Beijing – The Summer Palace with some pictures

[flickr id=“5713574558″ thumbnail=“small“ overlay=“true“ size=“medium“ group=““ align=“right“]News from Beijing. Thanks to the fact that flickr seems to be accessible in China, I can give you some first impressions of the town. Do not yet expect too much. We just arrived this morning. But I want to share some pictures as I usually cannot blog / twitter on stuff in connection with my work and as next week in Busan will be mainly dominated by such work again. But now I am talking about my very first impressions from the capital Beijing – particularly today we visited the Summer Palace – and China as a general. I like it.

[flickr id=“5713587222″ thumbnail=“small“ overlay=“true“ size=“medium“ group=““ align=“right“]Beijing looks as large as it is. It is astonishingly clean and organized – as soon as you dive into the high tech subway system (compared to e.g. German standards). On top of the surface there is literally a lot of smog. Although Beijing seems as if it tries to work against it. There are not too many cars in the very central parts (btw a lot of German Audis among many more Chinese brands, I thought that, referring to a newspaper article some months ago, there would be more VW) but there are several fully electrified lines of buses and, apparently, plenty of scooters.
Today, after landing and a bit of jetlag curing, we visited the „Summer Palace“ (颐和园) (w) gardens in Beijing. You might say, standard tourist program. You are right. But it’s worth it. A great place a bit apart from the busy city. Nice wind, at least today, made our visit even more enjoyable.

A subjective impression: People are very friendly and aboliging. But few speak English, none speak German. This does not really matter in most cases. At least I did not yet experience any really important one. And we tried to just go into a Chinese restaurant and eat something. Don’t trust people who tell you this is not possible, unless you are picky and want to know exactly what you are eating. If you have a bit sense for thrill and excitement. Try it out!

A collective observation: I have never yet seen such a large amount of security, police and in general people wearing uniforms with communist party emblems. It seems, our visit here is also „well timed“ to fall still into some celebrations of the 60 year communist reignship over China. Nevertheless it is a bit confusing, when turning on TV (several CCTV channels) to find mass celebration parties with huge choirs singing socialist songs under the pictures of Mao Zedong with children dancing.

Another interesting observation: Ordinary Chinese people on the street in the evening: Dancing together in a large group. This looks a bit like Bollywood. They seemed to have fun. We did indeed.

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