Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Beijing Visitor wishes all our readers a very Merry Christmas.


Merry Christmas
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Harbin Santa Claus

The world's biggest ice Santa has been built for the 2008 Harbin Ice Festival in Heilongjiang Province in China.

The 160m Father Christmas, created by Chinese sculptor Tang Guangjun, is a centerpiece of this year's Harbin Ice Festival.

Harbin Ice Festival

Over 800,000 tourists from around China and overseas will visit the festival, which runs from mid-December to early February.

China now has a number of ice festivals to rival the internationally acclaimed Sapporo Snow Festival in nearby Japan.

There are ice and snow festivals in Shenyang in Liaoning Province and Harbin in Heilongjiang Province at this time of the year. In Harbin the amazing ice sculptures are illuminated at night and firework displays are part of the attraction.

images © Daniel Allen

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Xiamen - Amoy's The Merrier

Xiamen, officially China's cleanest city and facing Taiwan across the South China Sea, has much to recommend it.

Xiamen

Known to westerners, in days gone by, as Amoy, the place has long been a triving port, visited by Portuguese and later Dutch traders before the British took up residence in the 1840s. Xiamen is situated on a large island joined to the mainland by a 5km long causeway.

Xiamen

Most of the island's main historical attractions are situated on the small, pedestrianized islet of Gulangyu or are just around the main waterfront on the main island.

Gulangyu was a foreign concession until the end of World War II and retains a relaxing, peaceful charm - with no cars.

Images © Daniel Allen

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Kashgar Market

Kashgar Market is one of the oldest, continuous markets on the planet.

Held every Sunday, the market is thought to have been in existence since Roman times and can attract up to 50-100,000 people, including ethnic Uyghurs, Pakistani merchants, and traveling Kazakhs.

Kashgar Market

Just about everything is traded here, especially livestock: sheep, camels, horses and cattle (and their manure!). Horses are tested for their speed and sheep sheared to look good for their new owners.

Kashgar Market

There are two daily trains from Urumqi to Kashgar as well as overnight sleeper buses.

Kashgar Market

© Daniel Allen

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fish Nation Fish & Chips Beijing

If you are pining for good old fish and chips in Beijing, visit Fish Nation in the Nanluoguxiang hutong.

Fish Nation Fish & Chips

Fish Nation
31 Jiaodaokou, Nanluoguxiang
Gulou
Near Gulou Dong Da Jie

Tel: 6401 3249
Hours: 9:30am-1am

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Urumqi Night Market

Urumqi in Xinjiang Autonomous Province is situated in the far north west of China between Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

Urumqi Night Market

Urumqi is the capital of Xinjiang Province and is known for its lively night markets, when fresh produce is brought to the city from the hinterland and sold. Look out for the fresh watermelons, lamb and other local delicacies of the Uyghur minority.

Urumqi Night Market

Images © Daniel Allen

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beaujolais Nouveau in Beijing

Dear Wine Customers,

Be the first to Taste the Beaujolais Nouveau at Midnight!

This Wednesday evening, November 19th, from 18H00 to 01H00 am, we are organizing a "Wine" tasting,
then a "Beaujolais Nouveau" tasting:

It's a French custom: On every 3rd Thursday of November, we taste the Beaujolais Nouveau, made with the grapes of the year.
So at midnight we will taste it with you and discover the flavours and fragrances.

1 - Nov 19th from 18H00 to 24H00 : "Red and White wine tasting"
2 - Nov 20th from 00H00 to 01H00 am : "Beaujolais Nouveau tasting"

Beaujolais Nouveau in Beijing

Looking forward to welcome you,

Yours sincerely

Jessica
Secretary of Carrefour Beijing Shuangjing Store

The store is located 31 Guang Qu Road; Chaoyang District,
"East-South East "of Beijing, exactly between 3rd and 4rth rings, 10 minutes from Sanlitun driving south by 3rd ring.

