Tag archives: olympics

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

Day 3, In and around Grand Epoch City

Today we stayed in the Grand Epoch City area, also known during our stay as the Orchestra Village. The Red group (Americans) were rehearsing most of the day and we got to watch them for a bit.

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We also took a walk around the compound to sight see. This place is so big that we were so tired of walking by the end.There’s an Indoor Water Park within the city wall. The day we arrived, we were told that the park was closed for maintenance and would reopen today. So we went there to check it out. It turned out to be still closed for the day. We also found the small man make lake (big pond). You can rent a pedaled boat to explore the the pond and the water ways that snarl from one end of the city to the other.

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There’s a swimming pool in the Zheng’an Palace Hotel. This hotel is located at the very center of the city. The cost to swim is 68 Yuen. Swiming cap is required … seriously. Luckily, we had been told about this requirement so we did bring some swiming caps with us 😉

I also visited the ‘Health Center’ which is a big gymnasium building. Inside, there’s a bowling center, basketball, tennis, badminton courts. There are pingpong tables, exercise and weight room, some billiard tables, rock climbing wall, laser tag games and video games equipments. It’s pretty impressive. I went for the full body massage for 168 Yuen for 45 minutes. What a treat!

Pictures: Day 3 album.