Friday, February 29, 2008

Beijing International Airport Terminal 3

Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport opened today.

Beijing International Airport Terminal 3

The US$3.6 billion terminal was designed by British architect Sir Norman Foster, who was also responsible for the highly-praised Chep Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong.

Beijing Airport Terminal 3's main concourse is 3km long, divided into 3 sections and linked by shuttle train - Terminal 3 is the largest airport terminal building in the world. The new terminal is expected to boost incoming passengers to 76 million people in Olympic year 2008 up from 56 million last year.

Beijing International Airport Terminal 3, Beijing, China

The new terminal has 300 check-in counters, almost double the number of gates of the other two terminals and a state-of-the-art, computerized baggage handling system that can process 19,800 bags per hour. There is even a Burger King.

Eventually the Beijing International Airport will be linked by a new high-speed train in to central Beijing.

The design, as at Hong Kong's Chep Lap Kok, emphasizes natural light with huge glass walls and roof and is designed with energy efficiency in mind. The structure as a whole supposedly represents a flying dragon with triangular skylight windows -"scales" - protruding from the roof.

Dragon scales at Beijing International Airport Terminal 3

British Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qantas Airways, Shandong Airlines and Sichuan Airlines will move in right away followed on March 26 by Air Canada, Air China, Dragonair, Emirates, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

images © Daniel Allen

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Canon Camera Repair Centers in Beijing

1.Beijing International Convention Centre Canon Repair Centre

Jia neng camera wei xiu zhong xin
Wei yu Beijing bei si huan de Beijing guoji huiyi zhongxin de 2 ceng.

Beijing International Convention Centre Canon Repair Centre

Located on the North Fourth Ring Road in the Beijing International Convention Centre on the 2nd floor, Canon offer outstanding service with any of your camera problems. The service is quick and efficient.

If staying in the Lido or Beijing United Family Hospital area, Bus 408 will take you down Jingshan Lu, around the North Fourth Ring Road, past IKEA to Anhui Qiao where it turns onto Anding Lu. The bus will drop you off on Anding Lu, not far from the National Stadium (Bird's Nest). From the bus stop walk west toward Crowne Plaza Hotel, Wuzhou, and you will see The Beijing International Convention Centre as a light brown brick building past the hotel. Find the Canon Repair Centre on the 2nd Floor.

2. Wudaokou Canon Repair Centre
电话:010-62800300 / 62800301
Dizhi: Beijing shi haidian qu bei si huan xilu 9hao, baofusi qiao dongbei jiao yingu dasha 1ceng dianpu

3. Dongcheng Canon Repair Centre
Dizhi: Beijing shi dongcheng qu jinbaojie 89hao jinbao dasha 15ceng
电话:010-85139999 传真:010-85139932

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Beijing Temple Fair

Beijing Temple Fair
By Wang Xi

It is a tradition to go to temple fairs during the Chinese Spring Festival or Chinese New Year celebrations. Beijing, as the culture capital of China, has a large number of temples. Temple fairs used to be an event of worship, in which people might pray for happiness, peace and luck. The modern temple fair has a wider variety of activities like worship, commercial trade, and recreation.

Hotels in Beijing

Monday, February 25, 2008

CCTV Tower Construction

Construction work is continuing round the clock on the CCTV Tower in Beijing with workers still banging away at 10pm on a Sunday in the driving snow.

CCTV Tower Construction, Beijing, China

The other funky buildling is the new Park Hyatt Hotel.

Park Hyatt Hotel, Beijing, China

images © Daniel Allen

Hotels in Beijing

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beijing Competitions

National Aquatics Centre BeijingThose interested in attending the Fina Diving events in the new National Aquatics Centre (Water Cube) can buy tickets online here.

This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy world class diving competitions and to check out the facilities at China’s first class aquatics centre.

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Lost in Beijing Movie Review

Lost in Beijing, is a controversial film made in 2006 by Chinese director Li Yu, which is now banned in China. The director and producer, Fang Li, have also been prohibited from film-making for two years.

