Autumn in Beijing

Last month I went back to Beijing. While I was there working half of the time on a project, I did get to visit some of the sights around the city.

The morning after my arrival,  I took a stroll in the neighbourhood Yuyuantan Park 玉渊潭公园.


Known for its cherry blossoms in the spring, the park is beautiful in the foliage season.

Being there early in the morning also gave me an opportunity to witness the morning routines of the local residents.

Right outside the east entrance of the Yuyuantan park is the famed Diaoyutai Ginkgo Avenue 钓鱼台银杏大道, where photographers gather to capture the brilliant colors of the ancient trees.

Autumn is the perfect time to see chrysanthemums in full bloom.

Exhibits are held in major parks and botanical gardens. Stop by Beijing World Flowers Garden 北京花卉大观园 for the best of all viewings.

Foodwise, end of October/early November is the time to savor the famous Chinese Mitten Crab 阳澄湖大闸蟹

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Often prized for its female roes, it is considered a delicacy in Shanghai and eastern China.


Lamb dishes are popular this time of the year. They are said to improve blood circulation, strengthening the body for the winter months to come. In Beijing, lambs are usually prepared hotpot style. My favorite is the Lamb Spine Hot Pot 羊蝎子 at Lao Cheng Yi Guo 老诚一锅.


Start with a hearty pot of lamb spines stew, add vegetables (we prefer daisy leaves 茼蒿), frozen tofu 冻豆腐, wide sweet-potato noodles 宽粉 or hand-pulled noodles freshly prepared at tableside as you wish.

November marks the beginning of the roasted chestnuts season. This is the time when chestnut stands pop up around the city. 秋栗香 is a local favorite – judging by its long lines.


For breakfast, my favorites are the traditional Beijing soybean pudding in savory brown sauce 豆腐脑


Healthy Multi-grain Crêpes 杂粮煎饼.

And my dad’s signature fried rice 🙂 .


My friends from the States joined me for the second half of the trip. This was the first time I got to show my hometown to others and I was super excited about that. In the week that followed, we went to the Summer Palace, the Great Wall of China, the Temple of Heaven, Beihai Park, the Forbidden City and savored food from all over China.

Beijing has changed since I was there almost a decade ago – the roads are wider and cleaner, more and more people speak English now and are more polite than before, recycling bins can be found around major sights… I was also happy to see ads in the subway telling people not to buy ivory – bringing awareness to the poaching and trafficking of elephants; As well as notes in restaurants reminding people not to over-order and throw away food.

I will be writing about Beijing in the upcoming posts and I hope that you will enjoy seeing Beijing through my eyes.

Coming up next in the Travel section: The Summer Palace, Beijing Part 1

39 thoughts on “Autumn in Beijing

  1. Thank you for sharing this trip with us and I look forward to more. I was in China in 1980 and 1983. I reallyenjoyed my time there but of course it is a different place now so I will enjoy your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The autumn leaves in Beijing are gorgeous. Lovely photos.

    So glad to hear about conservation issues about ivory being advertised in China. I hope this goes somewhat towards stopping the killing of elephants.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful! I so love the Ginkos and tried to raise some from seeds I caught there several years ago. Unfortunately none of them worked out well. I will have to swoon over your lovely shots instead!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My first comment seems to have disappeared, so I try again. I love your shots, and love Ginkos. Last time I was in Beijing I took some seeds from the trees and tried to raise them at home. Unfortunately none of them worked, so I will have to swoon over your photos instead!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks so beautiful! I haven’t been to Beijing in almost a decade, and it’s interesting to read how much it appears to have changed. The food looks incredible, and now I’m inspired to return to the city to revisit!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Beautiful post ~ photos, writing, and the feeling of being in Beijing. You bring the spirit of the city to life, make me wish I was there enjoying it all. Safe travels!


  7. Beautiful photos and interesting narrative! Your green header is fabulous too 🙂 Also interesting you say people are more polite than 10 years ago. I wonder if they are the same people and they just gradually changed, or if the population is changing with people moving in and out?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow YuYuantan park looks beautiful, those leaves!! It’s interesting to hear how you think Beijing has changed too- I definitely think it’s cleaner and people are politer than in other parts of China!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, I came across your blog while trying to google “autumn in Beijing”. Need your advice please. If I wanna see golden autumn, what month/ date should I arrive in Beijing? Is 12th October possible? Or 12th November? Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Yuki, Sorry just saw your comment. October 12th is too early. November 12th is better but it will be late autumn that you see. The best time will be last week of October and first week of November if you could make it. Hope this helps.


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