11 hrs of beijing
Beijing Travel Blog› entry 2 of 9 › view all entries
Well after a 12+ hour flight from lax I finally landed in Beijing. The flight itself was LONG and BORING, but despite this I still have nothing but good things to say about Air China. They seemed to be very well organized and friendly. This was also my first flight that stayed dark throughout the flight. It is a very strange sensation to board a plane at 1:40am fly for over 12 hours and still land while it is dark. After landing we taxied to our terminal. The Beijing airport is huge, and that is an understatement. It is huge and empty. The security is also set up a little strange. I had to exit the terminal and go through security again. This did allow me to step out of the airport as the sun was coming up and see the busy travelers and a hazy Beijing. You look around airport and through the haze you can see mountain ranges, some of which were capped in snow.
I then had 11hrs to kill (while currently writing this I still have another three hours to wait). Although I wasn’t hungry I changed some money and stopped for some exotic burger king. The menu was a little different but mostly the same. After eating I wandered around the non secure area for a while waiting for the ticket counter to open so I could check in and get my boarding pass. This airport really is beautiful… and extremely clean. There are many cool sculptures and tons of plants. I also found an interesting world map with current times, the strange thing was that the map was oriented completely backwards of what I consider normal. North and south America were on the right while china and Europe were on the left.
I got my boarding pass and went through security. One cool thing that I want to mention is each customs officer had a four button device that allowed you to rate his/her performance. Very cool considering most of my other experiences with customs officers are not pleasant. By that I mean they are not friendly and can sometimes be rude. Once I passed through security I stopped to use the restroom which was being cleaned. I walked in and realized it was being cleaned when an attendant had me follow him to the handicap bathroom where he walked in with me and cleaned the toilet seat. He then started to rub his fingers together indicating he wanted a tip. I opened my wallet and went to grab a 5 bill(equates to about 90 cents) I grabbed the bill and went to hand it to him when he tried to reach towards my wallet. In a firm but respectful voice I said “NO!” and quickly put my wallet away. I did my business and left, he was nowhere to be seen.
I found some cool recliner type chairs where I passed out for a bit before waking to write this. I still have a few more hours to wait but I don’t think anything else eventful will happen. I am not looking forward to sitting on the plane for another 11 hours but it will all be worth it tomorrow morning when I get off the plane in oz.