(c) Beijing Visitor

Saturday, November 15, 2008

United Fleets Peng Rong

United Fleets
Check out this exhibition by Peng Rong and many other provoking and less discovered exhibitions in the Jinchang Art Distict, Beihuqu Road, Anwaibeiyuan Street, Chaoyang. Telephone: 010 52023865


United Fleets
Also worth a look is Lukas Birk’s solo exhibition called Junsui where he explores black through the medium of photography. See the exhibit in Shi Tang Alternative Space, D1007 in Jiuchang Art District. Telephone: 010 52023865
Access by car is rather easy from the Jing Cheng expressway between the 4th and 5th Ring Roads.
United Fleets

Monday, November 10, 2008

Unicef Greeting Cards in Beijing

Give a UNICEF greeting card and help children in China. For expats or visitors in China looking to share the festive spirit with family and friends ordering cards through the UNICEF e-shop on http://www.unicef.org/china/shop is a convenient way to organize cards.

Outlets can also be found in some hotels and shopping malls like Holiday Inn at Lido, Full Tower, TYG Tower, China World Mall, Kerry Centre Shopping Mall and Pacific Century Place.

You can even have your own greeting printed on cards.
Call 106532 3131, ext 2007/6 or email china.children@unicef.org

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Queer As Folk Documentary Series

Coming up on November 23 at The Boat club in Sanlitun, is a look at see China's gay culture through the eyes of independent filmmaker Xiao Gang.



The Boat
8 Liangmahe Nanlu (west of Sanlitun Beijie), Chaoyang District
Free. 9pm. (Tel: 5191 6192)

For more info on QAF Beijing visit their website

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Autumn in Beijing

Beijing autumn maples

Beijing really knows how to turn on idyllic weather with clear, crisp autumn days at this time of the year.

Beijing autumn in the park
Blue skies abound with sometimes frosty mornings, the odd breeze and magnificent sunsets, all perfect for relaxing in the many beautiful parks or enjoying lunch by the lakes at Houhai.

Beijing in fall
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Pecha Kucha Beijing 2008

Pecha Kucha Beijing 2008 was held on October 25 at The Village at Sanlitun, The Orange.

Pecha Kucha Beijing 2008

For more details on the next event visit pkbj.org

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bear Rescue Center Laos

A short time ago we reported about a bear rescue center in Vietnam. This time we look at a similar institution in Vietnam's neighbor, Laos.

Bear Rescue Center Laos

Bear Rescue Center Laos

The bear sanctuary at Tat Kuang Si, 30km outside Laos' ancient capital of Luang Prabang, on the Mekong River, takes in bears that have been freed from bear traffickers and poachers.

Bear Rescue Center Laos

The rescue center is sponsored by the Australian-based charity Free The Bears Fund, which operates in Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, India, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Read more about the Bear Sanctuary in Laos

Images © Daniel Allen

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Beijing Traffic Restrictions Reinstated

Beijing has reintroduced traffic restrictions last imposed during the Olympics to help in the fight against city smog.

Each car registered in Beijing is to spend one day a week off the road, based on car registration numbers.

Beijing To Cut Cars By 50% During Olympics

The new regulations will take 800,000 cars off the road each day and the scheme is set to run until April 2009.

An estimated 1,000 new cars are registered each day in China's capital, highlighting the uphill struggle city authorities face.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Beijing 2008 Autumn Wine Fair

We have the pleasure to inform you that the "Beijing 2008 Autumn Wine Fair" Opening Ceremony will be on Thursday October 23rd from 18H00 to 24H00.

Beijing 2008 Autumn Wine Fair

We will have a special promotion of 20% discount on wines only during that evening, excluding coupons activities.
There will also be wine tasting, lucky draw, music band and buffet.

To join the ceremony please ask us an invitation by email. Inform your friends that they are also welcome to join.

Looking forward to welcome you,

"A bientot"

The store is located 31 Guangqu Road, Chaoyang District, "East-South East" of Beijing,
between 3rd and 4th rings, 10 minutes from Sanlitun driving south by the 3rd ring.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Olympic Park open to all

Olympic Park to Olympic Forest
Yesterday Olympic Green within the Olympic Park area was opened free to all visitors. Throughout the week some facilities, such as the many entrance and security tents have been dismantled and barriers removed to allow easy access to all.

