Sunday, June 29, 2008

Beijing Subway Security

As the opening of the Olympic Games comes closer the security associated with such an event tightens. Beijing subway users can expect police, machine and dog checks between 29th June and 20th September.

Police and security personnel in Beijing are interested in people carrying explosives, inflammables, poisons, radioactive materials, guns, ammunition and knives.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hotel Accommodation in Beijing

Visiting Beijing for the Olympic Games? Accommodation is available!

Despite some of the news about accommodation in Bejing there is actually still a range of accommodation available in Beijing for the Olympics.

Many Beijing hotels still have rooms to offer travelers looking for 4 or 5 star hotel rooms. Only 44% of the rooms are booked in 4 star hotels and 77% of the 5 star rooms are booked. There is even talk of hotels being forced to slash rates to attract more bookings for the Olympics.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

CALLING ALL BRITS IN CHINA OR GOING TO BE IN CHINA OVER SUMMER

If you, your family or friends are travelling to China this summer, get them to sign up to LOCATE

What is LOCATE?

LOCATE is a new online service that allows British consular officials to contact you in the event of any incident abroad. Keeping you safe!!!

Why sign up? If there is an earthquake, flood or outbreak in China we can get in contact with you and let your family and friends know that you are safe.

How do I sign up?

Just take two minutes and save yourself a lot of worry by registering here:

www.locate.fco.gov.uk/locateportal

If you want to find out more about the benefits of LOCATE you can look here:

www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas

Locate Consular Section, British Embassy, Beijing

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Britain's Olympic Hopefuls

Britain collected 9 gold medals at the Athens Olympics in 2004 but may be hard pressed to reach that target in Beijing.

Most of the news affecting Team GB has been off the track and most of it unwelcome.

Women's marathon world record holder, 34-year-old Paula Radcliffe is struggling for fitness after she suffered a stress fracture of her left thigh and is doubtful to make the Games.

1992 100m Olympic champion Linford Christie came out recently to claim there was "institutionalised racism" in British life and continued his feud with Lord Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012's Olympic organising committee.

Sprinter Dwain Chambers is continuing his fight to achieve the Olympic qualifying time in the 100m and overturn his 2-year drug ban to compete in Beijing.

Britain's best hopes for medals are in rowing with the men's four hoping to emulate the previous crew's gold in Athens, badminton where Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms are the reigning world mixed doubles champions, and Ben Ainslie the Finn class sailor hoping to make it a hat-trick of gold medals in Qingdao.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Beijing Olympic Mascots

Colorful, playful and fun, the Fuwa are the mascots of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to be held in Beijing. Like radiant cartoon characters bursting with energy, and all wearing smiles, the mascots bring symbols of friendship and peace to the rest of the world that will visit and watch the games. In fact, the characters are meant to embody the fun side of playful children while exuding the qualities of China’s most prominent animals – fish, swallow, a Panda bear and a Tibetan Antelope. The fifth Fuwa represents the Olympic flame.

What’s in a Name?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosedavies/1813706889/

The name of each Fuwa rhymes in two syllables, which is a typical way Chinese youth show affection. Therefore, the fun names of the mascots should not come as much surprise. The five mascots include Beibei - the fish, Jingjing – a Panda, Huanhuan - the Olympic flame, Yingying - the Tibetan Antelope, and Nini - a swallow.

The phrase “Welcome to Beijing” is created by combining the names, Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni. This play on words is meant as a welcome offering by the Chinese to the rest of the world.

Fuwa Symbols

http://www.flickr.com/photos/coolmeow/2557200399/

The characters created to be the Olympic mascots also represent physical aspects of China. These elements are shown in the mascots’ headpieces and include the sea, sky, earth, fire and forest. They are stylistically designed and drawn in an ornamental manner. Each Fuwa also symbolizes a Chinese blessing, including prosperity, passion, happiness, good luck and health. According to the Chinese, the Fuwa are vehicles to express a strong desire to bring peace and friendship to the world. Each also represents a specific ring within the Olympic ring symbol.

Beibei

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ming2046/1178161108/

Beibei, which is a blue colored female, is the symbolic fish. In the Chinese culture, the fish is a sign of prosperity. It also is a sign of a good year and good life. Therefore, she is meant to symbolize the desire to spread good will and prosperity to the world. Beibei is described as gentle yet strong in water and she represents the blue Olympic ring.

