Visiting Downtown Beijing

One day we decided to take a cab to downtown Beijing and walk around a bit. Downtown Beijing is not very impressive, from a skyscraper standpoint. Mostly it has a bunch of tourist hotels and tourist shops, including "Friendship" stores with imported western goods. We saw more foreigners there than we had seen anywhere else in Beijing.

Here we have a nearly completely frozen water fountain in front of one of the hotels. This should give you an idea of how consistently cold it is. The temperature the first week we were here didn't go above freezing. Then we had a few days of up to maybe 6 or 7 degrees Fahrenheit above freezing. As we write this (February 3rd), another cold front has moved in and it is snowing a little bit and is very cold again.

There is a narrow street of street vendors in downtown Beijing which is famous. It is almost completely filled with clothing vendors selling fake brand name clothing. We were not particularly impressed; we've seen it all before in New York City's Chinatown.

We ate lunch at this restaurant. We thought that the sign outside was a particularly good example of Chinese English. It reads:

Welcome to Duck-King Roast Duck Restaurant
"Duck-King" is famous restaurant in Beijing. The roast dusks put up and make use of fruit firewood is roasted in furnace. Eaten our roast duck take enjoyment in wonderful delicious for you.
Free of service charge

Here we are after taking enjoyment in wonderful delicious.

Later on we found our way to a very old observatory, where the ancient scientists built a fort which they used to make measurements of the heavens. Bryan stands in the courtyard looking like a tourist.

Some of their giant instruments on top of the observatory.

Beijing as seen through the hazy skies. Nancy tried very hard to make it into this shot. She almost succeeded.

Afterwards Nancy shimmied her way on down the stairs.

Here was what the observatory looks like from ground level.

If you can read this, it tells a bit about the history of the observatory.

Bryan Ischo and Nancy Lau - 02.03.2001

Back to: Our Apartment

On to: Chinese New Year

Back to Bryan and Nancy's Trip to China Main Page