August 2008 Entries
Few events bring the world together like the Olympics, but even now that the Games are over Beijing won't be devoid of international influences any time soon. Thousands of expats have left their mark throughout the city, and you can find just about any type of restaurant imaginable. One of the most popular new restaurants is “Latin Grillhouse,” which serves Brazilian-style beef, complemented by Chinese accents. The manager, Joao Carlos, says that these restaurants
All good things must come to an end, as life returns to normal in a post-Olympic Beijing. The city has transformed over the past seven years, as so many changes have taken place to accommodate the Olympics. The multi-billion dollar investment has paid off, and citizens now enjoy a new sense of pride, basking in the overly clichéd “coming out party.” But as citizens step down from this emotional high, resuming “life as usual” might not be as straight
There’s a mood of mixed emotions, as the Beijing 2008 Olympics come to a close. On the one hand, people in China are absolutely thrilled by the Games’ success. Not only did China win more gold medals than any other country, but the Games were also without any major security incidents. Some of the biggest controversy seemed to be the ages of China’s young gymnasts, which is a huge relief for organizers. Despite the small glitches, Chinese citizens have be
Many people have come to Beijing for the Olympics, but they're not the city's only attraction. Whether it's culture, history, or even shopping, Beijing has a little something for everyone.
There are more than 500,000 tourists in Beijing right now, and shopping is definitely one of the favorite pastimes. With so many products, vendors, and tourists flooding the markets, it’s important to pick a strategy and to stick to it. Beijing’s Hongqiao Market is a great place to find great deals, and hone your shopping techniques. You can experience the more subdued atmosphere of the 4th and 5th floors at places like Sandy’s Pearls, where bargaining takes a b
I never realized that experiencing the Olympics from Beijing would do so much to heighten my patriotism while simultaneously increasing my admiration of some sports that might not be as appreciated in the U.S. While millions of Americans were glued to the TV screens watching Michael Phelps, between China’s CCTV and the Filipino satellite, I’ve seen a lot of badminton, ping pong, weightlifting, and shooting. But there’s really nothing like seeing the competitions in person, c
I’ve heard a wide range of perspectives after talking to people about their religious beliefs over the past few days. Many don’t necessarily believe in anything other than their own abilities and willingness to work hard. Some profess Buddhist, Christian or Muslim beliefs, whereas others prefer the traditional Chinese concept of luck. Nonetheless, nearly everyone I’ve talked to says that religion is a positive force in society. Watch the video to hea
When I went to the Lama Temple, I was intrigued by a long row of shopkeepers who were selling many different types of Buddhas and incense. I wanted to know their views on religion, since they’re surrounded by it in one of Beijing’s most famous Buddhist temples. Were they Buddhists or just capitalists? Were most of their customers practicing Buddhists, or just tourists who had hopes of improving their luck? The thought of talking about Tibet, the Dalai Lama
When it comes to environmental challenges, no country has a greater task ahead of it than China. It's home to sixteen of the world's twenty most polluted cities, and only one percent of China's 560 million city-dwellers breathe air that would be considered safe by Europen standards.
When I arrived at Beijing's Hadian Church at 10:15 a.m., I was surprised to see nearly every seat taken, since the service I was attending didn't start until 11:00 am. By the time the choir processed in, there was standing room only in the back, with people spilling out of the overflow room downstairs.
The stage is set and ready to go for the Olympic opening ceremonies, but it's not just the Olympics that have captured the hearts of the nation. Just the date of 08-08-08 is an opportunity that only comes once a century, and has extreme cultural significance within Chinese culture.
Patrick Fung in Beijing brings us a unique cultural perspective as to why so many Chinese brides and grooms are marching down the aisle this Friday: With only one day until the Olympics, the entire country is filled with excitement. The Beijing Metropolitan Government has given people a one-day Olympic leave on August 8 in order to reduce traffic. Some people will use this opportunity to enjoy the opening ceremonies or celebrate such a historic moment. For others, this will be the
The Beijing government has spent a staggering $17 billion over the past ten years to clean up the environment, and the whole world is waiting to see whether this investment will pay off. We won't know the answer to that until August 8, but we did talk to several tourists and locals in Beijing to hear their impressions on Beijing's air quality.
It's nearly impossible to underestimate the depth of patriotic pride that many Chinese are feeling right now. Many have traveled from across China and even across the world to be part of history during these Beijing Games, whether or not they have tickets. I spoke with one man from Jiangsu Province who spent seven years traveling to all of China's provinces and 233 cities around the country picking up garbage. He believes that beautifying the streets and demonstrating civic respons
New reports of 16 police who were killed in China’s Xinjiang Province have flooded international headlines. According to Xinhua News, two men threw grenades at police officers during exercises, killing16 officers died and injuring an additional 16. Since this is such a sensitive time for China, with the Olympics less than a week away, this bombing and other similar situations aren’t taken lightly. But is this security incident in Western China a legitimate threat to Olym
Five years ago Paul Qin left his real estate investments and career as a Japanese tour guide in Hong Kong, and moved to a small village in China’s Henan Province. Rather than working for a paycheck, he has spent his time on a project that’s far more valuable. In just four years, Qin has given a priceless opportunity for many young people in a small village, many of whom were living on the streets. He has volunteered the past years to teach them four languages, so
Beijing’s air pollution has been a huge concern during this pre-Olympic time, and considering the government’s $17.2 billion dollar investment, they’re not taking this lightly. But the question remains: will this hard work pay off? The Asia Society has presented a comprehensive and easy-to-understand website with information pertaining to the issue of Beijing’s air quality. It’s very user-friendly and worth looking into if you’re interested in t