Arrived in Shenyang at 8:30 am. The station is being remodeled extensively and it was a long ass walk to get around the construction and to the exit. We went immediately to ticket office and bought two fast train tickets to Beijing for the next morning. We could not tell which line we needed to be in to buy the tickets (no English). We got in the line without people queueing assuming we would be sent to the correct line. And sent we where! The woman directed us to the front of another the line ahead of about 50 people. We had to scramble to find our passports quickly cause they are required for foreigners buying fast train tickets. We got out of there in a flash. Now that's great service!
There was no taxi line at this station and we caught a cab on the street. We still are not sure which station we arrived. We guess it was the east station. In any event, it was a long cab ride (20 yuan) to our hotel, the same Home Inn where we stayed before. Traffic made matters worse. It was a glorious blue sky day. The best weather we have had in China so far. We missed the tombs and expo gardens the last time we were in town. We decided to miss them again and strolled the giant pedestrian mall near our hotel.
The famous Lao Bian dumling restaurant is there on the mall and we went inside. We were told "Méiyǒu".(Arrggh!) We found it odd that we were not asked to wait in line. But we asked if we could stand by the other people waiting and were given a number and motioned to wait at the side. Other people came in and when told “Méiyǒu”, they turned on their heels and left. We were seated quickly and ordered a normal steamed dumpling dish and another dumpling dish that was fried on one side with mystery crispies that were delicious. Vinegar and soy is on the table as well as a nice garlic paste. A mixture of the three made a dipping sauce that made the dumplings 'to die for’. Lao Bian Dumpling has a history of 170 years. It was first setup by Mr. Bian Fu in 1829. Lao Bain has been in business from 1829 for a good reason.
We looked on the web for a hotel in Beijing. One hotel had a hilariously sarcastic review from Mr. I of Daegu Korea. ‘...in the interest of efficiency, the hotel dispensed with walls around the bathroom. Facilities were so close to the bed, one only needs to roll over to do your business, And it was very entertaining to watch things spin around the bowl without going down.' The place sounded so bad, I wanted to stay there to see for myself. In the end we didn't dare ;)