Lost in Beijing

The movie, which is known as Apple in China, is the director's third feature after Fish and Elephant (2001), a lesbian romance story between a Beijing Zoo elephant keeper and a fashion designer and Dam Street (2005), a gritty social drama, set in a small town, and focusing on the relationship of a socially-ostracized woman and a 10-year-old boy.

The plot of Lost in Beijing, as the title suggests, sees the main characters, none of them from the city, struggling to adapt to the new social and economic realities in the capital.

The storyline of the sexually-explicit movie supposedly came to the director while she was working as a news anchor and involves the twisted relationships of a pair of contrasting husband and wife couples. Young, poor migrant couple Liu Pingguo, played by Fan Bingbing (Flashpoint), and her husband, An Kun (Tong Dawei) and the rich city slickers Lin Dong, played by Tony Leung Ka Fai (Lust, Caution, The Lover) and his wife, Wang Mei (Elaine Jin People's Hero) are brought together in a web of sex, rape and exploitation.

Fish and Elephant
The film is a raw social satire and explores the themes of dislocation and mutual exploitation as Liu Pingguo is raped by her massage-parlor boss Lin Dong as window-cleaner husband An watches in shock from outside. Lin Dong is in turn blackmailed by the aggrevied husband An Kun, who is himself seduced by Wang Mei, as he seeks compensation for his "suffering".

Lost in Beijing premiered at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival and has been shown in Thailand (2007 Bangkok International Film Festival), Hong Kong and the USA.

The director Li Yu was born in 1973 in Shangdong Province in Northern China and began work as a TV host for local television. In Beijing she has worked on documentaries for CCTV's (China Central Television) feature program Life Space.

Li sold her house to finance her first film and her own struggles in the male-dominated media are mirrored by the female characters in her movies.

Of the characters in Lost in Beijing, Li says: "They are like me: people who are lost in the city's conflicting new morality and are thrust together through chance circumstances." Li added, "As a Chinese director, I am responsible for recording the new era. I want people to feel the pulse of Beijing that is undergoing sweeping changes."

Read more about Lost in Beijing


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Saturday, February 23, 2008

What Does Beijing Mean?

Beijing is made up of the Chinese characters 北京. 北 (bei) means north and 京 (jing) is capital - thus Beijing means "northern capital" referring to the city's location in the north of China.

What does Beijing mean?

Similarly Nanjing 南京 in the south of the country is 南 (nan; south) 京 (jing; capital) - "southern capital."

In Japan, Tokyo is 東京 - "eastern capital".

Beijing is often referred to in English as "Peking" and "Pekin" in Japanese. Beijing has been known by other names throughout its history including Dadu, Shuntian, Peiping, Youzhou and Zhongdu.

Dadu (大都) "great capital" is the Chinese rendering of Khanbaliq - the new city built by Kublai Khan in 1264, which became the capital of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Marco Polo refers to the city at this time as "Cambulac."
Shuntian (顺天) refers to the new name of the capital after the defeat of the Mongols and the establishment of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Peiping, (北平) "Northern Peace" was a term used in 1928 as the capital was at this time in Nanjing.
Youzhou (幽州) was the name of the city in the Tang dynasty (618–907) .
Zhongdu (中都) "Central Capital" refers to the area just to the south west of modern Beijing which was the capital of the barbarian Jin Dynasty (1115–1234).

The city became Beijing in 1949 following the Communist takeover. Yanjing (燕京) is an informal name for Beijing and is also the name of a local Chinese beer. Yanjing refers to the State of Yan that existed around the area of present-day Beijing during the Zhou Dynasty (1122-256 BCE).

Foreign residents often refer to their adopted home simply as "BJ".

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Military Museum Beijing

Beijing's Military Museum (The Chinese Military History Museum) is presently closed for refurbishment.

Military Museum

The huge building housed Chinese Cold War-era fighter planes, tanks and surface-to-air missiles, as well as captured American tanks from the Korean conflict, U2 spy plane wreckage and historic weapons and armor.

