fee includes Halal food or Chinese food (lunch and dinner) as listed in the schedule.
Halal Food in Beijing:
Beijing is a city inhabited by many ethnic groups in China including over 200,000 Muslims. There are more and more people from the Muslim world abroad coming to Beijing for sightseeing; visiting, traveling and international communication between China and foreign countries is getting more frequent.
During the 2008 Beijing Olympic, athletes from over 40 Islamic countries participated in the game and Muslims from 100 countries and regions visited Beijing.
With a long history and unique flavor, Muslim food in Beijing is a very important part of Beijing's culinary culture. Muslim food in Beijing originated with the introduction of Islam into Beijing and it has had a history of over 1000 years. The early record of Muslim food dates back to the Imperial Records of the Yuyan Dynasty and a widespread life encyclopedia had one chapter about Muslim food in Beijing and collected many of the Hui (Muslim) people's menus. These demonstrate that Muslim food became quite common in the streets of Beijing during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1644).
During the Yongle Period in the Ming Dynasty, many Muslims migrated from Southern China to Beijing as a result of the relocation of Chinese capital. The cooking skills of Southern China Muslim food was also introduced to Beijing and Beijing saw a rapid development of Muslim food. With the development of hundreds of years from the Yuan and Ming to the Qing Dynasties, Beijing had formed its unique Muslim culinary with a great deal of varieties, various kinds of flavors, unique menus and local snacks: some of which had been introduced to the Forbidden City and became part of Imperial cuisines. The commonly served Tasimi , Osmanthus Muttion ,fried sheep or ox ribs with sasimin was once in the menu of the Imperial court of the Qing Dynasty.
The Halal Sheep Banquet is second grand banquet in the Qing Dynasty Imperial Court only after the Manhan (Manchurian & Han) banquet. It was recorded that the Halal Grand Sheep Banquet had 72 varieties; it was served with either a bow or a plate. Though it was mutton, the flavor was very different. At the Halal Grand Sheep Banquet, they use all parts of the sheep and the cooking involves baking; frying; and boiling to bake. When naming the dishes, the word of sheep or mutton is avoided. Former premier Zhou Enlai used to hold the Grand Sheep Banquet at Youyishun Muslim restaurant for the Pakistan president in 1968. The Grand Sheep Banquet of Hongbinlou Restaurant today is still world famous.
Halal Food in Xian:
When Xian was the Chinese capital city in the Tang Dynasty (907-618), Islam was officially introduced to China due to the trade on the Silk Road. Xian was one of the first cities in China where Arabian traders settled down and formed their community with mosques and Halal restaurants established. It is said that Marco Polo visited Xian where he went to the Muslim quarter and learnt the technique of making Chinese Pizza and brought this technique back to Italy. Since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Muslim Community had been formed at the present location which is to the Northwest of Drum Tower.
The population census in 2000 showed that there were 64216 Hui Muslims living in the Muslim community of Fangshang (locals call Muslim community fangshang) in Xian. Famous mosques such as the Great Mosque, Daxuexixiang Mosque, Dapiyuan Mosque and Xiaopiyuan Mosque are located in this area. Hundreds of Muslim restaurants are scattered at Fangshang and mostly at Beiyuanmen, Majiashizi, Damaishi which serve the local specialty of Yang Rou Pao Mo (Crumbled baked bread soaked in mutton soup), dumplings and beef noodles.
Beside Muslims who have been living at Fangshang for generations, there are Muslims migrating to Xian in recent years from Henan, Shandong and Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region who also brought their own Muslim cuisine to Xian. Therefore, you can not only find local Xian Muslim food, but also, Xijiang Uyghur cuisine, Qinghai Muslim Cuisine, Gansu Muslim Cuisine. Famous Muslim restaurants in Xian include Lao Sun Jia and Tong Sheng Xiang (both are over 100 year-old restaurants in Xian), Loubeilou Restaurant located at Beiyuanmen, Fangshangren Restaurant located at Laodong Road.
Halal Food in Yinchuan:
Yinchuan, as a main cultural center for the Hui people in China, offers a variety of unique Muslim food as well as traditional Chinese fare. Visitors can not only sample authentic Islamic dishes but also taste some of the unique Hui cuisine.
The dishes most representative of Yinchuan are Qingzheng Yanggaorou (steamed lamb), Shouzhua Yangrou (mutton eaten with hands), Yangrou Paomo (shredded cake in mutton and beef soup), and Xiangsuji (spiced crisp chicken).
The traditional Gaiwancha (a kind of tea beverage), which is said to have originated during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), is also of Hui origin. This tea comes in a variety of flavors due to the different ingredients added such as brown sugar, white sugar, crystal sugar, five-savory (tea leaf, crystal sugar, longan, raisin, and dried apricot), and eight-treasure ( Chinese date, Barbary wolfberry fruit, walnut kernel, longan, gingili, raisin, white sugar and tea leaf).