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Donghuamen Night Market

Follow the sizzle of wok frying and the shouts of the vendors to this quintessential Beijing experience. Donghuamen (Dong Hua Men) night market is pedestrianized, and the entire length of it is crowded with locals and tourists alike. Why? Because there's nothing quite like eating food cooked in front of your eyes, in the open air, in all the excitement of colored lights and thronging crowds.

And the food? You can play it safe with a traditional stir-fry, or test your tastebuds out with scorpion, snake, bullfrog or locust. Much of the food comes on skewers, so you can wander and eat, although there are a few benches to perch on. Finish your meal off with a fruit skewer or custard bun. This is a local market as well as a tourist draw - everyone comes here, from grandmothers to courting teenagers to parents with kids. The food is ludicrously cheap, so you'll be able to try a lot!

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