Friday, August 28, 2009

China Family Trip - Beijing Day 1

Aah, back behind the Great Firewall of China. Good thing I installed our company's VPN on my netbook.

Even though my Hong Kong to Beijing flight was delayed 30 minutes, we still arrived on time in Beijing. We were asked to fill out a quarantine control form but no one came on the plane to measure our temperature. It took me about 30 minutes to get through Immigration and Customs and I found my parents waiting for me. We took a taxi into town (¥84) and checked in.

China Airlines 747 parked at Beijing Capital Airport. This was my parents' flight from TPE to PEK. Direct flights from Taiwan to PRC was not possible until very recently.

I found the hotel online and booked 3 rooms for 4 nights. The rate they quoted me was about $900 excluding a 15% tax. However, they charged me ~¥13,000. It turned out they charge ¥500 for miscellaneous stuff per night per room which almost doubles the rate. I'll get it back if we don't use the minibar or use room service but it seems pretty steep. Since my sister's in coming in on a later flight, I went back to the airport to pick them up. It was cheaper to take the subway (¥2) and Airport Express train (¥25) than taking a taxi since I was by myself. Since there was traffic, I think was faster to take the train.

Airport Express train. I was to switch trains twice to get to this station. The train was pretty good, not as nice as Hong Kong's Airport Express but much cheaper.

The sign says the train was disinfected today. This is probably in response to the Swine Flu.

The Airport Express station in Terminal 3. They build everything big at the airport.

Since my other friend was arriving from Shanghai on China Eastern, it was at a different terminal. After I got my sister and Rebecca, we took a free shuttle to the other terminals. On the bus, we met a guy from Kansas going to Xi'an to teach English for a year. He's never been outside of the US... pretty cool.

A better picture than the one I posted earlier on Facebook. I took this from the Airport Expressway.

A night, we walked west towards Wangfujing and had dinner at a random restaurant. It was kind of like Third Street in Santa Monica; they blocked off the street from car traffic and there was a lot of pedestrians. I'll post pictures later... time to go.

Is it a hotel? A supermarket? Both?

A restaurant chain famous for Peking Duck. We decided against eating here since duck meat was very greasy, probably extra special greasy here in China.

Our hotel is next to the Beijing Lambo dealer. The price tag said (¥388δΈ‡) which comes out to ~US$550k... much more expensive than what it costs in the US. There's also a Rolls Royce dealer around the corner with a Phantom in the display window. Cab driver told me it was about ¥6M-¥7M in China.

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