Gui Jie: a good place for gourmets at night
When I first learned "Guijie" (in Chinese, it is pronounced the same way as the words for "ghost street"), I felt terrified by the street name. Later, I learned that it is a lovely street where numerous snack shops lie on both sides of the street with many red lanterns.
Guijie is located at Dongzhimennei Street in Beijing. It starts at the west end of the Dongzhimen flyover in the Second Ring Road and stretches west to the Beixinqiao crossroads with a total distance of 1.5 kilometers. Guijie is full of snack shops, which serve snacks with different flavors at a cheap price. The snack shops open day and night but their business is especially good when the night falls.
One can take the city metro and get off at Xizhimen stop. When one gets out of the subway, one can immediately see a large wine glass, measuring several meters in height, stands on the street. Then one can see many lanterns placed in two rows on both sides of the street. This is Guijie, our destination. When one strolls along the street, one will immediately notice that although there are many small shops on both sides of the street, there are no hawkers that stand in front of their shops promoting business, a scene that is quite different from most people's impression about snack streets.
When this reporter arrived at Guijie, it was lunch time. However, far fewer people were eating at the street at this time of the day. Many people might not believe that this was the very famous Guijie our reporter was going to visit.
However, when night fell, the street displayed a quite different scene. The quiet street suddenly became a bustling place. Cars filled in every space in the street and the small shops were crowded with people who held a card number in hand waiting for their turn to have a small place in the snack shop. There were still many people who waited impatiently outside the shops.
As it was getting dark, some shops began to light and raise the lanterns, attracting passersby to stop to take a look. The street suddenly became a paradise for people who loved to find a place to eat and take a break after a day's hard work. Many people love to go to Guijie because it provides round-the-clock service, which makes it quite special among all snack streets in the city. When night falls, as many as 500 red lanterns bearing the Chinese characters for "Guijie" will be raised high in the sky, saturating the street with a warm, cosy atmosphere. The whole street is immersed in the red color. At this time, the street is decorated in a traditional yet mysterious style and becomes an attraction for nightlife lovers.
As it is getting late at night, business in Guijie becomes even better. Many people start to come to Guijie in twos and threes after they knock off. The small shops there offer a best place for a small number of people to gather together to chat while eating. These shops might not be very big. They might also appear old. However, the dishes they serve will always make you want to come back next time.
Beijingers love to go to Guijie because it is a good place to relax oneself in. Tourists like to go to Guijie, too, because they enjoy the good food there.