Capital of China since Kublai Khan came a-knocking (with a hundred thousand Mongol horsemen behind him), Beijing has hosted the last three imperial dynasties: the Yuan (Mongols), the Ming (Han Chinese) and the Qing (Manchu). Hutong, the city’s residential alleyways, are a Mongolian legacy. The Forbidden City? Hat-tip to the Ming. Summer Palace? The Qing. Nor does it stop there. Chairman Mao slumbers in Tian’anmen Sq, hallowed turf for the Communist Party of China.
In Beijing, chī le ma? (have you eaten?) is literally how locals greet their neighbours. Food is the glue that binds all Beijingren, no matter their beliefs or bank balance. Whether you’re slurping noodles, queuing for jiānbing, or guiltily rolling just one more Peking duck pancake, you’re in good company. A mouth-watering melting pot, Beijing hosts exotic regional cuisines from across China, which equates to unbridled adventure for foodies.
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