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Neon Sign, ChaoYang Theater in Beijing
#6049 Neon Sign, ChaoYang Theater in Beijing
#6049
Acrobat Performance at Chaoyang Theater in Beijing
#6048 Acrobat Performance at Chaoyang Theater in Beijing
#6048
Power lines and Road Sign to Beijing Airport
#6044 Power lines and Road Sign to Beijing Airport
#6044
Traffic Officer on Duty in Beijing
#6043 Traffic Officer on Duty in Beijing
#6043
Bikers in Central Beijing, near the Forbidden City
#6042 Bikers in Central Beijing, near the Forbidden City
#6042
Security Guard Inspecting Wangfujing Street, Beijing
#6041 Security Guard Inspecting Wangfujing Street, Beijing
#6041
Chinese Man with Computer on a Bike
#6039 Chinese Man with Computer on a Bike
#6039
Old Chinese Man Driving Cart with Coal Cylinders
#6038 Old Chinese Man Driving Cart with Coal Cylinders
#6038
Marching Guards at Wangfujing Street, Beijing
#6037 Marching Guards at Wangfujing Street, Beijing
#6037
Security Guards Marching at Wangfujing Street, Beijing
#6036 Security Guards Marching at Wangfujing Street, Beijing
#6036
Commercial Area of Wangfujing Street in Beijing, China
#6035 Commercial Area of Wangfujing Street in Beijing, China
#6035
Old Man on a Bicycle, Wangfujing Street, Beijing
#6034 Old Man on a Bicycle, Wangfujing Street, Beijing
#6034
Camera Repair Shop in Beijing
#6033 Camera Repair Shop in Beijing
#6033
The National Flag of the People's Republic of China
#5895 The National Flag of the People's Republic of China
#5895
National Day in Tiananmen Square, 2004
#5186 National Day in Tiananmen Square, 2004
#5186
Olympic Arena in Beijing
#5185 Olympic Arena in Beijing
#5185
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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