Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Round up of Beijing trip 1

It has been a long time since I last written a post. First of all, one major obstacle of it has to be China's internet connection. I experienced it myself and it irked me to no end. I wasn't able to login to Gmail and even loading the Google search page. How much more worser can it gets? Needless to say, blogger and blogspot are blocked. To me, a big part of the internet is blocked, as I use a lot of google services and so happen to read a lot of blogs hosted on blogspot.

Just to mark the events of the past, I've been to Bataling Great Wall, Wang Fu Jing, Summer Palace, Wax Museum and Xidan shopping area.

The entrance ticket for Bataling Great Wall was about 47 yuan if I remember correctly, inclusive of insurance. I believed it is one of the most visited section of the Great Wall and the crowd there was packed. What surprised me and to my delight really, is that there's some sliding car ride to go all the way down to the entrance gate, saving you from walking back the crowded path from where we went up from. It cost roughly 30 yuan. What's strange of those ubiquitious souvenir shops there is that they attract you by announcing the price first, not of the product.

One of my greatest regret was getting conned at this camera shop in Wang Fu Jing. Being the prime shopping area, I let my guard down and bought a what I thought to be '4 GB Sony thumbdrive' for 430 yuan. It turns out to be a well made fake thumbdrive that has a capacity of only 128 Mb. Well the real capacity has yet to be certain but that didn't discount the fact I was suckered into buying one. They have a cheaper variety of fake '4GB Kingston thumbdrive' which is selling for 380 yuan.

Summer Palace - Yi He Yuan, is awesome! It's the royal garden for the emperors of past. It's so huge that our legs are nearly giving up at the end of the day and we haven't finish looking at all the major spots within the garden.

My office at the LG Twin Towers although limited in space, is swanky and posh. I've also learned to take public bus myself for 1 yuan to work rather than taking taxi which each trip would cost me around 18 yuan. Another thing that I'd learned is to better estimate the volume of gas, water and electricity required. As we use a prepaid system via 3 different smart cards to store credits, and those purchased credits are not refundable, it is wise to be able to estimate the required capacity of utilities needed.

I'll have to be back in Beijing again for the second phase of the project. Seems imminent in early July.