Visiting the very popular National Stadium and the Water Cube still involves entry fees and security checks.

The area makes an ideal place for people to relax or exercise in large open spaces or green areas. This writer enjoyed a traffic fee run right through the centre of the park meeting only a few of Beijing’s retirees out to walk their dogs and take morning constitutionals. However by 8am hoards of tourists were beginning to swarm over the park and snap photos as bus after bus disgorged these excited tourists on a perfect Beijing autumn morning with blue skies and ideal photo opportunities.

Other venues now open to the public include:
Laoshan Mountain Bike Course
Found in the west of Beijing this bike course is free of charge. The course is 4.7km long and riders are advised to bring their own helmets and first aid supplies.

Beijing Shooting Range Hall
North of the Xishan forest park The Beijing Shooting Range Hall is at the foot of Xishan Mountain. It will open to the public at the end of this month. Clay pigeon shooting and sports rifle shooting will be available to visitors. No price details are available at this time.

Beijing Capital Stadium
The skating rink at 5 Baishi Qiao, Haidian, opens skating to the public from 6pm to 8pm every night.
Entry: 50 RMB/hour
Telephone: 6832 5603

Horse riding
Horse lovers have a wonderful opportunity to meet, mingle and ride Olympic horses at the national equestrian club. All horses understand English and receive regular training. Some horses were even used in Olympic competition. Riding lessons are also available from some of the foreign staff on site.
Location: Beijing Sports University, Zhongguancun North Street, Haidian
Cost: 300 to 500RMB per hour
Telephone: 62989496

National Sports Training Centre
Basketball facilities are available at 600RMB per hour Monday to Friday.
Location: 2 Tiyuguan Lu, Chongwen
Telephone: 87183375


Badminton
Beijing Olympic Sports Centre
1 Anding Lu, Chaoyang District. (Right by Anhui Qiao on the north 4th Ring Road
Open: 9am - 9pm
Cost: 50RMB/hour
Telephone: 64911243

Outdoor Tennis
Beijing Olympic Sports Centre
1 Anding Lu,
Chaoyang District.
Open: 6am – 8pm
Cost: 120RMB/hour
Telephone: 64912143

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Bear Rescue Center Vietnam

This bear rescue center is about an hour outside Hanoi. The center has moon bears and sun bears - both species kept on bile farms in Vietnam and China. A couple of bears at the center were missing arms and/or were blind due to the conditions they were kept in before their arrival.

Bear Rescue Center Vietnam

Bear Rescue Center Vietnam

Moon bears are the most common bear used in traditional medicine. According to AnimalsAsia moon bears (Asiatic black bears) extend from Iran to Japan and across South East Asia, where they live at high altitudes. It is estimated that there are as few as 25,000 left in the wild worldwide.

Bear Rescue Center Vietnam

In a battery bear farm, a latex catheter is implanted into the bear's abdomen and gall bladder, and 10-20 ml of bile is extracted from the bear twice daily. Bear bile is believed to be effective for patients with liver and gall bladder illnesses, but ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), the active therapeutic substance in bear bile is commercially available from slaughter houses.

Images © Daniel Allen

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Olympic venues prove popular with tourists

Olympic Park red gate
With the dust settling on the Olympics and Paralympic events it can hardly be said to be settling on the venues themselves, despite the impressive quantities of pollution since the big events!

The China Daily quotes figures like 493 000 visitors to Olympic Park on Thursday this week. This seems highly credible with the traffic jams and restrictions in place around Olympic Park during the National Day holidays this week in Beijing. The popularity of subway Line 10, a pivotal Olympic line, would also seem to endorse the number of visitors being published for Beijing this week. The overall number of visitors to Beijing’s famous tourist spots for the National Day holiday have increased 170% on last year’s figures with renovated sites like Qianmen hosting some 900 000 visitors in the first 4 days of the week according to figures from the China Daily.

