Beijing Travel Blog› entry 104 of 136 › view all entries
It was another early entry into the city by train, arriving around 7:30 AM into Beijing West Railway Station. Hired a few cabs to take the ride into the city to our hotel in the central area in the Dongchen District just a few blocks from Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Being the middle of rush hour it was slow going on the roadways into the city but we arrived without any incident. Checking in to the hotel we found that the swine flu had caught up to us again and we all had to have our body temperatures taken with an ear thermometer to ensure that we were well. Now I know that ear temps are typically a bit lower than normal body temp but everyone who checked seemed to be reading about 33-34C which made me wonder about the calibration.
Got settled and wandered out to the streets. Wangfujing is a pedestrian street for a large section and is full of shops and restaurants. The full effects of China's version of capitalism is definitel on display here as Chinese brands mingle with Western brands all the way down the street. After taking in this view for a bit a few of decided to head up and check out the Olympic sites north of the city. Picked up a map from one of the bookstores on the street and we were off. Headed for the subway and our first excursion on the Beijing Metro. I would become intimately familiar with the system over the next 5 days or so.
Finally we were on our way. A few metro lines finally brought us up on the Olympic Promenade with the Olympic Stadium on our right the Water Cube on our left and the Olympic Torch towering in front of us. Surprisingly there was a fair number of people out and about taking in the site. Even some concessionares out selling water and snacks on what was shaping up to be a warm day in late May. We checked out the areas, thought about taking the tour of the inside of the stadium - and quickly decided not to at a price of 50 Yuan (not that its that expensive but all you to do is see the inside of an empty stadium - of course the same could be said of seeing the outside as well, but we were only paying the cost of a metro ticket).
Went back to local fare for the evening meal on Wangfujing. Then it was time to go see the Flying Acrobats. At the Chaoyang Theater, they put on what is simply a fabulous show of acrobatic feats. We were asked not to film during the show so I do not have any photos or movies to show, but there are multitudes of videos out there if you search the web. Or go unawares and be amazingly surprised as I was.
After the show it was back to the hotel via the Metro and time to rest up for tomorrow's excursion to the Great Wall.