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Photo album by krisek: Beijing - China's capital, fascinating for sights and pollution

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Beijing - China's capital, fascinating for sights and pollution

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It started spectacularly with the impressive terminal building of the Beijing Capital Airport. Probably the most awesome airport I have ever travelled through. Then, there was this modern city with wide boulevards, plenty of space, exceptional architecture and relative ease to navigate around it. From there, however, things started to slip steadily. First, there was the smog. Then there was weather, and then, there were the crowds. I can hardly blame the nation for the latter two, however. I spent five nights and five days in Beijing. It was not enough to see everything properly in the city. However, I would disagree with statements that one would need half a day to visit the Forbidden City or the Summer Palace. It certainly depends on one's pace, but in my opinion there was not that much to see there. I lasted about 2 hours in both the Palace Museum and about the same in the Summer Palace park, where I just took time to walk around the lake. Beijing was vast. Even walking from one end of the Olympic Park to other took time. Beijing Subway, how it was called in an American way, helped a lot. It was very easy to navigate, was mega clean, and announcements were given in both Chinese and English. I was just slightly disappointed with the coverage and frequency of the service. For a city with 11 million people the underground transport system felt too small.

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