃,喝,读 (eat, drink, read) spoke to my soul. And after falling into a panic when I realized that hot, greasy Chinese food really disagrees with my system, eating the 20-yuan, no-strings-attached house salad at The Bookworm was practically religious. For a higher price, they serve other classic Western dishes, but the 45-yuan cocktails more than make up for that.

food of the gods i swear 2 u

After tiny, three-room The Bookworm, the massive, multi-story Xinhua Bookstore in Wangfujing was incredibly exciting, even though 90% of these floors are all in Chinese. They do have a floor of imported books, but most importantly, a massive section of Chinese language textbooks … and by Western standards, for cheap. Think 30-50 RMB per book. The avid learner needs to make a pitstop here. Also, the inspirational bookshop culture of tons of people sitting on the floor reading has to be seen to be believed.


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