Detour to Beijing

I just returned from a business trip to Beijing, China. Most of the sights and sounds took place in conference rooms and hotel lobbies. It had been six years since I was last there, and then only for a couple of days. The city keeps growing, now at a population of approximately 20 million, although locals will tell you it is much higher.

View in Chaoyang District, Beijing, April 2013

My meetings were centered in the Chaoyang District, which houses most of the city’s foreign embassies and corporations. The facilities built for the 2008 Summer Olympics are located in the Chaoyang District. This view is through a window, hence the dirty spots.

China Central Television (CCTV) Headquarters, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China

Air quality was decent the week I was there. My colleagues mentioned that it was poor a few days earlier. Every now and then, you could spot pedestrians wearing masks. Despite that, I was able to capture a few blooms challenging the hazy air with their show of pinks and reds.

Pink Blossoms, Beijing, April 2013

Red blooms in Beijing, April 2013

Most of my views of the city were through the windows of taxis. Getting from one location to another took time. Traffic congestion was intense. My hotel room became a respite from the noise and traffic of the day.

Hotel Tea Set, Beijing, April 2013

Dragon Vase, Beijing, April 2013

There has been little time for knitting. I thought I would make progress, perhaps even finish my current project on the plane, but only got in a few rows. This is what the formerly tangled string is looking like.

Sakkie Scarf in Progress

There is no access to Facebook in China, or to Twitter, Tumblr, or WordPress. But there was Peking duck, beef with spicy noodles, sesame seed bun, shrimp dumplings, and jasmine and oolong tea.

Tea Set, Beijing, April 2013

I had one wish fulfilled, which was to return to China. I hope to go back again.

19 thoughts on “Detour to Beijing

    1. The city is quite spectacular. Every building is huge and it has large green spaces. But there is a persistent haze in the air. The beauty of the blooms helped to soften the urban grit.

  1. it must be an interesting place to visit! I almost got to go there for some weeks a couple of years ago, but then something came in between… shame. Are social networks also blocked to tourists?
    Chinese green tea is very good, a fav of mine
    Thanks for the post and pics

    1. Glad yôu enjoyed the post. Work has been demanding most of my time and I haven’t had a chance to blog. I tried accessing social networks but to no avail. I need to research this a bit and see what might be accessible.

      1. i think i read something that social nets are usually blocked to locals, but not sure what about visitors, especially those staying in hotel accommodation – i would have thought they had access

  2. I have spent quite a few years living in Beijing. Oh, how I miss it! Social media is inaccessible for everyone – unless you use a foreign VPN.

    Your pictures are lovely. It looks like you got a clear blue-sky day!

  3. Thanks for sharing your journey…sometimes, I enjoy quiet moments without technology. Your knitting is coming along beautifully.

    1. Agree on the quiet moments. I did have a lot of connectivity problems, even on my work computer just trying to access my work email. Because of the time difference, every morning greeted me with tons of emails from the other side of the planet!

  4. Loved looking at your pictures, thanks for posting them! The food sounds lovely, here in Italy it’s terribly difficult to find any Asian food worth eating (but the Italian food is great ;). Glad that you got your yarn untangled, I’m looking forward to seeing what it turns into.

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