Visiting Beijing Page 2

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  • Razz 14 Jan 2013 20:05:59 61,091 posts
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    PazJohnMitch wrote:
    The air quality in Beijing is much better now than it was before the 2008 Olympics.

    They do tend to burn coal in winter though.

    Having been to somewhere in Shaanxi that was so polluted I could barely make out the moon, Beijing seems ok. Even the city Lin Fen which was reportedly one of the most polluted cities in the world seemed to have clean air in comparison to that village 45 minutes drive away.
    Disagree:
    http://www.npr.org/2013/01/14/169305324/beijings-air-quality-reaches-hazardous-levels

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  • Razz 14 Jan 2013 20:06:29 61,091 posts
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    RabidChild wrote:
    This is comforting:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/science/earth/beijing-air-pollution-off-the-charts.html?_r=3&

    O_o
    Ah, already posted

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  • twelveways 15 Jan 2013 07:02:27 3,978 posts
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    Jabs are for wimps. A pollution mask is much more useful at this time...

    There are a lot more impressive cities around China but Beijing is still on my 'must go' list. I much prefer it to shanghai which is just a big modern city like anywhere else in the world.

    Tianenmen square is not that impressive butt it is pretty central and easy to get to and it is also right in front of the forbidden city and the arrow and drum towers, both of which are pretty cool, one of them has a nice museum inside but I cant remember which.

    There is a great food street, I think it is Wanfujing, where you can get all the deep fried scorpions and stuff as well as some fantastic real food.
  • RabidChild 15 Jan 2013 12:45:45 2,292 posts
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    Well, so far so Blade Runner. Quite cool seeing the neon signs on skyscrapers looming out of the smog. I am, however, knackered and all discombobulated, not helped by the fact that the company I am over here for has put me up in a posh hotel and I have no idea what the protocols are, since I usually slum it a bit.
  • Load_2.0 15 Jan 2013 12:53:34 19,156 posts
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    DaM wrote:
    Anyone been to Fuzhou? To see the famous lanyard factories?
    Beyond amazing I could have spents weeks there.
  • SClaw 15 Jan 2013 12:54:52 826 posts
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    Jabs are required for entry. So not exactly wimpy.

    Posh hotels are the bollocks. The posher it is, the less stuff you have to pay for in my experience. I stayed in the langham place in HK when it first opened and their awesome self service rich people bar for the rich people suites was free (sooooo much beer).
  • twelveways 15 Jan 2013 18:30:43 3,978 posts
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    Jabs are not required.I recruit teachers to come and work in China and whilst we recommend that they get jabbed, it has no bearing on their visa.
  • PazJohnMitch 15 Jan 2013 19:20:05 8,025 posts
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    SClaw wrote:
    Jabs are required for entry. So not exactly wimpy.

    Posh hotels are the bollocks. The posher it is, the less stuff you have to pay for in my experience. I stayed in the langham place in HK when it first opened and their awesome self service rich people bar for the rich people suites was free (sooooo much beer).
    That is apart from the Sheratons which even still charge you for the Internet.

    I also stopped in a very swanky Chinese hotel (normally go for western) in Pinghu (Zhejiang) that had price tags on everything. Even the soap!
  • RabidChild 17 Jan 2013 05:37:56 2,292 posts
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    Just been taken out for an interesting lunch. Lots of new things to try, but I steered clear of the tree frog fallopian tubes.
  • Tonka 17 Jan 2013 06:41:07 20,235 posts
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    HA, I forgot, you'll be taken out for lunch and dinner until you've got food spurting out of your ears.

    You lucky bastard.

    And as for my list of dishes. Print it out and show it to the waitress. I doubt any one restaurant will have all the dishes since they are from various kitchens.

    Avoid the fucking silk market like it's the plague. If you really want to do some shopping you're better off going to a "real" shopping street instead of that stinking tourist trap.

    These days it's cheaper to go to NYC and do your shopping. That way you get quality products as well.

    Edited by Tonka at 06:43:53 17-01-2013

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  • SClaw 17 Jan 2013 08:46:17 826 posts
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    I thought the yellow fever jab was needed? Ah no... I see that's only if you transit through another country which has it. I was wrong. I'm used to getting about 300 hundred shots every time I go anywhere, because it's usually deepest darkest Africa.

    Sheraton are a bag of shit. They are budget five star.

    Ah... I wish I was somewhere interesting. Stuck in Brum and it's snowing. Bollocks.
  • Tonka 17 Jan 2013 09:00:01 20,235 posts
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    There is no way to protect oneself from the yellow fever...

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  • RabidChild 17 Jan 2013 23:14:07 2,292 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    HA, I forgot, you'll be taken out for lunch and dinner until you've got food spurting out of your ears.

    You lucky bastard.

    I was taken out for Szechuan hot pot last night. It was bloody amazing. We spend about three hours having dinner. So much food!

