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Chinese Construction Workers on High-Rise
#5094 Chinese Construction Workers on High-Rise
#5094
Wedding Procession by Car, Beijing, China
#5093 Wedding Procession by Car, Beijing, China
#5093
Freeway, Footbridge, and High-Rises in Beijing, China
#5092 Freeway, Footbridge, and High-Rises in Beijing, China
#5092
Construction Site at Night, Beijing, China
#5091 Construction Site at Night, Beijing, China
#5091
Looking Down on a Freeway in Beijing, China
#5089 Looking Down on a Freeway in Beijing, China
#5089
Beijing Road
#5088 Beijing Road
#5088
Beijing Freeway Overpass
#5087 Beijing Freeway Overpass
#5087
Beijing Traffic Scene, Bus and Footbridge Overpass
#5086 Beijing Traffic Scene, Bus and Footbridge Overpass
#5086
Man Carrying Young Child, Beijing, China
#5085 Man Carrying Young Child, Beijing, China
#5085
Businessman With Cell Phone, Beijing, China
#5084 Businessman With Cell Phone, Beijing, China
#5084
Man Biking in the Rain, Beijing, China
#5083 Man Biking in the Rain, Beijing, China
#5083
The Great Wall on a Mountain Ridge
#4382 The Great Wall on a Mountain Ridge
#4382
Tourists on the Great Wall of China
#4381 Tourists on the Great Wall of China
#4381
The Great Wall of China
#4380 The Great Wall of China
#4380
Tourists at the Great Wall of China
#4379 Tourists at the Great Wall of China
#4379
Young Chinese Soldier
#4378 Young Chinese Soldier
#4378
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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