Traditional tourist highlights like the Forbidden City attracted some “110 000 visitors on Friday, double the number of a year ago” reports the China Daily.

It would seem that talk of recession around the world has not hampered domestic travel in China. With the ever increasing number of new hotels to cater for all classes of travelers it would seem Beijing is well set up to experience many years of success as a host city to tourists from near and far.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

One World One Dream Exhibition

National StadiumAn exhibit of some 2450 photographs and 1300 objects from the Olympic Games is on display in the Beijing World Art Museum, China Millennium Monument, A9 Fuxinglu, Haidian District.
Open 9am – 5pm, until 10th October
Telephone: 5980 2222

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Congratulations China!

National Day Flower DisplayChina celebrates its 59th National Day and the whole country enjoys a well deserved holiday. 60% of the population have planned to travel during this holiday so it is hardly surprising to see millions of visitors flocking to Beijing and other famous tourist destinations throughout the country.


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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chinese Astronaut on space walk

Airforce pilot Zhai Zhigang, 42, became the first Chinese astronaut (yuhangyuan) to walk in space as he emerged from his Shenzhou VII spacecraft and waved a Chinese flag on a 15 minute spacewalk broadcast live on national Chinese TV.

This is China's third manned space flight and a voyage of immense pride to the nation.



The first person to walk in space was Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov of the USSR in 1965.

The Shenzhou re-entry capsule will try to make a landing in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on completion of the mission.

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Olympic Venues open during National Day Holiday

National Stadium Fireworks
National Stadium
National Stadium
With the arrival of the National Day holiday on Monday the National Stadium (Bird’s Nest) will open to the public at a cost of 50RMB. The National Swimming Center (Water Cube) will open at a cost of 30RMB. There will be 80 000 tickets available on a daily basis for the National Stadium and 12 000 tickets for the Water Cube.

National Stadium Fireworks
Ticket details: 010 65388359

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Beijing 2008 Paralympics Medal Table

China topped the Beijing 2008 Paralympics Medal Table by some distance winning 211 medals including a whopping 89 golds.

Great Britain was second, following on from the country's good medal performance at the Beijing Olympics and the USA was third.


Position Country Gold Silver Bronze Total

1 China 89 70 52 211
2 Great Britain 42 29 31 102
3 United States 36 35 28 99
4 Ukraine 24 18 32 74
5 Australia 23 29 27 79
6 South Africa 21 3 6 30
7 Canada 19 10 21 50
8 Russia 18 23 22 63
10 Brazil 16 14 17 47
9 Spain 15 21 22 58
11 Germany 14 25 20 59
12 France 12 21 19 52
13 South Korea 10 8 13 31
15 Mexico 10 3 7 20
14 Tunisia 9 9 3 21
16 Czech Republic 6 3 18 27
18 Japan 5 14 8 27
17 Poland 5 12 13 30
19 Netherlands 5 10 7 22
20 Greece 5 9 10 24
21 Belarus 5 7 1 13
22 Iran 5 6 3 14
23 Cuba 5 3 6 14
24 New Zealand 5 3 4 12
24 Sweden 5 3 4 12
27 Hong Kong 5 3 3 11
26 Kenya 5 3 1 9
28 Italy 4 7 7 18
29 Egypt 4 4 4 12
30 Nigeria 4 4 1 9
31 Algeria 4 3 8 15
32 Morocco 4 1 2 7
34 Austria 4 1 1 6
39 Switzerland 3 2 6 11
33 Denmark 3 2 4 9
34 Ireland 3 1 1 5
36 Croatia 3 1 0 4
37 Azerbaijan 2 3 5 10
38 Slovakia 2 3 1 6
40 Finland 2 2 2 6
41 Thailand 1 5 7 13
42 Portugal 1 4 2 7
43 Norway 1 3 3 7
44 Cyprus 1 2 1 4
45 Latvia 1 2 0 3
46 Singapore 1 1 2 4
46 Venezuela 1 1 2 4
48 Saudi Arabia 1 1 0 2
49 Hungary 1 0 5 6
50 Chinese Taipei 1 0 1 2
50 Turkey 1 0 1 2
52 Mongolia 1 0 0 1
53 Israel 0 5 1 6
54 Angola 0 3 0 3
55 Jordan 0 2 2 4
56 Lithuania 0 2 0 2
56 Serbia 0 2 0 2
58 Argentina 0 1 5 6
59 Slovenia 0 1 2 3
60 Bulgaria 0 1 1 2
68 Colombia 0 1 1 2
60 Iraq 0 1 1 2
62 Bosnia-Hercegovina 0 1 0 1
62 Pakistan 0 1 0 1
62 Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 1
62 Romania 0 1 0 1
62 United Arab Emirates 0 1 0 1
67 Lebanon 0 0 2 2
68 Belgium 0 0 1 1
68 Estonia 0 0 1 1
68 Jamaica 0 0 1 1
68 Lao PDR 0 0 1 1
68 Malaysia 0 0 1 1
68 Namibia 0 0 1 1
68 Puerto Rico 0 0 1 1
68 Syria 0 0 1 1

