Ten Snapshots of Beijing by Fabio Ide & Michelle Pamintuan
For the first in our series of Easter Break Getaways we have the handsome model / actor/ entrepreneur Fabio Ide who just recently launched his website www.fabioide.com and gorgeous IT executive girlfriend Michelle Pamintuan. Taking their cue from our Gypsetters Guide to Beijing they spent a few days exploring this amazing city! Here are some of their ten favorite snapshots of their holiday and what they have to say about the bustling Chinese capital.
Michelle: “Beijing was unexpectedly more beautiful than what I could ever imagine. We were blessed with a sunny blue sky and crisp spring weather. The city had excellent urban planning and getting from place to place was no problem at all! It felt like such a fairy tale, walking in this bustling modern city then walking into the mysterious realm of the Forbidden City. It was just magic!”
Three favorite things about the trip? “Tea ceremony! I LOVE tea and appreciate how it plays a huge role in Chinese tradition and Chinese medicine. Learning this ancient tradition on how to prepare and enjoy tea really brought me back in time. I loved it so much I bought so many diff blends, a Chinese tea cup set and an office tea cup for my busy work hours. I definitely enjoyed it more than Fabio but I’m sure he will experience the great benefits of tea as we’ve been drinking so much when we got back! Tiananmen Square— this plays carries a heavy communist sentiment as felt by every single person that enters. There is a huge portrait of Chairman Mao that greets you as you walk further down the square while soldiers walk around to survey each passer-by. It amazes me how China’s economy has exponentially grown due to increased trade relations w the outside world yet still remain quite wary of anything foreign that tries to enter the country. Peking Duck – it was such a dream to try Peking Duck from the place of it’s origin! We couldn’t leave Beijing without having this and and it was def worth it! The duck was absolute perfection- crispy thinly sliced skin and a juicy tender cut of it’s meat all wrapped into a lovely little Peking duck taco. It was heaven!
If you go back what would you do? “I would’ve bought more tea cups, had more tea and def more duck! I love Beijing and wish I had spent more time to not only discover it’s past but also to experience one of the worlds most modern cities.”
Fabio: “I was really surprised with their construction. The buildings alone… wow all their constructions are massive! I didn’t realize that this is what they want to show to the world… Not just for the Olympics but when people go to visit Beijing – they want people to see that – Wow. This is China. I was truly impressed with their megastructures and how modern they are in terms of infrastructure. ”
Three favorite things about the trip? The Great Wall was always part of my bucket list and I was finally able to visit the wall together with my beautiful girlfriend Michelle, who was able to experience that amazing feeling with me of being there! There first thing I thought was, ‘How the hell did they bring all those stones?!’ It’s unbelievable! Second is the Forbidden City, it was really, really beautiful walking through those temples and to see how they divided the space into different parts – for the emperor,, the people who worked for him, for the women… We also went to the garden which was stunning. We managed to experience a real tea ceremony where we learned how to drink tea properly. I’m actually a coffee drinker but after this experience I really enjoy it. The third thing for me that was such a nice experience was the Chinese Acrobatics. That was super fun! We were actually a bit late so we had to leave the taxi, run into the train station to get a ticket, run again to get there, then finally we made it five minutes before they started! It was a little like amazing race! In CHina! No one could understand us or help us…
If you go back what would you do? “I would do two things if I could go back. The first is I would go back to the Great Wall but instead of going down taking the cable car, I would take the toboggan! I heard it was really fun! And then the second is although we did end up having peking duck, we didn’t have it where we were supposed to originally have it because we had to rush to our flight… So I would go back to the restaurant thats actually very famous for it!”
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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.
We are The Gypsetters.