Wuhan #2: Sexology Museum and East Lake

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Asia » China » Hubei » Wuhan
November 26th 2018
Published: December 9th 2018
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Beef DoupiBeef DoupiBeef Doupi

Lao Tong Cheng
Another day, another breakfast, and another excuse to try a new local breakfast food. Today, we were having doupi (豆皮), so we headed to the restaurant street where we'd had breakfast yesterday. My friend located the place that sold doupi and we ordered two different kinds; the regular one and the beef one. There was also a shrimp one, which I would have loved to have tried but my friend isn't big on fish and seafood. We timed our order perfectly as after we had been sitting down for a while, the queue was almost out the door. Doupi is a mixture of glutinous rice, pork, bamboo and other vegetables, which is cooked in a mixture that forms a skin around it. My explanation doesn't really describe doupi well and I wish I could explain it better. The beef one was ready first and we dug into that. It was really yummy, I liked the combination of the rice with the meat and vegetables. My favourite part was the skin though. It was an eggy mixture and very delicious. The regular one was good, but the beef one was better. The restaurant we went to was called Lao Tong Cheng and

Lao Tong Cheng
is pretty famous as Chairman Mao ate there twice. The doupi wasn't as filling as the noodles had been yesterday and knowing my love for xialongbao (soup filled dumplings), my friend took me to a popular place nearby, Si Ji Mei. The set up here is a little unique. We ordered at the counter inside then went outside to the window, where we could watch the staff making the dumplings and collect our order. Then we headed into the lift and up to the second floor, which was the restaurant/seating area. These dumplings were pretty expensive at 18 RMB for a set of six, and because I am a greedy guts I made my friend order two sets. He wasn't too hungry so I ended up eating most of them, which I was happy to do. I know Wuhan has its own kind of xiaolongbao tangbao, but I'm not sure if these were them as they tasted the same as other dumplings I've had. One difference here was in the little dishes we had been given to put the vinegar in (to dip the dumplings in), there were thin slices of ginger. I hadn't had this before and it was tasty.

I was really excited for our next stop, the sex museum. Months ago, I had been looking up things to do in Wuhan, before I even knew I was visiting and saw on the city's wikitravel page that it had a sex museum. I had shown my friend, who was surprised, as its existence is not well known. There is very little info in English about the place and not much more in Chinese. My friend wasn't sure if the place was still even open. We took a bus to the museum, which to give it its proper name is the Dalin Museum for Sexology. The location is really random, as it is in a hotel. We walked into this fairly nice looking hotel and the receptionist directed up to the back of the hotel, where we saw some signs and climbed the stairs to the museum, which is on the second floor. It was a little uncomfortable walking in as there were three old men in there sitting around. These were the security guards/curators. The museum's entrance fee is quite steep at 50 RMB. Once paid the old men turned the lights on and showed us the entrance to the exhibits. There was a sign saying no photography, but I swear my friend told me that you could smoke in the museum, which I think is pretty weird. The exhibition is pretty small and it only took us about an hour or so to see it, but it was pretty interesting. I learnt quite a bit, including that the lotus symbolises the vagina. I'm going to look at Buddhist art and imagery in a new way now. The museum had lots of old sculptures and small statues relating to sex in human and animal form. It got me and my friend wondering. Obviously, archaeologists find this stuff but it never makes its way on display in general museum, what do they do with it? there were also some aborted fetuses on display, those were quite creepy. There was a room done out like a typical brothel room and on the walls were poems written by prostitutes to their favourite/special customers. Also the threesome bed was new to me, it looked just like a normal bed. The final part of the museum was a collection of sex related stuff from around the world. We had a good laugh

Si Ji Mei
in the museum as it was the right mix of educational and fun. It is a bit old and not as impressive as the sex museums I had visited in Korea, but still worth a look if you're in Wuhan and want to do/see something a little different.

We headed to a mall, which was a short bus ride away, for some lunch. We had these soupy beef noodles, which were okay. I am not really a fan of noodle soups unless they're super spicy, so I didn't really enjoy it and left a big portion of my noodles. There was a shaobing (烧饼) stand nearby so I had a spicy pork one to fill me up. Shaobing is a type of unleavened bread, which can be plain or have some type of filling inside. This one was yummy and filled me up a treat, however it didn't stop me from wanting some snacks as we passed a stall that sold these little cakey bun things with different fillings, so we got a box of those. Then we made our way to our next destination, East Lake.

We decided because East Lake is so massive, we would take the shuttle around part of it. Our timing was a bit unfortunate as we arrived quite late in the afternoon and had to purchase the day ticket, which only had a couple of hours left on it. We hopped on the first shuttle and headed through the park. It was really nice with large trees lining the lake. It is just a shame that the view was obscured by the smog. Also I have never seen so many KFCs in a park before, there was one at the entrance, another at the shuttle stop, and we found another one while walking later. We made a bit of a cock up as when we go on the next shuttle bus, we didn't check where it was going and ended up back where we came from. Eventually, we got to where we wanted to be, which was the Moshan Scenic Area. There was a big fortress wall in front of us and it was really cool to walk through. I don't recall seeing anything like this on my travels in China before. I could see Chu Castle perched on the hill above us. We took a walk over to Chu Feng, which is a statue at the bottom of the many steps that lead up to the castle. I really didn't fancy all the steps since my legs were still sore after Huangshan, but my friend persuaded me to climb to the top. It turned out to be a bit of a waste of time as you then had to pay an entrance fee to get in to the castle, which we didn't want to do. Since time was marching on, we made our way back down and back to the shuttle bus. Once we got back to the entrance, we headed in a different direction and explored another area of East Lake. This area was nice as we got to be closer to the water and I liked seeing the small boats in the lake, and the people they belonged to going about their daily tasks. I had to laugh when we came across another KFC. I really enjoyed this part of the East Lake as it was pretty watching the sun go down.

For dinner we headed to a pub and craft brewery, called 18. It was pretty quiet when we arrived as it was still rather early. We got a table far away from the door, but since the doors were open the cold air was seeping in. Not the most pleasant atmosphere. The drink menu was pretty extensive and I decided to have a cider as they still aren't as popular as they should be in Asia. it was called 'Don't be Shy' and was very pinky purple in colour and reminded me of those summer fruit ciders. It did taste good and I wish I could have sampled more of their drinks' menu. The tasting set looked good, but my friend is a total lightweight, so we would have never got through it. We ordered some food, too. We had a chicken salad that was small but perfectly formed and some beef nachos. The nachos were really nice as they were freshly cooked, the dip was canny, but not amazing. I would have preferred my nachos to be smothered in it and then topped with cheese, but that would have been asking a bit too much. We also ordered a pepperoni pizza. That was okay. Generally, I find pizzas in China are too small. They seem more snack sized than actually filling. The pizza also had a slightly sweet taste to it, which while wasn't off putting was a little weird. The bar was a nice place to relax and if I lived in Wuhan, it would be a nice place to hang out with friends as it was pretty chill.

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