Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Beijing Night Market...or the street that will haunt your dreams

After going to the Great Wall, we asked our hostel where we could go at night. They talked about the bars and clubs, but we wanted to do something that was not a bar or a club, so they led us to the Night Market near the Forbidden City.

Here's the underground passageways that were used instead of crosswalks.

Here's the front gate of the Forbidden City, which we passed on the way to the market.

After looking at the Forbidden City gates, we walked over to the market.

Passed a gigantic hotel.

Let me give a little introduction to what I was expecting.

A Market. Maybe with tradition Chinese food and some souvenirs.

I'd heard from my students and other people that they sold weird things at markets in China like cockroaches and various insects and monkey brains. I thought that they were rumors and just couldn't be true.

Little did I know...

 We entered the market and immediately encountered....


Live scorpions on a stick. They were moving around and being horrible looking.

They were on sticks next to seahorses on a stick.

Directly underneath them was dog and snake meat on a stick.

And silk worm cocoons.

 Squid and Octopus on a stick

Cockroaches on a stick next to dog meat on a stick.

Larger scorpions on a stick next to millipedes next to cockroaches next to starfish.

 Bats next to lizards
 Oh look, some normal fish...

Oh wait, they were next to a skinned frog.

 Hey, some dumplings! Those are normal!
And across the way were fried tarantulas next to giant scorpions.
Next to snakes.

People actually eat tarantulas which is horrifying!

It was like a horror movie.
 More bats and lizards.

I couldn't stop looking at the tarantulas...I kept going back.

This is Lenny from Germany. While at the market, we ran into Margaux who had gone on the Great Wall tour with us earlier in the day. Her roommate at the hostel was Lenny, who was much more adventurous about the food than I was.

As you can see here, he bought a millipede.

He also bought 3 scorpions on a stick and I ate one of them...And Anna ate one of them...

They actually weren't that bad. They just tasted like something fried. The anticipation was definitely worse than the reality of eating a scorpion.

 Here are some aliens

 And miniature people. Not being sold as food.
 Coconut milk.
 I believe these were peach teas.

Lenny also bought a starfish, which I tried.

The scorpion wasn't too bad. The starfish was disgusting. It was extremely crunchy and tasted awful. Anna wasn't brave enough to try the starfish.
After eating the starfish, the market closed. We walked around the area a little more then headed back to the hostel for the night.

I found milk tea in China, which was also in Japan and it's wonderful. They don't have it in Korea, which is good because I would then drink it every day, which would be a problem.

I bought a milk tea that day and then, while sleeping and Anna was still awake, talked in my sleep.

I said, and I quote, "One day I drank milk tea."

Apparently, I'm a little obsessed with milk tea. Or I was planning my blog in my sleep and how I would discuss how amazing milk tea is.

 A store that had a lot of pictures of Mao.

And that was the end of an amazing day. We saw the Great Wall by day, confronted our worst nightmares by night. It was very eventful.

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