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Guande Hall, Jingshan Park, Beijing, China
#7064 Guande Hall, Jingshan Park, Beijing, China
#7064
Pavilion at Jingshan Park, Beijing
#7063 Pavilion at Jingshan Park, Beijing
#7063
Wanchun Pavilion, Jingshan Park, Beijing, China
#7062 Wanchun Pavilion, Jingshan Park, Beijing, China
#7062
The Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#7061 The Forbidden City, Beijing, China
#7061
The Forbidden City from Overhead
#7060 The Forbidden City from Overhead
#7060
Jingshan Park, Beijing, China
#7059 Jingshan Park, Beijing, China
#7059
Jingshan Park, Beijing, China
#7058 Jingshan Park, Beijing, China
#7058
Men in Internet Cafe, Beijing, China
#7056 Men in Internet Cafe, Beijing, China
#7056
Doorway in Hutong, Central Beijing
#7055 Doorway in Hutong, Central Beijing
#7055
Chinese Architectural Detail and Chinese Flag, Beijing
#7054 Chinese Architectural Detail and Chinese Flag, Beijing
#7054
Chinese People in Marketplace/Little Boy
#7053 Chinese People in Marketplace/Little Boy
#7053
Sleeping Cat in Chinese Marketplace
#7052 Sleeping Cat in Chinese Marketplace
#7052
Entryway in Hutong Lane, Central Beijing
#7051 Entryway in Hutong Lane, Central Beijing
#7051
Hutong Lane in Central Beijing
#7050 Hutong Lane in Central Beijing
#7050
Convenience Store in Beijing Hutong
#7049 Convenience Store in Beijing Hutong
#7049
Woman Passenger on Bicycle, Beijing, China
#7048 Woman Passenger on Bicycle, Beijing, China
#7048
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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