Sunday, June 17, 2007

Summer Abroad 02 - Beijing in General

Beijing was not confined to simple, barely urban areas like the environs of UIBE. UIBE itself is north of Beitucheng, which marks the northern city walls when Beijing was first made the capital of China under the Yuan Dynasty almost 800 years ago. Inside of the Old City, Beijing gets a lot bigger, and more modern, including some good-looking steel-and-glass concoctions.

Of course, what's "modern" without a Pizza Hut?

Of course, not all the new building is confined within the Old City. The Olympic Park straddles the North Fourth Ring Road, which is really an expressway that, with the East, West, and South Fourth Ring Roads carves out a square in Beijing. The track stadium is south of the North Fourth Ring Road, and the main venue, the so-called "Bird's Nest", is north of the expressway.

At one of the corners of one of the "rings" is the Lufthansa Center, near which is the Hard Rock Cafe, bearing an interesting warning.

Wangfujing (王府井) is known as the Rodeo Drive of Beijing; I guess the Ferrari dealership just about cements that reputation.

At the other side of town, near Beijing (or Peking) University (北京大學) and Qinghua (or Tsinghua) University (清華大學) (the top two universities in China), is Huaqing Jiayuan Wudaokou (華清嘉園五道口), also known as the Koreatown of Beijing. Above a bookstore is a 24-hour burger joint called Lush (see food entry), and there's also a bar and dance floor called Propaganda (see clubbing).

But there are treasures near UIBE as well. Sara found this stenciled portrait of Chairman Mao.

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