From Mongolia to Beijing

Train 022 from UB to Erlianghot was comfortable. There were no trains to Beijing available, so i took a minibus. Everyone, including the driver, were mongolian. So again, there was singing. The road south from Erlianghot is a 4 lane dead straight highway, very different from the ones in Mongolia. Our driver did drive a bit on dirt tracks to get around the road tolls without paying. Not much traffic but about 200 km before Beijing the road was full with hundreds of lorries, hauling goods to Beijingers to consume. The traffic completely stopped for two hours 90km from Beijing.

So i arrived at 2am. Bumped into 2 spaniards who just came too. We ended up sharing a double, me having the floor. But it was ok. Next morning to a very nice cheap hostel.

Beijing and China… what to say. i find myself comparing this with Thailand all the time. But i find very few similarities so far. There are nice people, and less nice people, touts and all. The city is big. Big office buildings everywhere. Also shopping malls. And people. Around 15 million of them. The holidays are ending in the end of this August, so hopefully there won’t be so many Chinese tourists around. Now their numbers are too big.

The olympics are coming big time. Buildings are popping up everywhere, and edifices of old buildings restored. I witnessed a new subway station pop up next to my hostel. Took about a week to build. Workers sleep at the construction sites next to the streets, work all day.

I hear the 11th day of every month is the “queuing day” – “11” looks like two people standing in line, so there ‘assistants’ at every bus stop making sure that people queue orderly, which doesn’t seem to be too natural for the chinese. The chinese will need to look civilised, when the world is watching. I can’t imagine this happening anywhere else. I heard many stories about spitting and so on, but no one spits in Beijing. People just clear their throat in the loud chinese way, but then, just swallow.

The parks are nice. People do taiji, walk backwards and other weird exersices. Old men playing mahjong and xiangqi.

Some thougts there, more later…:)

photos from Saturday, August 25th 2007
a small shop beijing people
photos from Friday, August 24th 2007
toursts at the summer palace 4 tourists at the summer palace tourists at the summer palace 2 tourists at the summer palace 3
photos from Thursday, August 23rd 2007
a game of xiangqi Glen does not pay attention poser bridge a girl by a pond old man a girl by a pond 2 girl by a pond 3 a mark on bark Glenn and Anthony feeding pidgeons old man and pidgeons old man and pidgeons 2 dew insence taking a photo sand in order statue kneeling kneeling 2 insence 2 buddha lion a market in chaoyang nap constructing in beijing offices doorway beijing traffick 3 boys on pavement that morning people found something interesting writen on the pavement qianmen
photos from Wednesday, August 22nd 2007
china girls wobbly wall a man with an umberella boys smoking
photos from Tuesday, August 21st 2007
to forbidden city mao and a lion to forbidden city 2 tiananmen

Comments 3

  1. Heikki Wilenius wrote:

    Fascinating detail about people not spitting any more. Back in January 2001 I remember clearly my first night in Beijing. Went to eat in a restaurant with a fairly large dining hall, a mid-range place with nice decorations and dressed-up waiters, and it struck me weird that the men were spitting on the floor all the time.

    Posted 30 Aug 2007 at 16:12
  2. Kari wrote:

    In Tingri, Tibet there were waitresses who spat on the floor of their own restaurant… This was a few weeks ago.

    Posted 09 Sep 2007 at 11:28
  3. aaron z wrote:

    Moi Immu;
    Your parents were here this week-
    They are doing great.
    I heard about you and the whole family-
    It looks like a interesting trip.
    I am jealous of your freedom to travel.
    You may remember I took the train from Helsinki to Beijing via Mongolia and Baikal in 1985-
    And there was spitting everywhere then.
    I spent 30 days in China then and covered a lot of ground on trains, planes, buses and boats. I know it is a differnt place at least on the eastern coast today.
    I wish you all the best and hope to see a photo of you smiling sometime ; )

    Posted 21 Oct 2007 at 4:52

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From Schachblätter » Blog Archive » Rückwärtsgehen on 27 Aug 2007 at 22:21

    […] trvl blg ist in Peking. Dort auch schöne Fotos. Das Mah-Jongg-Spiel habe ich im Chinakaufhaus nicht mitgenommen, scheint auch komplizierte Regeln zu haben. Hat jemand damit Erfahrung? […]

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