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Old 01-22-2013, 09:03 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
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Although it has tons of history, it seems that many people think Beijing is dirty, polluted, dull and sort of lifeless compared to Seoul, Shanghai or Tokyo, even though it's modernised a lot, and offers as much of a cultural experience as those other cities, nightlife to match, and many interesting districts. It's subway is also pretty good, actually. How many have been to Beijing and what were your opinions? I went in winter so it was very cold, but i was impressed by the sights. More modern than I thought with horrendous traffic. I loved the hutongs, I hope they don't tear them all down.

 
Old 01-23-2013, 12:01 AM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,667,247 times
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Beijing is indeed polluted and dirty, but it's far from dull or lifeless. I have been there 3 times, the first visit long time ago when it was not yet as developed. I have indeed seen its spectacular progress and it is hardly the same city as my first visit. I highly recommend it as a tourist destination. But I really have no desire to live there long term. I have no desire to live anywhere in the PRC (excluding HK) anyway.
 
Old 01-23-2013, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,943 posts, read 36,139,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Although it has tons of history, it seems that many people think Beijing is dirty, polluted, dull and sort of lifeless compared to Seoul, Shanghai or Tokyo, even though it's modernised a lot, and offers as much of a cultural experience as those other cities, nightlife to match, and many interesting districts. It's subway is also pretty good, actually. How many have been to Beijing and what were your opinions? I went in winter so it was very cold, but i was impressed by the sights. More modern than I thought with horrendous traffic. I loved the hutongs, I hope they don't tear them all down.
I went about ten years ago. I heard a lot more nightlife has sprung up since than.

When I was there, it seemed very quiet, not much going on. I went to one nightlife area, and every girl seemed to be a hooker. I went to some of the tourist sites, but seemed like I had to do a lot of walking (or get in a taxi) to get places, without much to see along the way.

In contrast to cities like Tokyo, New York, etc...where just walking endlessly and looking at everything around you, can be quite interesting in itself.

I think those are a few of the things that made Beijing seem not so interesting at that time. But I've heard now the nightlife is everywhere, and much more happening. But, there are so many other places in the world, so its doubtful that I'd go a second time to see it again.
 
Old 01-23-2013, 02:21 AM
 
3,762 posts, read 3,800,199 times
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You will choke on the smog. Beijing probably has some of the worst pollution out of all the cities that I've ever been. China's economy grows so fast due to the fact that they simply don't give a sh*t about the environment. At some point, a breaking point will be reached when industry has grown so rapidly without any restrictions at all that there will be no clean drinking water left or clean air to breathe. Even outside of Beijing, China tends to have horrible air quality because many parts of the country are vastly polluted due to unrestrained industrial growth and the insistence on owning a car even though you live in a country with over a billion people.


While traveling to Beijing and China, it can be very difficult for a Westerner to determine what's real/fake--we in the west often take food safety for granted. In Beijing, you constantly have to worry about where your food has come from and whether or not it has been adulterated. Westerners and even many other people from Asia are simply also not accustomed to other small things like the constant spitting, cutting in line, or pushing your way to get anywhere which many other nationalities find uncouth. Also, people do take for granted the fact that they have free access to the internet, and people have a hard time accepting the fact that they can't even check their facebook page while in China because big brother has it blocked.

Last edited by fibonacci; 01-23-2013 at 02:38 AM..
 
Old 01-23-2013, 05:47 AM
 
32,055 posts, read 32,950,797 times
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I have been to Beijing and it is a great city with lots of things to do modern and historical. It has a subway system with signs in English so foreigners can use it easily. But Beijing does have a severe pollution problem.
 
Old 01-23-2013, 06:37 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I went about ten years ago. I heard a lot more nightlife has sprung up since than.

When I was there, it seemed very quiet, not much going on. I went to one nightlife area, and every girl seemed to be a hooker. I went to some of the tourist sites, but seemed like I had to do a lot of walking (or get in a taxi) to get places, without much to see along the way.

In contrast to cities like Tokyo, New York, etc...where just walking endlessly and looking at everything around you, can be quite interesting in itself.

I think those are a few of the things that made Beijing seem not so interesting at that time. But I've heard now the nightlife is everywhere, and much more happening. But, there are so many other places in the world, so its doubtful that I'd go a second time to see it again.
I went in 2006, so only a few years after you, I wonder if it changed much between 2002 to 2006, I think it did, but even since 2006 it has changed so much. If I went there today it would seem even more developed.
 
Old 01-23-2013, 06:39 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by fibonacci View Post
You will choke on the smog. Beijing probably has some of the worst pollution out of all the cities that I've ever been. China's economy grows so fast due to the fact that they simply don't give a sh*t about the environment. At some point, a breaking point will be reached when industry has grown so rapidly without any restrictions at all that there will be no clean drinking water left or clean air to breathe. Even outside of Beijing, China tends to have horrible air quality because many parts of the country are vastly polluted due to unrestrained industrial growth and the insistence on owning a car even though you live in a country with over a billion people.


While traveling to Beijing and China, it can be very difficult for a Westerner to determine what's real/fake--we in the west often take food safety for granted. In Beijing, you constantly have to worry about where your food has come from and whether or not it has been adulterated. Westerners and even many other people from Asia are simply also not accustomed to other small things like the constant spitting, cutting in line, or pushing your way to get anywhere which many other nationalities find uncouth. Also, people do take for granted the fact that they have free access to the internet, and people have a hard time accepting the fact that they can't even check their facebook page while in China because big brother has it blocked.
The smog there was so bad I could look at the sun on the clear day.
 
Old 01-23-2013, 07:00 AM
 
1,099 posts, read 1,667,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
The smog there was so bad I could look at the sun on the clear day.
Beijing's pollution levels made it to headline news earlier this month:

BBC News - In pictures: Beijing pollution
 
Old 01-23-2013, 07:10 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenTiger View Post
Beijing's pollution levels made it to headline news earlier this month:

BBC News - In pictures: Beijing pollution
My goodness, that is pretty bad, is a lot of that fog though?
 
Old 01-23-2013, 07:35 AM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,061,345 times
Reputation: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by fibonacci View Post
and people have a hard time accepting the fact that they can't even check their facebook page while in China because big brother has it blocked.
There's always a loophole to that. The Chinese use proxy sites to access Facebook, so no worries.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
My goodness, that is pretty bad, is a lot of that fog though?
Apart from air pollution, Beijing and much of Northern China are also suffering from increasing desertification too. Winds and sands from the Gobi have made quick inroads into the city limits, with occasional dust storms.

Last edited by kyh; 01-23-2013 at 07:45 AM..
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