Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beijing - First Impressions

Mountains near Port HardyWhat a long flight! I read a good bit of the guide book for Beijing and watched two movies. Tried sleeping, but never got a good big of rest. The plane followed the west coast line, flying all the way to Alaska before heading over to Beijing. It made for some pretty scenic views of the mountains, while it was clear. I should have taken more shots. The one to the left is a mountain range near Port Hardy.

I arrived at the Beijing airport about 3:30pm and didn't get out of the airport until 5:00pm. It was a pretty slow process. Oddly our bags were delivered to section of the airport which required a five minute train ride. Then I took another train to the downtown area and yet another train to get me closer to my hotel. These are similar to the c-train in Calgary, but there's quite a few more tracks!

Dongsi WutiaoFrom the third train station, it took me a few minutes of figuring out where I was on my map and by then my GPS locked onto some satellites and I was able to find my way fairly quick. Unfortunately it was already getting dark by the time I got to my hotel, so other than this single photo, I don't have much to show from Beijing.

Once I was checked in, I decided to explore the nearby area. First thing I noticed was the air quality, you can definitely feel the pollution. The second thing was my hunger. I thought about going to a restaurant and quickly realized that unless the menu has photos, I have no idea what I'm ordering. I settled for some skewered meat from a street vendor.

So I'm finding things aren't as simple as I thought they would be and the government doesn't help much. For starters, my GPS is off by 300-500 meters because of government regulations. That's right, unoffical maps are not allowed to be accurate. Also, facebook and blogger are blocked. While I did find my way around it, it'll make keeping up the blog pretty difficult.


Steve said...

Nice... can you offset your GPS by 300 meters somehow? :)

Marko said...

I can, but don't have the tools here

Unknown said...

I left a comment here for you but it is not saved.AA.

Mandy said...

wow could make for some adventurous eating....weird about the maps, but good to know.


Unknown said...

Dooste khoob,
I am very happy to see that you have arrived in Baijing without any problems.I can deduce that the breathing overthere can not be taken place easily.This reminds me to the polluted air in Tehran,which I visited 3 years ago.We already know about the limitation of Internet accesses and other communications performed by governmental authorities in China.
Enjoy your time in Baijing,

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