FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Back in Beijing

Posted in Beijing, China by folkestonejack on December 2, 2009

Arrived in Beijing after a fairly uneventful flight with Air China.

Got my first taste of the current paranoia about swine flu after passing through gates at the airport designed to measure your body temperature – followed up by a notice in my hotel room instructing me to inform the hotel manager if I developed a runny nose! A stranger conversation I can’t imagine…

Anyway, I headed into town to take a quick look around whilst there was still an hour or two of daylight left – just a meander in and around Tian’anmen Square looking at the monuments and towers. Not an entirely successful outing as I seemed to attract every scam artist in the area, though still mildly funny to tick off each scenario that had been mentioned in the guidebooks…

  • A pair of girls wanting to take me to a teahouse to practice English… check
  • A struggling artist wanting to sell me a painting… check

In amongst all this, I did come across some genuine people who were really friendly – mostly tourists from other parts of China who were as unfamiliar with Beijing as I was.

Tram in Beijing

Tram in operation in Qianmen Street

I was surprised to see trams in operation in Qianmen Street, seemingly designed to look traditional but far too plastic to ever be convincing. And that’s before we even get onto the complete absence of wires…

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