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Music Festivals in Beijing

Modern Sky Festival
From September 30th to October 2nd the Modern Sky Festival will take place at Haidian Park. The festival includes 68 different domestic rock stars and bands performing on 3 different stages within the park.

Famous names from Chinese Rock in the 1980’s like Zhang Chu and He Yong have been invited to perform. Zhang will perform on the first day on the main stage and include one of his classic songs “Sister” a song reflecting child abuse through the eyes of a child. Other bands involved in the festival include Carsick Cars who have performed internationally.

The Modern Sky Festival coincides with the National Day holiday here in China.

Location: Haidian Park, 2 Xinjiangongmen Lu, Haidian
Admission: 60RMB per day
Buses: 302, 904, 933, Yuntong108 to Furongli, or take 740, 735, 835 or 983 to Haidian Qiao.
Subway: Bagou
Telephone: 5123 3866

Midi Music Festival
At the same time the Midi Music Festival will kick off in venues like the Olympic Sports Center Stadium and bars including Star Live, Yugongyishan, Mao Live House, New Lucky Bar, 13Club, D22 and Jiangjinjiu Bar.

The Midi Festival will include 10 foreign bands and artists singing on 6 stages at Olympic Sports Center Stadium, just by the corner of the 4th Ring Road and Anding Lu. Music will include rock ‘n’ roll, hip hop, folk and experimental styles.

The stadium holds 40 000 people while smaller stages will be located around the stadium.

Location: Olympic Sports Center Stadium, 1 Anding Lu, Anwai Xiaoguan, Chaoyang.
September 29th to October 2nd
Admission: 50RMB or 150RMB for 4 days.
Buses: 328, 358, 858 and get off at Aotidongmen Station
Subway: Line 10, Anzhenmen, Exit B
Telephone: 8299 4973

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Art Extravaganza!

Rook
You are cordially invited to take part in

ROOK - A site specific performance by Dutch artist Peter Vink specially conceived for The Liquor Factory, Beijing

F6 - A site specific project by Dutch artist Peter Vink specially conceived for The Liquor Factory, Beijing

Location: The Liquor Factory, Beijing
Address: No F6, Jiuchang Art Complex, Beihuqu Road, Anwaibeiyuan Street, Chaoyang
District, Beijing, 100012
地址:北京朝阳区北湖渠安外北苑酒厂国际艺术园F6

Opening: September 20,2008
Time: 3 pmPlease come 3 p.m. sharp if you want to see the one time event "ROOK". Be on time!

