China · Travel

Beijing – the new side of an imperial city

This is my final photo roundup of Beijing. Beijing is full of history and great historical sights, but it’s also got fancy modern buildings. For starters there’re the famous Bird’s Nest stadium and the Ice Cube swimming complex which many people saw on TV during the 2008 Olympics. There’s also the National Centre for the Performing Arts, built at a massive amount of over 3 billion yuan, our guide explained. It was impressive, with a large pond in front of the building which the underground entrance runs under. The country owed a special thanks to us for the Ice Cube, said our guide, since it was built with money from overseas Chinese and Hong Kong and Taiwan. Besides these, there’s also the CCTV building, which is the weirdest building I’ve ever seen but looks quite cool at night. It somewhat resembles the lower half of a human body in mid-step, with an entire section that connects the “legs” but is unsupported. I’d be hesitant to work there knowing you’re hundreds of feet in the air without anything below you. Finally there were several cool and weird office structures near our hotel, which was in Chaoyang district, and several gleaming ones in Sanlitun. While Beijing’s modern buildings might not be as towering and spectacular as Shanghai or Hong Kong, they’re still quite cool.

The massively expensive National Center for the Performing Arts, or simply Bird’s Egg. The entrance is underground and right above it is a pond; you can see two people standing at the side on top.

At night, there was a lot of people here hanging out, strolling, flying kites, and yes, taking and posing for pictures. The Bird’s Nest and the Ice Cube are almost next to each other probably about a 15 minutes walk apart.


The CCTV Headquarters tower, famous for looking like a pair of pants as well as having a hotel burn down next to it in 2009. As I said, I’d be a bit worried about working on the part that has no support.






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