Sunday, June 25, 2006


Thoughts on Beijing

Karen went to the capital of the raising dragon for a 8-day course. So SG flew over on the last day to join her. Photos are on our fotki page.

Here are some thoughts from the short trip we have:

1) Beijing is dusty! Yes, PSI for most days easily above 100! No, the night scene shown here is blurred not due to the camera not focused, not due to rain. Yes, the effects are due to the dust in the air. Main culprits are the many vehicles on the road, and of cos, the huge population. The government is taking measures to clean up the environment for Beijing Olympics 2006. Let’s hope they do it real fast.

2) Beijing has rich history! Just visiting the many sites will also leave you in awe, wondering how many other places on earth have the same number of such locations in a city. As a taxi driver said well, visiting Beijing should be shopping and visiting the historical sites. From the Forbidden City to the Summer place, from the centuries old Great Wall to the new People’s Hall; Beijing got good sites. Unfortunately, if you don’t speak Chinese relatively well, you may struggle. The audio guides provide some basic info at the attractions, but those from the guides (whom you have to paid & speak mainly Chinese) are much richer. If you can, do engage a guide. But as in 99% of the time here, do bargain! Yes, even the guide fees should be negotiated.

One of the must-see in Beijing- Temple of Heaven, where Ming & Qing emperors offer prayers & sacrifices to heaven. The amazing thing is the whole structure is made without any nails! And the number of pillars, etc, all have significance in ancient Chinese. Awesome!

3) Beijing has interesting food! Beside the Peking Duck, there are lots interesting food, such as ‘cool vegetables’ (which is popular during summer months). Also, the noddles and small bites are great too. Here, in the middle of the high-end shopping district, we found a street of small eateries. Guess what we found?? Fried sea-horses, insects, star-fishes!!

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