Wednesday, May 9, 2007


We took the night train from Beijing to Datong, arrived early in the morning and grabbed some breakfast there at the hotel buffet. Nothing terribly exciting.

Assorted steamed buns, boiled egg, and assorted gruels.

Sue's food. Fried egg, bacon, buns, etc.

After touring some caves with a lot of Buddha statues, it was off to lunch...

Salad with peanuts and some kind of vinaigrette.

Tofu with black tree ear (a kind of fungus/mushroom) and veggies.

Pork strips with onion strips in some kind of brown sauce.

Condiments for Datong's famous hand-cut noodles.

The noodles themselves. I didn't think they were all that special (nothing bad).

Popsicle break in the afternoon! These were only 0.5 RMB each! (7 cents!)

That night, we wandered off from our hotel somewhat at random. Our tour guide had recommended a restaurant for us, but we got the directions mixed up and didn't find it (luckily, too; it was just some joint in a fancy hotel). We ended up going to a hot pot place. I had some trouble ordering because (1) my Chinese reading isn't so good, (2) the menus used simplified characters which makes it harder, (3) the waitresses spoke in some dialect that was hard for me to follow, and (4) my spoken Chinese isn't the greatest either. We ended up ordering way too much food.

Plate of lamb meat.

The hot pot itself. The soup was a lamb-bone soup, which was really rich and tasty. We couldn't figure out, however, how we should actually cook any of the other ingredients in the hot pot because the bones were taking up all of the room. We eventually moved all of the bones to one side of the pot.

Assorted condiments and side dishes. Not shown in these pictures, we had ordered so much food that they brought over something like a portable shelf that they put next to your table where the rest of the food-in-waiting can stay until you're ready to proceed to it. The complete order included fish balls, lamb, beef, tripe, bai/ cai\ (chinese lettuce/cabbage), fresh mushrooms (xiang gu) and shrimp.

There were a couple of bus boys who were trying to peak over the waitress' shoulder to see how much our total bill added up to (it was about 90RMB, which, while somewhat pricey for China, is still only like $12 or $13USD).

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