One of the places frequented by expats is the Gui Jie or the Ghost Street in Beijing. Don’t be fooled by its name—ghosts are nowhere in sight. At least, to my knowledge.
Right off Dongzhimen Subway Station or at Beixinqiao Subway (closer) is Gui Jie, a street teeming with restaurants in traditional Chinese architecture. My friends and I used to meet here for dinner consisted of hotpots, spicy delights and of course, dozens of chuan ‘er (lamb skewer) wolfed down with a bottle of Tsingtao beer.
Bold neon lights compete with Chinese red lanterns strung across and above the sidewalks that make the place like a “red light district”, minus the vulgar whores and pushy, annoying pimps.
Food here is not the best you can devour but the lively atmosphere will make up for it. If you’re looking for spicy Sichuan cuisine, there are over a hundred restaurants you can choose from.
Ghost Street is about almost a kilometer long and most restaurants here are open 24 hours. It’s a good place to be for partygoers—after dancing the night away—that is, if you’re not wasted or in vegetative state of drunkiness from nearby Sanlitun bar district.
For many Beijingers, eating out on this street is a way of life. There’s nothing fancy here but if you’re fond of people watching, the locals who spend their dinners here with friends and family will teach you a thing or two on how eating out in China is done–over loud chatter, endless ganbei, and food that keeps on coming.
If you are a tourist looking for a very decent restroom, then, I’d say, this is not the place for you.
In few restaurants we went to, the restrooms aren’t that difficult to find. You just have to follow the smell. :))
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