The museum, when open, had displays detailing the Korean War, the Opium War and the Taiping and Boxer Rebellions.
The Military Museum is south of Yuyuantan Park.

The Chinese Military History Museum
9 Fuxing Road
Haidian District
Tel: 6686 6244
The nearest subway station is Junshibowuguan.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008



Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province is one of China's most picturesque destinations.


Huangzhou is located near to Shanghai on the East China Sea, and the town is centered around the famous West Lake (Xi Hu), which has been immortalized by countless Chinese poets and artists.

Dawn over Xi Hu Lake

If time allows you to visit southern China on your Olympic trip to Beijing this summer, find time to escape the hustle and bustle and relax in Hangzhou's calming atmosphere.

images © Daniel Allen

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Friday, February 15, 2008

China Visas From Japan, 2008

chinese-visaFor a business trip last March, I needed a visa to get into China. For Americans the fee was 6,000 yen (about $60). For a British colleague, it was 4,000 yen. Different fees paid, we were on our way to Beijing.

Well, business and China beckon once again. At the consulate in Osaka the other day, other than a broken copy machine--we all had to run across the street to a Chinese travel agency to have our passport and Japanese identity cards copied--things went smoothly.

The woman at the Visa window was even the same young woman as the previous year. After several minutes spent stapling, clipping, and writing up a pink receipt, she told me in heavily accented Japanese, "You can pick up your visa between the dates written here. The fee is 15,000 yen."

After a nano-second, I said "Huh?! 11 months ago it was 6,000. Are you sure about that?"

She didn't require a nano-second: "Yes. The fees have been changed."

And now we are bound for Shanghai.

NEW information on visas for China.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fish Bird and Insect Market Beijing

Carp, Guan Yuan Shi ChangGuan Yuan Shi Chang

While fish, birds and insects might be what many know Guan Yuan Shi Chang for, Beijing-Visitors and residents alike will find a wide range of goods for sale including tobacco and smoking accessories, fishing tackle, plants, jewelry and traditional Chinese shoes.

For those seeking a rather authentic China ‘experience’ this little market offers it all. This is Beijing people going about their everyday lives uninfluenced by foreigners and cameras. Out of respect for one of the few genuine China experiences left in Beijing, it would be prudent to keep cameras hidden and simply enjoy the experience of visiting the market. These people are doing what they normally do without influence from visiting tourists, so it is with considerable hesitation that the information about this market is being posted.

Cat, Guan Yuan Shi ChangPeople living in Beijing may find this market a good place to pick up a cheap but adorable pet to join their family. The shop and stall holders are warm and welcoming even if you are not interested in buying. There are many stalls both inside and outside the market. There is even the chance to sit down and enjoy a meal.

Pets like turtles, terrapins, fish, budgerigars, parrots, doves, rabbits, chinchillas, cats, kittens, mice, hamsters, iguanas and dragon lizards are all for sale.

Insects like crickets are very popular and widely available. During winter these were the only insects available, apart from live maggots.

To accompany the pets you will find a wide range of accessories available to either make your dear pet’s life more comfortable or to entertain them. Pet food and pet medicines can also be purchased.

If you are not much interested in pets, don’t despair, there is quite a range of other merchandise also offered for sale.

Pipes at Guan Yuan Shi Chang MarketFor the smoker there is an impressive selection of smoking pipes in a range of shapes, lengths, materials and colours. Already own a pipe? Why not check out the variety of what appears to be unprocessed tobacco for sale! There are many large bags of various tobaccos just waiting to be enjoyed by those who enjoy a pipe or rolling their own cigarettes.

Jewelry is another widely sold item you may stumble across in this market once you venture inside. Jade and other semi-precious stones can be found either made up as bracelets, necklaces or available singularly.

While winter is probably not the best time to be looking for plants to buy in Beijing there were a number of spring bulbs like hyacinths already for sale. Cacti, azaleas, bromeliads and gourds are also found at this time of year.

For the fishermen there are many shops inside the market selling fishing tackle.

