Tag archives: beijing

Day 8, Tianjin performance and soccer game

This morning we started a little slow. There was nothing scheduled until early lunch at 11am. At 12 though, everybody rushed into their waiting buses and ready to leave for Tianjin. We were informed there were 54 buses and all. Today was also rather very special for us. We received VIP treatment by having police squad cars giving escorts to our bus convoy. The road ahead of us was closed and traffic was held off so the convoy could get to Tianjin as quickly as possible, together and safely. Here’s a video clip of the bus ride and the arrival at Tianjin that I put up on youtube:

The first destination in Tianjin was the Cultural Square where the Olympic Orchestra performed. The three hubs took turn to show off their individual numbers. In the end the entire group performed their combined routine which began with the percussion show case and followed by the Olympic theme music. Here’s is the video clip:

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The official site of Beijing 2008 Olympics has an article about this performance: http://en.beijing2008.cn/news/official/preparation/n214514166.shtml

At the end of the performance, everybody was fed with boxed Big Macs … what an original treat, in China 😉

Next destination in Tianjin was the Tianjin Olympic Center which is a 80,000 seats football/soccer stadium. We were treated to an exciting woman soccer match between China and Sweden. The stadium was full of red color wore and waved by Chinese supporters. They were so loud and a lot of fun to watch. China won the game with a 2-1 score. There were a couple of things we wished could have been better. One was the weather. It was steamy hot in that stadium. I swear we each lost a couple of pounds, easily, in the end. It was like staying in the steam room for a few hours. The other complain we had was the smoke from cigarettes. Try going into the men’s room, you’d have a difficulty breathing and looking any further than two feet because the room is full of smoke, no kidding!

Pictures: Day 8 album.

Day 7, Summer Palace & Forbidden City

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This morning we had a chance to peek at the Birds Nest (Olympic Stadium) in Beijing. Obviously, for security reasons, we were not allowed to get anywhere close to the area. Our bus driver just drove by it. We had quite a good look at the magnificent stadium and took a few pictures from the inside the bus.

Next to the main stadium is the Aquatic (swimming) building (The Cube). It’s cube shape building covered with what looks like tv monitors. I, unfortunately, was not able to get a clear picture of it because the driver was going a little too fast at that time. I however, took a couple of pictures of the Olympic flame shaped building that’s located next to it. It’s actually a hotel but I can’t remember what the name of the hotel though. On 3 sides of the building, there are big screen monitors that’s as high as 3 floors each in size. Crazy!

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We then went on to visit The Summer Palace and Forbidden City. There have been a lot of articles and information written on these two famous places. All I can add is that personally I like the Summer Palace a lot more. Forbidden City is so huge with thousands of rooms, big and small, and most of them are alike. Walking around the city is so exhausting, especially in the middle of hot and humid Beijing summer. I didn’t get as great experience as I’d like to have at this place. In between Summer Palace and Forbidden City visits, we had an opportunity to visit a pearl store. At the end of the tour, we came out of the Forbidden City onto the Tiananmen Square. The square was busy with workers and Olympic staff building stage and preparing for the Torch Relay Ceremony which will take place tomorrow, early morning.

Pictures: Day 7 album.

Day 6, performing on the great wall

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Today is the Great Wall performance day. We traveled to Jingshanlin section of the Great Wall on a convoy of 50 buses. It’s a long and slow drive that took more than 3 hours each way. Jingshanlin section was closed to the public and reserved for the performnance. The red group took the first turn to perform then followed by the green group.

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Before/after the performance we had the opportunity to climb up the wall and took some pictures. Great Wall was truly an incredibly awesome structure. The view from the wall was so spectacular.

Pictures: Day 6 album.

Day 5, Tiananmen, Capital Museum, Silk St, Wangfujing St

7264Today is definitely the most exciting day for all of us because the kids had the chance to perform on the Tiananmen Square. They were the first foreign group to be allowed to perform on the square, ever. There were a lot of news/TV coverages and the entire orchestra performed really really well.

Links to some of those news coverage:

Not all accompanying parents and family members were allowed to attend the performance. Seats are limited by the Chinese government. It seems like they want to limit how big of a crowd to be allowed on the square this morning. The night before, we had a lottery among us to pick who can go. I was picked and only I can go from my family (one person per family). We left the hotel at 4am in the morning. It’s a slow bus ride to Beijing city with a convoy of about 45 buses.

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After the performance, the kids headed back to the hotel. The rest of us moved on with the day’s tour of Beijing and met up with the other parents/family members that did not get to go in the morning. I will have to write about the details in future dates.

Pictures: Day 5 album

Day 4, Beijing's Temple of Heaven & Antique Market

(complete blogs to follow).

Album: day 4 temple of heaven & antigue market