Jingjing

http://www.flickr.com/photos/beautifulcataya/2539237854/

Jingjing is the male Panda, colored black and white, and he offers blessings of happiness. Lotus designs are found in his headpiece, which were drawn from paintings on porcelain that date to the Song Dynasty. They represent a plentiful forest and a strong relationship between man and nature. The design of Jingjing is intended to show a wish to protect nature. The character is described as being strong and represents the black Olympic ring.

Huanhuan

http://www.flickr.com/photos/portablematthew/2249351594/

Huanhuan represents the Olympic flame. As such, he is colored all in red with a fiery headpiece that stands upright. The design on Huanhuan was modeled after the famous Dunhuang murals. He embodies the passion of the games and is depicted as being in the center of the Fuwa because he is considered to be at the center of the Olympic spirit.

The light from the fire of Huanhuan is intended to be a shining invitation for others to visit Beijing. Huanhuan is bursting with energy and excited. He, of course, symbolizes the red Olympic ring.

Yingying

http://www.flickr.com/photos/portablematthew/2249336278/

Drawn in a running pose, Yingying is fast, just like the Tibetan Antelope he represents. The Tibetan Antelope was one of the first to receive protection in China. Yingying’s ability to move quickly over long distances is representative of the great distances within China. Yingying also is a reference to the pledge by Beijing to hold a Green Olympics.

The headpiece worn by Yingying is striking and taps many decorative features from the Qinghai-Tibet and Sinkiang cultures. He represents the yellow Olympic ring.

Nini

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hatters/2265438242/

Finally, Nini is the green character, which is modeled after the golden-winged swallow kite design. Each year, Beijing children fly kites throughout the city. The swallow design is among the most popular of the kites. Nini’s golden wings allude to an infinite sky and offer good luck to anyplace she may travel.

In Chinese, the word “swallow” is pronounced like “yan.” In ancient times, Beijing was really called Yanjing. Nini represents innocence and joy. She obviously represents the green Olympic ring.

The doll-like mascots were revealed to the world in November 2005 and were presented publicly during a ceremony in Beijing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beijing To Cut Cars By 50% During Olympics

Xinhua News, China's state run news agency has announced that Beijing's civic authorities plan to reduce traffic in the Chinese capital by instigating a policy of only allowing cars with an odd or even registration plate on to the roads on alternate days during this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Beijing To Cut Cars By 50% During Olympics

The new policy will come in to effect on July 20 and will run until September 20, 2008. Beijing's taxis, buses and emergency vehicles will be exempt.

Odd number must be Tuesday

Most vehicles, except those with special permits meeting stringent emissions standards, will also be banned from entering Beijing from outside the city, in an attempt to improve Beijing's air quality.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Chinese Rush To Have Olympic Wedding

An estimated 10,000 people are expected to marry in China on the opening day of the Beijing Olympics - August 8, 2008.

China wedding

The number 8 is thought to be particularly auspicious in Chinese folklore, so the 8th day of the 8 month in the 8th year of the new century was always going to be a propitious day to tie the knot but the fact that it is also the start of the Beijing Olympics means that the special day has become especially popular for nuptials.

And if wedding night and honeymoon passions lead to the bride getting pregnant, there's a good chance the new addition to the family might be named "Aoyun," which means "Olympic Games."

Beijing Wedding Ceremony

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Olympic Torch in Lhasa Tibet

Today the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay is in Lhasa, the capital of the autonomous province of Tibet (Xizang in Chinese).

Lhasa Tibet

The torch relay will pass under tight security from Norbulingka, the previous summer palace of the Dalai Lamas to the Potala Palace, the main palace of Tibet's Buddhist rulers and first built in the 7th century.

Lhasa lies at an altitude of 3650m and is now accessible by direct train from China's capital Beijing. June is one of the most pleasant times to visit Lhasa with daytime temperatures around 20-25 degrees Centigrade, though this is the time of the rains in Tibet.

Lhasa Tibet

When visiting Lhasa remember to rest on your first few days as you slowly acclimatize to the altitude and also drink losts of water. A rabies immunization may also be wise as Tibetan dogs (like those in Nepal) are aggressive. Another health hazard is giardia (giardiasis), an intestinal parasite picked up from infected drinks or food. The cure is a weeks course of Flagyl, which can be purchased in both China and Nepal. Bring along a supply before you arrive. Having had the parasite twice (once in India and once in Nepal), I can vouch for the wisdom of bringing along enough Flagyl to get you over any attack.

