Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2010 Asia Trip, Beijing Day #1 Afternoon

I feel kinda lame. This is the 2nd time on this trip that I ate KFC in China. I couldn't find anything else between my hotel and the subway station so I got a fish sandwich and some fries. There is a Walmart in the other direction so maybe they have a food court. I checked out the Sogo department store; typically they have food in the basement but here they only had some sit down restaurants which looked expensive, and a Subway sandwich place.

I went back to sleep after breakfast and got up around noon. My friend had to work today so I thought I'd take the subway to the CCTV building and take some photos. My hotel is near the junction of subway lines 2 and 4 so I walked towards Xuanwumen station.

As I mentioned above, there is a Sogo department on the way. The neighborhood outside the department store is a bit rundown but inside, there are lots of luxury brands. The contrast is a bit disorienting.

Entrance to the Xuanwumen station. I think this is a newly constructed entrance since it has escalators up and down.

The subway was pretty crowded. To get to the CCTV building, I had to take subway line 2, transfer to line 1 (the oldest and non-AC line), then transfer to line 10. I ended up not taking line 10 but walked the several blocks from line 1.

Subway map. There's a few stations added since I was here last year.

Station display on a line 2 car. Line 2 follows a circular route so you have to make sure you're traveling in the right direction.

Getting out at Guomao station, I followed the 3rd Ring Road north. It wasn't hard to miss the new CCTV building.

The building was pretty impressive even from a few blocks away.

Less impressive was the building next door that caught fire due to illegal fireworks a couple of years ago.

Closer view of the "big underpants" as the locals call it. I thought it was open for use already but the building was surrounded by a tall wall that make it look like a construction site. Maybe they're fixing the burnt building.

Public transportation is cheap and convenient but takes forever to get anywhere. I was tired from going half-way across town just to take a few photos so I returned to my hotel. Since I didn't have lunch, I picked up something at the KFC downstairs.

KFC... there were lots of other stuff than fried chicken on the menu, including lots of desserts. I had to ask for fries to be included in my combo... the default is some kind of corn salad thing.

On the way back to the hotel, I saw a huge banner hanging on the hotel building. I'm not sure what it's for but Hennessy is a brand of cognac. Did they sponsor a concert? I recognize Sammi Cheng (HK singer and actress) and Seo In Young (K-pop singer that used to be a member of Jewelry).

The cleaning staff just knocked on the door asking to clean the room... while I'm still in here. I told them to come back in an hour but she told me to contact the front desk instead. Not sure why she can't come back later on her own.

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