Qinhuangdao City of Hebei Province is about 280 km due east from the center of Beijing. The locals had told me that everyone heads out there for the seafood, bbq, and beach time, so what could be a better place for a summer outing with some friends and coworkers?
There are two main choices: Bei Dai He Summer Resort in the northern area and Nan Dai He Golden Beach to the south. East of the waterfront tourist area is the mouth of the Dai River. We went for Nandaihe this time. When making reservations, you must make sure you book accommodations at a hotel that accepts foreigners because not all of them do!
Nan Dai He has a sandy beach, jet skis, boating, water slides, and of course, the ocean views.
Our hotel included the use of a beachside deck complete with barbeques, beach chairs and tables.
After arriving and settling into our rooms, we headed down to the beach to set up the BBQ and enjoy the private beach. It reminded me a lot of the Jersey shore, which makes sense since the weather here is similar to that of the Northeastern US.
We broke out the traditional rectangular charcoal barbeque setups to make one of Beijing’s favorite snack foods: chuan (串), which are basically skewers, or kabobs.
I think we may have gone a bit overboard with the food but it was quite an interesting variety!
Beijingers love lamb, so those were probably the most popular, but we also did chicken skewers, chicken wings, shrimp, squid, beef cartilage, and…in true chinese style, lamb kidneys. All of the skewers were prepared by a local butcher, thankfully. There were a TON. The veggies included corn, green peppers, different kinds of mushrooms, and even Man Tou, which is basically a Chinese bread. When grilled, they season the bread with a flavorful bean paste and chili flakes.
The chuan preparation is quite simple – seasoned with salt, chili flakes, and ground cumin seed – very traditional. These spices are sprinkled on the skewers as they are cooking.
Meat on sticks, local beer, and friends on the beach made for the perfect weekend party, and we ate and drank into the night!