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Hutong Lane in Beijing
#7047 Hutong Lane in Beijing
#7047
The Entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing, China
#6181 The Entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing, China
#6181
Moat at the East Side of the Forbidden City
#6079 Moat at the East Side of the Forbidden City
#6079
Bridge near Dong Hua Gate, Forbidden City, China
#6078 Bridge near Dong Hua Gate, Forbidden City, China
#6078
Courtyard Gate, Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6077 Courtyard Gate, Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6077
Cyclist inside the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6076 Cyclist inside the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6076
Courtyard of the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6075 Courtyard of the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6075
Hall of Supreme Harmony, Forbidden City, Beijing
#6074 Hall of Supreme Harmony, Forbidden City, Beijing
#6074
The Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6073 The Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6073
The Gate of Supreme Harmony, Forbidden City, Beijing
#6072 The Gate of Supreme Harmony, Forbidden City, Beijing
#6072
A Courtyard in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6071 A Courtyard in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6071
Filipina Visiting the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6070 Filipina Visiting the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6070
Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6069 Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6069
Stairs to the Hall of Complete Harmony at Sunset, Forbidden City, Beijing
#6068 Stairs to the Hall of Complete Harmony at Sunset, Forbidden City, Beijing
#6068
Tourists Visiting the Forbidden City, China
#6067 Tourists Visiting the Forbidden City, China
#6067
Cobble Pathway in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6066 Cobble Pathway in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#6066
I visited Beijing, China with William, a good friend I made in Shenzhen. He and I spent about four days there together, after which my wife, Arlene, arrived from Manila to join us. William and I had traveled to Guilin together first before flying to Beijing, and his help was essential to making travel plans (he's Chinese and I could not get a grip on the language myself).

My wife was mistaken for Chinese by vendors, taxi drivers, and others, who spoke to her in Mandarin. She speaks Tagalog, Ilocano, English, and Japanese, but doesn't know Mandarin. She would respond "English, please" but they would continue in Mandarin.

By sheer coincidence, we were in Beijing the week of "National Day", 2004. This meant attractions like the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and others were at their peak of tourist traffic. For some reason, the government honored the celebration by giving these attractions special, shorter, "holiday" hours. This is why there are such huge crowds in my photos of the Great Wall. The crush of people there bordered on dangerous, and I was physically separated from my wife and William at the Great Wall.

Arlene and I stayed at a hotel in the Hutongs of central Beijing, north of the Forbidden City. It didn't work out so well, and we moved to the Red Wall hotel, which I would recommend.

Flying out of Beijing was a problem. The airport has two terminals, and we were careful not to exit our taxi until the driver showed our tickets to an airport staff person who confirmed which terminal we needed; we were directed to terminal two, and exited the taxi. Once inside, we were told we must haul our luggage by foot back to terminal one (and hurry). Back at terminal one, we were able to check-in, but on the concourse, we were told again we must return to terminal two.

We made it on the plan by guessing who to listen to. We were actually on two separate flights, and as I took off, I couldn't be sure if Arlene made her flight or not.

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This page last modified:2007-11-17

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