Lhasa Tibet

Images © Daniel Allen

© Beijing-Visitor.com

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Olympic Hopefuls: USA

米国五輪選手

The United States has a handful of athletes that should do very well in Beijing in August.

Perhaps foremost among them is swimmer Michael Phelps. Though he has not yet won a spot on the national team--US Olympic trials are still taking place--Phelps is the dominant swimmer of his generation.

He won six gold medals in Athens, and hopes to best Mark Spitz's seven medal Olympic record.

Another probable standout is Tyson Gay.

Gay is the current 100 and 200 meter world champion.

This is the first in a series of athlete profiles. Beijing Visitor will continue with updates on athletes from around the world.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Olympic Torch in Urumqi

ئۈرۈمچی‎ 乌鲁木齐

Today the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay is passing through Urumqi, the capital of landlocked Xinjiang Province and 1,400 miles from the nearest sea.

Urumqi

Around 8 million of Xinjiang Province's inhabitants are Muslim Uighurs, with a distinctive dress, lifestyle and cuisine. Urumqi, a city of over 2 million inhabitants, sits on the ancient Silk Road and the area of Xinjiang Province borders Mongolia to the north and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the west.

Urumqi

Images © Daniel Allen

Urumqi is connected by rail to both Kashgar and Beijing.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

110 Meters Hurdles Record

The 110 meters hurdles has a new world record holder after Cuban sprinter Dayron Robles broke the record previously held by China's Liu Xiang with a time of 12.87 seconds in a race at Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

The 21-year-old Cuban who runs in glasses will provide tough competition for Liu Xiang in Beijing.

© Beijing-Visitor.com

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lake Karakul Kashgar

Lake Karakul, 200km from Kashgar in Xinjiang Province is one of the world's most dramatic freshwater lakes. The bright blue waters of the lake shimmer under the snow-capped peaks of 7546m high Mount Mutzagata, Kongur Tagh at 7649m and Kongur Tiube at 7530m. Strangely then the name Karakul means "Black Lake" in Kirgiz.


Yak at Lake Karakul

Image © Daniel Allen

Accommodation consists of your own tent or staying in a tour group yurt set up with shared and rudimentary facilities about 1km from the bus stop.

Fresh water originates from the lake so swimming in the water is forbidden. There are a couple of buses each day on the Karakoram Highway from Kashgar or taxis.

© Beijing-Visitor.com

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

2008 Summer Olympics Mobile Alerts

4INFO Announces 2008 Summer Olympics Mobile Alerts Program Sporting enthusiasts can stay abreast of up-to-the minute Olympics news by country, sport or medal count.


SAN MATEO, CA. - (June 10, 2008) — 4INFO, Inc., the leader in SMS publishing and advertising services, announced today that it has developed a comprehensive mobile alerts program to help fans stay abreast of the 2008 Olympic Games in China this summer.

Beginning today, anyone with a cell phone can sign up over the phone or online at www.4info.net/olympics to receive alerts on their favorite countries, sports or medal counts.

2008 Summer Olympics Mobile Alerts

With Beijing 12 hours ahead of the east coast, fans can still stay up to speed on their favorite athletes and events without staying up late or relying on video recordings.

4INFO’s mobile alerts are free and work on any cell phone, offering consumers the flexibility and convenience of getting the key updates they’re eager to hear while they are on the move.

"The Olympics are an international drama that everyone wants to see, but can’t always fit in due to time changes and network limitations,” said Ted Burns, vice president of product at 4INFO. "With our alerts, fans can select any sport they want to follow-- whether or not the networks chose to air that footage--and know that they’ll get the full medal report and key news updates no matter where they are or what time it is.”

2008 Summer Olympics Mobile Alerts

Olympic sports alerts kick off on August 6th, with several soccer matches. The Olympic Games mobile alerts service lasts 18 days, ending with closing ceremonies on August 24th. At any time during the games, users can also conduct a mobile search to get the latest medal updates by sport by texting any SPORT NAME or COUNTRY NAME to 44636 (4info on a phone keypad).