F6 Exhibition: 2008.09.20 – 2008.10.20
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am to 6pm

Sponsors: The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, Xiao Yong Studio, Beijing Liquor Factory Art Complex, Platform China

For more information about the project please visit: http://www.petervink.cn or contact Peter Vink: 0086 150 1090 1055; Liu Gang: 0086 131 46233877 (assistant of Peter Vink)

Peter Vink (1974) is a Dutch visual artist based in Amsterdam, and now spending 6 months in Beijing as an artist in residence at Platform China Art Institute. The core of his artistic research lies in investigating and challenging the common notion of space as well as the artistic potential it releases when the artist uses it as a setting of his site specific works. The manner in which space is activated by the artistic gesture, the redefinition of its identity, its shift from an ordinary to a fictionalized entity are all issues on the artistic agenda of Vink, an artist who allows no "ready-made" solutions but always engages in analyzing the specificity of every kind of space. This artistic intervention specially conceived for the Liquor Factory is an example of the artist's ability to redesign and at some extent direct space. As in the other works by Vink, also in this case the physical space far from being a passive backdrop is transformed into the site where the real action takes place; it plays the leading role in the piece and thus transcends its triviality.

F6
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunset over Paralympic Flame



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Mid Autumn Festival in Beijing China

China’s Mid Autumn Festival was celebrated on 14th September this year. Visitors will not only notice temperatures moderating as summer starts to wane, but will see locals loaded with beautiful looking bags and boxes exquisitely decorated as they exit crowded shopping centers.

Mooncake box
It is traditional for families to come together at this time of year. In China the full moon has always been a time for family gatherings. Some families visit local parks to view the moon, enjoy the cool night air, pray for a good year ahead and share mooncakes. The tradition is said to have started with the ancient ceremony of sacrificing to the Moon Goddess.

These days mooncakes come in many shapes and flavours. There are snowy moon cades filled with mung bean paste, tea moon cakes containing tea and fruit combinations like black tea and lychee, tea and pomelo, green tea and plum or butter tea. Other harder to find mooncakes contain chocolate with hazelnut, kumquat paste, milk and egg yolk and even plum. Many of the more traditional mooncakes contain red bean paste. Those who make their own mooncakes buy the traditional wooden moulds seen from time to time in local markets.

mooncake packages
To help people celebrate this age old tradition the government has declared Monday 15th September a public holiday.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hanoi Opera House Vietnam

Built by the French between 1901 and 1911 in Hanoi, the Hanoi Opera House is one of the city's most famous landmarks.

Hanoi Opera House

The building is of historical importance as in August 1945 the Viet Minh communists announced from the main balcony of the building that they had assumed control over the city.

The Opera House is modeled on the Palais Garnier in Paris.


Hanoi Opera House
1 Trang Tien street
Tel: 84 04 9330113

Image © Daniel Allen

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Sofitel Metropole Hanoi

The Sofitel Metropole Hotel in Hanoi is a 363-room, 5-star hotel located in the east of the city.

The French colonial-style hotel is one of the places to stay in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital.

Built in 1901, the hotel features a beautiful garden and an excellent French restaurant and has been frequented by heads of state, artists and writers throughout its long history.


Sofitel Metropole Hanoi

Image © Daniel Allen

Sofitel Metropole Hanoi Hotel Hanoi
15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Beijing Olympic Traffic Restrictions

With traffic on Beijing’s previously overcrowded roads now moving freely there has been much debate about the idea of keeping the odds and evens vehicle use law in place permanently. Website forums are awash with tens of thousands of people debating the traffic regulation. Many concede it will help improve Beijing’s air quality and traffic movements, however it is also pointed out that most of Beijing’s pollution comes from the factories.

Whatever the outcome it is exciting to see so many people concerned to improve the environmental conditions in Beijing. The city has been a beautiful place to visit and live during the Olympic and Paralympic period.

Do note that with the opening of the Paralympics tonight that tight traffic control measures are in place around Olympic Park. Expect the same conditions for the closing ceremony.


Beijing traffic congestion doesn't exist!

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Will Beijing do it again?

The mystery will soon be solved!
Music, chorused shouts, flashing lights and masses of people pouring into the National Stadium morning and night can only make one wonder what incredible surprises and delights await those who watch the official opening of the Paralympics on Saturday evening here in Beijing.

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