China 2005

 

BEIJING

At Beijing airport, the vaguely threatening ‘Be Careful’ sign has been replaced with ‘Please mind your steps’, a first hint that China has changed, even in three years since our last visit. Gone, too, is the electronic sign-board of intimidating regulations. The whole entry procedure just seems much more relaxed.

The already-rapid development of the city has gone into overdrive in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics. As we drive from the airport, we see new building and infrastructure projects on every corner.

Tourists, Forbidden City

Tourists, Forbidden City

 

FORBIDDEN CITY

We begin sight-seeing. After the bustling all-human-life-is-there expanse of Tianenmen Square, we enter the Forbidden City, where the large number of visitors makes even its vast spaces seem very crowded. Economic development has fuelled an explosion in internal Chinese tourism, so perhaps the summer is not the very best time to be visiting the capital’s tourist hot-spots.

Pavilion, Forbidden City

Pavilion, Forbidden City

 

GUEST HOUSE

Our Beijing guesthouse is located in what is left of one of the Hutong (historic street areas) and we have a pleasant wander after dark through the narrow lanes.

Guest House, Beijing

Guest House, Beijing

 

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