This service is free, although text messaging fees from carriers may apply.

2008 Olympic Mobile Alert Service Options Include:

Medal alerts by country

• User receives a daily medal summary for the country of their choice; One message per day, for 18 days Medal alerts by event
• All 33 sports supported; user receives a daily medal summary by sport/event Daily medal table
• Daily top 10 summary of countries with the most medals Olympic news alerts
• User will receive up to three headline daily offering top Olympic news

Search Services Include:

Medal table

• User can text the word: MEDAL to get a daily top 10 summary

By sport

• User can text the sport name such as “SWIMMING” or “TRACK” to get latest event result by sport


About 4INFO

The leader in text messaging services, 4INFO helps people stay in the know on the go. Founded in 2004, 4INFO delivers millions of real-time information and entertainment messages as responses to a search query or as alerts on subjects ranging from sports scores and weather updates to stock quotes and celebrity gossip.

4INFO's services work on any cell phone and are free. Companies partner with 4INFO to connect with mobile audiences and deliver free ad-supported SMS content. 4INFO's SMS ad serving technology and targeted advertising programs give advertisers the ability to reach consumers in a new medium with measurable results.

Headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., 4INFO is backed by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Gannett Company, Inc., NBC Universal, Sand Hill Capital, and U.S. Venture Partners. Learn more at: www.4info.net or send a text to 44636.



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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Beijing Olympics Chant

According to a report from Reuters news agency monitoring Chinese state media, the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee have sanctioned a new chanting routine for Chinese spectators at the Games.

The four step routine incorporates the common sporting chant, "Add oil (Jiayou)" and goes like this: "Olympics, add oil," followed by 2 hand claps and a double thumbs up, then "China, add oil," followed by 2 more hand claps and two raised fists.

The words "Olympics" and "China" can be substituted with the names of individual athletes or other participating countries.

It remains to be seen whether Chinese spectators will adopt other countries to support as South Korean and Japanese soccer fans did at the 2002 World Cup.

© Beijing-Visitor.com

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Olympics 2016

With only two months to the start of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing on August 8, the four candidates to host the 2016 Olympics have been decided.

The four prospective cities are: Tokyo (Japan), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Madrid (Spain), Chicago (USA).

Tokyo ranked first in the preliminary ranking but faces a tough contest to win the right to host the Games. Japan's capital scored well on security and safety but had a perceived lack of public and government backing for the event.

Rio eventually was chosen as the 2016 host.

© Beijing-Visitor.com

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Beijing Subway Line 8

Beijing Subway Line 8 is the new Olympic line and is due to open on June 30 this year.

Beijing Subway Line 8

The new spur connects with Line 10 at Beitucheng (formerly Xiongmao Huandao). Also on Line 10 Wanliu Station's name changed to Bagou.

© Beijing-Visitor.com

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Finding China: Keary Liu

keary-liuPhotography exhibit by Keary Liu

If photography and China interest you then you may well enjoy a visit to Beijing and China photographer Keary Liu’s latest exhibition in Shi Tang Alternative Space found within the Jiu Chang Art Complex.

Keary presents a wide range of beautifully mounted and framed photos of both famous and not so famous places around Beijing and China. Viewing Keary’s work will soon make you realize what a talented photographer she is with the way she composes her photographs and the angle she uses to capture her images. Anyone wanting a memorable quality souvenir from China would do well to buy one of Keary’s very fine photos at very affordable prices.

Seeing these magnificent prints is like taking a whirlwind tour of some of China’s most beautiful provinces. The photographs take you from the Summer Palace, hutongs and temples of Beijing to the Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Hebei Province, Sichuan Province, Guilin and Anhui Province. Keary also presents a range of greeting cards and gift cards using photos not included in her exhibit.

The exhibition runs from 25th May – 8th June, 2008.

Located in a newly developing area just off the Jing Cheng Expressway, between the 4th and 5th Ring Roads as you drive north from the 4th Ring Road take the first exit after the 4th Ring Road. Go under the Jing Cheng Expressway and the Jiu Chang Art Complex is immediately on your left.

Shi Tang Alternative Art Space
D 1007 Jiu Chang Art Complex
Bei Hu Qu Lu
An Wai Bei Yuan Lu
Chao Yang District
Beijing

Tel: 5203865/67
Email: keliu321[at]gmail [dot]com


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