We signed up for the Beijing Food Tour and were greeted at our hotel promptly by Qing. As we were beginning the tour she asked us about our plans for the rest of our time in Beijing. I mentioned off hand that we planned to visit the Forbidden City later in the day and Qing immediately advised us that there is a limited number of tickets sold per day and that if we waited until the afternoon we would be unable to visit.
Qing then offered to amend our tour and take us both to the Forbidden city AND do the Food tour. Instead of a 4-hour day she ended up staying with us for 6 hours and only charged us a small additional fee (which was WELL worth it). Without Qing we would have definitely missed the Forbidden City.
She was extremely knowledgeable about the Forbidden City and was great about making sure we saw the highlights but still would have time for the food tour. She told us interesting historical anecdotes and stories and tailored the experience to us.
The food tour is a one-of-a-kind experience. We started with dumplings which were familiar to our American palate but quickly moved onto much more unique foods. Qing knew all the best places and took care of ordering for us. Visiting the restaurants would have been a great experience in and of itself but Qing also arranged for us to visit her family home where her mother had prepared noodles for us.
At Qing’s home, her mother and father were very accommodating, and took an interest in us. I made a comment about Qing’s father’s impressive liquor collection and he insisted that we sample some of his rice wine (which was very strong but delicious).
At the end of the day Qing created a quick itinerary for us to see the Temple of Heaven and make it back to Tiananmen Square in time for the flag lowering ceremony. She brought us into the subway and put us on the correct train before leaving.
Overall, Qing treated us like family all day and made sure that the tour was tailored to our interests and time constraints. Although we were very tired by the end of it, we had a fantastic day. I cannot recommend the trip enough.
Thank you Qing!