Very common scence in Beijing
Use Taxis, they are cheap and are available everywhere. In fact, Taxis seem to be cheaper than Chennai. But they are decent and all of them are air conditioned and ply by the meter. However, there is one major problem though and that is the language. Most of the Taxi Drivers don’t speak or understand English. Before you board a Taxi, it is important to carry a card containing the destination name written in Chinese.
Taxis lined at the Airport
Taxis lined at the Airport
I had a frustrating experience on this front in the wee hours of the night as I tried to catch a Taxi to my Hotel. I had printed copy of my reservation and showed it to the Police Officer regulating the Taxis. He along with several other officers and the driver drew blank but kept discussing animatedly. All along, I was sitting their confused and very tired inside the car. After about 15 minutes of this, my driver decides to venture on his own without uttering a word to me. He stopped the car at several places to ask for direction. My attempts to talk to the driver proved futile as we couldn’t understand each other. I started to get worried as it was late in the night and we kept going. I thought I was going to be mugged. But the driver was good and he ultimately took me to my Hotel.
Access to Internet
No problems on this front. Most of the places tend to be Wi-Fi enabled. However, it is closely monitored and several sites like Blogspot, Wikipedia, BBCnews and several hundred other sites are blocked out.
Not a problem if one is flexible. I had my lunches in my office cafeteria and lots of vegetarian options were available there, so lunch was OK. As for as the breakfast and dinner, I managed with Salad, fruits, Schlotzky’s and Subway.
Indian Restaurants are there, but one has to look hard for them
A ring road from my work place. Beijing has 6 ring roads and 2 more are underway for Olympics
There are lots of places to see in
This is a shopper’s paradise. Tourists mainly flock this place, where one can get pirated DVDs to knockoff DKNYs. Most of the shoppers know the stuff sold in this market is knockoff, yet they throng this place for the Chinese experience. The shop keepers are pushy and sometimes annoying. But they tolerate and expect heavy negotiation.
Silk Market in 2004 now in a new multi-storyed building
When I visited this place in 2004, it was just a street market, but there is huge multistoried gleaming center in its place. I found the new mall little easier to navigate and browse.
This is the Mall of Washington or the Rajpath of New Delhi for
Just across for
Inside Forbidden City
Some portions are this wonder is close to
Even though portions of the wall are dilapidated, the site of the Great Wall is awe inspiring. There is even a Marathon on the Great Wall.
More photos in flickr
PS: I missed to take my camera with me this time around, so the photos you see are from my earlier trip.