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Sidewalk Shoe Repair, Beijing, China
#5145 Sidewalk Shoe Repair, Beijing, China
#5145
Chinese Tourist and Digital Camera, Summer Palace
#5144 Chinese Tourist and Digital Camera, Summer Palace
#5144
Street Near Tiananmen at Night
#5143 Street Near Tiananmen at Night
#5143
Chinese Architecture, the Summer Palace
#5131 Chinese Architecture, the Summer Palace
#5131
Elderly Chinese Men, Summer Palace, Beijing
#5130 Elderly Chinese Men, Summer Palace, Beijing
#5130
Filipina Visiting China
#5129 Filipina Visiting China
#5129
Chinese Soldier outside the Summer Palace
#5128 Chinese Soldier outside the Summer Palace
#5128
Traffic on Beijing Freeway
#5127 Traffic on Beijing Freeway
#5127
Traffic on Beijing Freeway
#5126 Traffic on Beijing Freeway
#5126
Chinese Lanterns, the Summer Palace, Beijing
#5125 Chinese Lanterns, the Summer Palace, Beijing
#5125
Chinese Father and Young Child in Beijing
#5124 Chinese Father and Young Child in Beijing
#5124
The Forbidden City Entrance at Night
#5123 The Forbidden City Entrance at Night
#5123
The Forbidden City/Mao's Portrait at Night
#5122 The Forbidden City/Mao's Portrait at Night
#5122
Beijing Hotel at Night
#5121 Beijing Hotel at Night
#5121
Construction Project in Beijing
#5120 Construction Project in Beijing
#5120
Carriageway in Beijing, China
#5095 Carriageway in Beijing, China
#5095
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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