Posted by: rbbadger | June 8, 2009

Quick trip to China

This past weekend, I decided to pay a visit to Mainland China for the first time.  China Eastern (中國東方航空), one of the largest air carriers in China has very cheap fares in between Seoul Incheon International Airport and Beijing Capital Airport.  So, early Saturday morning, I left Incheon and arrived in Beijing a couple of hours later.

Beijing is the centre of China in more ways than one.  The whole country quite literally runs on Beijing time, as there is only one time zone for the entire nation.  Beijing and the whole is China is an hour behind us.

Chinese health authorities have been very concerned about the H1N1 flu virus.  So, before we got on the airplane, they checked our temperature using infared cameras (yes, really!).  Following that, the Chinese police came in and checked our temperatures once we arrived.  Then, we had to have our temperatures checked once again and our health declaration stamped and handed in to the police.  China has no immigration department, so the police forces handle everything. 

I will be posting more about my trip in the coming days, but I thought that I’d leave with a couple of iconic images of Beijing.  First, we have the Gate of Heavenly Peace (天安門) complete with the image of Chairman Mao (毛宅東).  The Gate of Heavenly Peace is also the entrance gate into the Forbidden City, the palace of China’s Emperors from the fifteenth century until the Republic of China came into being in 1911. It was here in 1949 that Chairman Mao announced the foundation of New China (新華) and the People’s Republic.  The second is of the Great Hall of the People.  In 1971, Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and others all gathered here for some of the amazing banquets that occurred on the occasion of Nixon’s visit.  The Great Hall of the People is the home of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress.  Additionally, other important events happen there, such as the Communist Party of China Congresses, meetings of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (an advisory body to the National People’s Congress and the rest of the government), and of course regular sessions of the National People’s Congress, the nearly 3,000 member legislature.

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Responses

  1. Wow! You took a quick trip to China!? Thanks for sharing your pictures! You must have gotten a new camera or a new battery for your old one?


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