Traditional Chinese shoes and slippers can also be purchased. Slippers come in a wide range of ornate traditional patterns. At the same time the simple black and white slip on shoes from Mao’s era can be found and purchased at very cheap prices.

Guan Yuan Shi Chang iguanaTo access Guan Yuan Shi Chang by subway take the train to Fucheng subway, exit B and turn 180 degrees before walking along Fuchengmen Beidajie, on the east side of the west 2nd Ring Road.


The market is about 100 metres along to your left where you see a car park and stalls beyond the car park.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pacific Department Store Beijing

Pacific Department Store BeijingLocated on Gongti Beilu, almost opposite Ya Show market in Sanlitun, Pacific Century Plaza is home to Pacific Department Store currently running many discounted prices on all sorts of genuine items in all departments.

Chinese New Year is one of the best times for the Beijing-Visitor to find a bargain in the comfort of air-conditioned shopping centres of Beijing. It is common to find discounts between 30 – 50% on name brands. Festival time is truly festive for shoppers during any festival!

As you walk toward the store from the street don’t be distracted by the opportunity for Starbucks Coffee! Rather, spend an extra few minutes outside and take a look at the large Year of the Rat display designed to celebrate Chinese New Year. Celebrations will continue in Beijing and China until the Lantern Festival.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Six Months To Go For Beijing Olympics Start

As Chinese people celebrate New Year and the beginning of The Year of the Rat it is only six months to the beginning of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when an estimated 550,000 visitors and 10,000 athletes will descend on China's capital for what promises to be the best-ever Games.

Tickets are still available with only 25% of available tickets selling in last month's lottery round of ticket sales.

Chinese spectators bought heavily for competitions Chinese athletes are expected to do well in: badminton, diving, gynastics, swimming, and table tennis but other events have plenty of spare capacity.

Hotels in Beijing

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Olympic Fever Builds in Beijing

birds-nest-2The 2008 China Swimming Open events held up until yesterday at the National Aquatics Centre have contributed enormously to the excitement about the Olympic Games.

People are talking about the venues and their excellent facilities. Many people were trying whatever methods they could to get tickets for this recent swimming event, but sadly some missed out.

Olympic fever is certainly building amongst Beijing-Visitors and residents!

Photos: Top right is the main stadium ("Bird's Nest"); Bottom left is the swimming venue ("Ice Cube").

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Beijing Lights Up

ice-cube-beijingBeijing continues to light up Olympic venues in the lead-up to the 2008 Olympic Games. Events like the 2008 China Swimming Open held from 31st January to 5th February, 2008 are a great way for any Beijing-Visitor to experience the dynamic sports venues Beijing has to offer.

Visitors who brave the sub zero winter temperatures are well rewarded at events like the 2008 China Swimming Open where international competitors warm up for the sporting event of the century, Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Games! Beijing’s ‘Ice Cube’ swimming venue, more formally known as the National Aquatics Centre is surely one of the most cutting edge designed sporting venues the world has seen.

ice-cube-interiorHotels in Beijing

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Beijing Menu Chinglish

We are on the look out for more good examples of Chinglish. Restaurant menus are an obvious source of inspiration and somewhat of an easy target.


This gem is from a traditional hotpot restaurant in the center of town. Actually in all fairness it's not that bad with only "speaicl-beef" and "sweatend garlic" not quite right. Don't let the sheep's scrotum and sheep's penis put you off.

If you have some Chinglish and wish to share it please contact us.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Chinese Women Find Western Man Wanting

Are you a Caucasian male?

Oriental Plaza Mall If you are, you're in luck, stand long enough in Beijing's plush Oriental Plaza Mall, east of Tiananmen Square and before long a young Chinese woman will approach you and ask if you are American or British and attempt to engage you in idle conversation.

After the initial shock of why anybody under 30 would want to talk to me, it clicked. These latter-day gold-diggers want to become your new friend and guide to Beijing. Being with my wife and young son, I made my excuses and moved on.

So if you feel like being picked up, you know where to go.

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