Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beijing 2009

It was insanely hot in Beijing, everyday was around 100 degrees. The pollution didn't help either, nevertheless I did love Beijing. I was there once before, in 1984, I was just a teenager. The main thing I remember was that everybody was on bicycles. There were hardly any cars at all. A lot has changed. It is now a major city and everybody drives a car, although I'd like to point out there were no ridiculous SUVs.

If you're interested in seeing the hot spots of Beijing then you might as well just surf the Internet. Everything has been already photographed a million times. So I'm just going to post a few pictures of things I liked and then in another post put up some details and patterns of things I saw in the Forbidden City. I really enjoyed the decorative aspect of the palaces.

This is the view from the apartment. Direct view on the Bird's Nest stadium. Pictures can't do this structure justice. It is an amazing piece of architecture.

The Dragon Building.

The National Grand Opera House in Beijing. What an impressive site. The contrast to the surrounding buildings was stark. If you turned your head just a bit to the right you saw what's in the next picture. A simple residential area.

A guard in Tiananmen Square. To enter the huge square you have to pass a security check similar to that of an airport. The same type of guard you will find placed all over Beijing.

Anybody who knows me knows I'm a huge fan of theater and opera so when I had a chance to go see the traditional Beijing opera I was quite excited. This is a shot I took in the Beijing opera (or Peking opera). The Beijing opera is a form of traditional Chinese theater which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. The performances are usually based on Chinese folklore. The character above is Sun Wukong also known as the Monkey King. He is the main character in the epic novel Journey to the West. Check out the make up job, very inspiring.

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