A major part of our vacation research involves stalking YouTube food vlogs for our upcoming trip to China.
Now truthfully, we’ve booked a complete travel package with Gate 1 Travel. We worked with them on our trip to Thailand two years ago and could not have been happier.
We know that all of our flights are booked and confirmed, hotels, tours, transports, and guides are all taken care of for the entire trip.
We have watched a fair amount of ‘what to see’ vlogs for a majority of the cities we are visiting, we have watched a ton of “what to pack” and travel tips; but we have become slightly obsessed with some of the food and food tour content.
Part of that is honestly product ID, we want to have a general idea what we may be eating. While Chuck and I are both fairly adventurous eaters, some offal products (intestines, lungs, liver) are not on the top of our must-try lists. We’ve been put at ease by the fact that dog/cat is not widely eaten as many people would have you think, and that eating scorpions, crickets, and other bugs are more a tourist area schtick than the norm.
Our tour package starts off the first night with a Peking Duck Welcome Dinner, I LOVE Peking duck and watching the servers carve tableside into hundreds of precise, delicate cuts is exciting to me. This will be the only time Chuck will be eating duck. He still doesn’t eat many meat products, influenced by his vegetarian years and duck is one of them. It will be nothing more than a taste to say he at least tried it.
We registered for one of the optional dinners, a “Dumpling Dinner” that is pretty much an AYCE dinner with nearly 20 kinds of jiaozi, or dumplings, stuffed with an assortment of vegetables, meats, and seafood. They even include dessert dumplings and the dinner comes with Hot Pot Soup and wine for $15.00 US, including transportation to and from dinner… so we really couldn’t pass on this.
Most of our breakfasts are in our hotels. We’ve seen they are typically a buffet with both Asian and Western food options. For the most part, we do total immersion, we will eat Chinese food for the entire trip; on occasion, Chuck might sneak a pancake or I might have an omelet but I usually end up topping it with stir-fried vegetables.
Lunches tend to be on the road at local restaurants, our experience in Thailand was that they were relatively small “mom and pop’ local places with good food, usually served family style.
On this trip, the Peking Duck Dinner is one of eight dinners, with three dinners on our river cruise ship on the Yangtze river. So, we still have a fair amount of time for dinners on our own and eating a lot of street food.
One free night in Xian we have booked a private food tour with Lost PlateFood Tours. I’m slightly obsessed with them, I follow them on Instagram, have read most of their blogs and watched every YouTube video I could find.
The Xian Evening Food Tour is via Tuk Tuk and includes pretty much unlimited food and beer. We visit a local craft brewery, a family owned noodle place, more dumplings, the famous Xian burger and several stops in the Muslim Market. To say we are excited about having booked this as a private tour for just the two of us would be an understatement.
We actually finish up our trip in Shanghai and some more really great food awaits us. Our flight doesn’t leave until late that night so we booked Lost Plate’s Old Shanghai Breakfast Tour!
If you really want to know more about how amazing and diverse authentic Chinese food is check out The Food Ranger, Trevor James, on YouTube as well as Luke Martin of Chopstick Travel. We have 2 nights in Chengdu where Trevor lives. If he has the time, Trevor will actually meet up with his followers. We didn’t reach out since we have no free time there.
We can’t wait to share some of our food adventures with all of you. You may see some posts on our Facebook pages, food photos will hit my Instagram and we’re going to work hard (VPN permitting) to post here on the blog every few days.