    It's a slightly weird feeling being the ethnic minority. I don't remember having this feeling in Japan, or at least it wasn't as acute. I think people are more likely to stare or comment at me here (and of course being 2m tall means I have no way of blending in to a crowd). Everyone is being very nice, so it's not a bad thing, just weird.

    First day on my own today, having completed my work duties.
  • PazJohnMitch 17 Jan 2013 23:20:49 8,025 posts
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    Szechuan hotpot!

    Wow that is a combo I would die for. You lucky bastard.

    2 of my top 3 foods combined!
  • Tonka 18 Jan 2013 06:46:24 20,235 posts
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    @RabidChild They are more openly curious I guess. (Haven't been to japan but I've met a few of them and I found them way too uptight)

    Let us know how your day went. I'm so fucking jealous.

    Head to the Drum and Bell tower. There's a street heading east from there that is full of cool small stores (if they haven't teared it all down). Tons of nice cafe's in between the two towers as well.

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  • RabidChild 18 Jan 2013 08:21:48 2,292 posts
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    It's been a good day. I was a bit overwhelmed when I got to Tiananman square because everyone wanted to talk to me, which I thout was nice til I realised they were trying to get me into tea ceremonies or art shows. I was polite to the first few but then starting ignoring people. So it's possible there were some genuine locals who got ignored by a grumpy giant westerner. Ran the gauntlet of 'tour guides' and 'ticket sellers' to get to Forbidden City. Spent hours there taking photos and exploring - really glad I went. Then went 'round Jingshan park for a bit. Just got back to the hotel for a call with work in the UK, and I'm glad because the smog has suddenly got very thick (I can barely see the other side of the road from my hotel). Gonna take it easy tonight and then go to the art district tomorrow and maybe do some souvenir shopping. Really want to get to the Great Wall, too, which I'll try and arrange for Sunday.

    Szechuan hot pot definitely the highlight, though ;)
  • SClaw 18 Jan 2013 08:36:55 826 posts
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    RabidChild wrote:
    It's been a good day. I was a bit overwhelmed when I got to Tiananman square because everyone wanted to talk to me, which I thout was nice til I realised they were trying to get me into tea ceremonies or art shows. I was polite to the first few but then starting ignoring people. So it's possible there were some genuine locals who got ignored by a grumpy giant westerner. Ran the gauntlet of 'tour guides' and 'ticket sellers' to get to Forbidden City. Spent hours there taking photos and exploring - really glad I went. Then went 'round Jingshan park for a bit. Just got back to the hotel for a call with work in the UK, and I'm glad because the smog has suddenly got very thick (I can barely see the other side of the road from my hotel). Gonna take it easy tonight and then go to the art district tomorrow and maybe do some souvenir shopping. Really want to get to the Great Wall, too, which I'll try and arrange for Sunday.

    Szechuan hot pot definitely the highlight, though ;)
    I'd forgotten about people talking to you before you said that, then I remembered that when I visited the Great Wall I had a few Chinese people their who wanted a picture taken with me. A tour guide explained that a lot of people from the middle and north of the country have never seen a westerner, so it's a big score for them to get a picture with one. Like having a picture taken with an alien.

    Might be a bit less common these days. This was a good few years ago now, back in the early boom days over there. A completely surreal experience.

    You seen many of the granny brigade about? Old folks with Nazi-like red armbands? That may also have gone out of fashion since my last visit to the mainland.
  • Tonka 18 Jan 2013 10:11:52 20,235 posts
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    Be careful with the picture taking. Once you stop there will be a line of families wanting to take pictures with you in no time. It's hard to say no.

    Is that the 798 art center you are going to. It's a fantastic place but more for a nice spring/summer day tbh. Loads of cafés and western restaurants (art is european doncha know)

    If you prefere chinese youth madness head to 77th street shopping center. An undergorund mall filled with teenagers wering funny clothes (those who aren't in the school uniforms that is) and glassless glasses.

    For souvenirs I recommend Nanluoguxiang. Plastered 8 sells great t-shirts and prints http://www.plasteredtshirts.com/ and there are other stores as well. A visit to Ho Hai and the street from the Drum tower to the lake is also good for souvenir shopping

    https://maps.google.se/maps?q=beijing+china&ll=39.939714,116.395399&spn=0.003319,0.006266&hnear=Peking,+Kina&gl=se&t=m&z=18

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  • SClaw 18 Jan 2013 10:32:34 826 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    Be careful with the picture taking. Once you stop there will be a line of families wanting to take pictures with you in no time. It's hard to say no.
    Hehe... totally.

    These little old folks came up to me with a camera and, naturally, I assumed they wanted me to take a picture of them together. I was rather surprised when the old guy put his arm around me and started grinning.

