In a spur-of-a-moment decision, my friends and I decided to go to Lao She Teahouse around 5pm earlier today. We looked at the pamphlet showing there are 2 restaurants. One on the 2nd floor of the teahouse and another on the first. Because we're all poor college students, we decided to go to the restaurant on the 1st floor.
It was empty because we entered at a down time. But we each ordered a cup of tea (ranges from 38-100 RMB per cup, but each cup has tea leaves & you can add hot water as often as you want). We then ordered some small snacks and then decided we'd stay there for dinner because the dishes weren't outrageously expensive and we wanted to stay for the free performances at 6:30pm.
We ended up ordering TONS of food (including Peking duck & duck soup) and the performances were amazing (traditional puppet show & musicians playing Chinese folk music)! The bill ended up being ~100 RMB between the 4 of us and though we've all been in Beijing for months, it was one of the most genuine cultural experiences we've had here so far.
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