AsiaChinaBeijing

First Impressions

Beijing Travel Blog

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Sunrise in the Haidian district.
The last time I was in Beijing (over 10 years ago) I remember it vaguely as being chaotic, dirty and crowded. While waiting in line at the Chinese embassy in Los Angeles to get my visa, an older American gentleman behind me was speaking about China like it was a third-world country, as if he was unsure about whether or not he would even be able to get hot water or lavender-rose scented soap in his luxury hotel room. Although I didn't share his ill-conceived conceptions about China, I still wasn't quite sure what to expect.

After a rather uneventful flight, the highlight of which was narrowly avoiding shouldering a sleeping lady in the face while attempting to stumble to the bathroom during a bit of heavy turbulence, I arrived at Beijing Capital airport. If I had believed the doomsayer back at the embassy, I might have expected a bumpy dirt runway illuminated by peasants with torches running alongside the plane as it taxied, but instead what I saw was a huge, modern, incredibly clean, and, dare I say, sexy airport. While walking through its sparkling hallways, an American woman turned to me and said "Wow, if a Chinese person flew from this airport to an American one, he might think he was arriving in a third-world country."

cynthiagao says:
i like read your beijing story, because i came from there, I know most of people dont know what look like china now.
Posted on: Sep 26, 2006
mahoney says:
bumpy dirt runway lit up by peasants with torches running alongside the plane as it taxied

That is hilarious! So why the sudden rush to China?
Posted on: Sep 21, 2006
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Sunrise in the Haidian district.
Sunrise in the Haidian district.
Me.
Me.
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Revolutionaries revolutionizing?
Cool giant olympic cute things.
Cool giant olympic cute things.
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Beijing
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