    My well honed traveller danger sense was going bonkers, but it was all harmless. I think China is one of the safest "feeling" countries I've been to, apart from Japan (where I got the feeling I could just throw money on the floor and it wouldn't move an inch).
  • Tonka 18 Jan 2013 10:49:22 20,235 posts
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    @SClaw Hahaha. I had a similar reaction the first time.
    "Sure, I can take a picture of you and your family!"
    (ended up with a one year old on the arm and some granny holding my other. All doing the rabbits ears and grinning like mad)

    What was even more embarrasing was that later on I was walking around in Bangkok and some girls came up to me with a camera. I struck a pose and they looked at me like an idiot. "No, you take a picture of US!"

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  • Dirtbox 18 Jan 2013 10:52:24 77,746 posts
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    I'm meant to spend 3 months in Shanghai in about 6 weeks. Think I'll fuck it off.

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  • Tonka 18 Jan 2013 10:59:42 20,235 posts
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    How on earth will you be able to compress 3 months into 6 weeks?

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  • SClaw 18 Jan 2013 11:47:17 826 posts
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    @Tonka HK is a totally different experience too.

    I got in a cab there – with my brother – and we were just chatting in the back. The cabby looked over his shoulder and spoke, for the first time, in perfect English “Oh your British!”. And proceeded to complain about the “Chinese” coming over to Hong Kong and messing it up and how it had been so much better when he was our age. It was both extremely weird – because I was thinking of him as Chinese – and a little flattering that he thought we were the bee’s knees.

    I expect most really tourist-y cities are getting a bit jaded by now. Hard to find anywhere which is more or less untouched (but still has fantastic hotels, because I don't do roughing it).
  • Tonka 18 Jan 2013 12:19:35 20,235 posts
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    @SClaw The thing with Beijing is (like you said) that you get all the Chinese tourist stumbling about Tienanmen SQ gawking at laowais.

    I was in Zhangjiajie with my wife and in three days I saw ONE other whitey. We even greeted each other. There were plenty of schooltrips in the area and everytime I met a class walking up or down some narrow path they would all say "Hello sir, how are you" or "Nice to meet you" and I would be going "Hello, nice to meet you too. Good thanks, how are you? Nice to meet you too! Nice! Hello to you. Good, great. Lovely! Hello, nice to meet you too." ad infinitum (or so it felt)

    One girl came up to me and asked if we could do some "rambling talking"... I guess she ment random chit chat.

    It's always nice to try out what it feels like to be a celebrity. But it's very nice when it ends. I can see why Megan Fox started believing in Leprechauns.

    Edited by Tonka at 12:21:11 18-01-2013

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  • PazJohnMitch 18 Jan 2013 14:39:40 8,025 posts
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    In deepest Shaanxi 3 hours from the nearest airport I was probably the only westerner some of the people had every met.

    I walked past a mother with her small child. She started shouted at him excitedly but he was ignoring her. So she picked him up and turned him to face me. His face was a picture of pure amazement.

    The term "Bu Yao" may help you. It means not want. You should shout the Bu in an aggressive (falling) tone. (Say the Yao normally).
  • PazJohnMitch 18 Jan 2013 14:42:16 8,025 posts
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    My uncle had hundreds of photos taken of him in Beijing. He has an enormous nose. It probably sticks out 3 to 4 inches. As Chinese noses are short they all wanted profile pictures of him.
  • RabidChild 19 Jan 2013 09:55:15 2,292 posts
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    SClaw wrote:
    Like having a picture taken with an alien.

    Might be a bit less common these days. This was a good few years ago now, back in the early boom days over there. A completely surreal experience.

    You seen many of the granny brigade about? Old folks with Nazi-like red armbands? That may also have gone out of fashion since my last visit to the mainland.
    Had my picture taken quite a bit. Yesterday I was sat on a bench looking at my map trying to decide what to do next, when I realised a teenage girl had sat next to me so her friend could take a photo of us together. When I noticed, it seemed to encourage them so then I had to pose for more.

    What is with the nazi armband things? Seen a few today.

    Hmm, looks like I won't make it to the great wall. Just one day left, and I don't really have much money, and I really wanted to get to a more remote bit of the wall. I could probably still get on a Badaling trip, but i'm not sure I really want to. There's still more to see in the city...
  • Dirtbox 19 Jan 2013 09:56:45 77,746 posts
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    Tonka wrote:
    How on earth will you be able to compress 3 months into 6 weeks?
    If anyone else said that, I'd assume they were taking the opportunity to joke around.

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  • Phattso Moderator 19 Jan 2013 10:08:33 13,301 posts
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    Three months in Shanghai is probably just about the right amount of time to adapt, eat all the good food, drink in all the good bars, see the sights and then take your leave. If you're in any way asthmatic I'd blow it off though - you'll be living on an inhaler.

    Nice to be a two hour flight from Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and places like Cambodia, et al. Long weekend trips to such places are very doable.
  • Dirtbox 19 Jan 2013 10:33:30 77,746 posts
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    Quite frankly I don't like the chinese and their food is vile so I'm doing all I can to avoid going.

    I've spent time in china several times before and work for a chinese company and have nothing good to say about the place or the people.

    Edited by Dirtbox at 10:41:45 19-01-2013

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