Beijing with Gigi to attend a conference
I went to Beijing to present at IROS, a robotics conference. Since it is fairly close to Hong Kong, Gigi flew home for a week and them met me in Beijing. I arrive a few days early so we could travel around Beijing and I could get over jet lag before my conference started. So, if you are interested, here is my paper and my presentation.
This is where we stayed the first two nights. A Hu Tong is living quarters for Chinese that started Qing dynasty. They are four sided buildings with a courtyard in the middle and one main entrance. They are typically found in alleyways. As Beijing is expanding, they are tearing down many of the HuTongs. The one we stayed at is the Si He.
Two views down the corridors near the courtyard in the Hu Tong.
This is our room.
We visited the Forbidden City, just North of TianAnMen Square.
Unfortunately, they were doing construction on it, so we couldn't see some parts of it. They are planning to be constructing it until around the time of the 2008 Olympics. Actually, a lot of Beijing is under construction as they prepare for the Olympics.
"The brank-interlocked cypresses symbolize loyal love. It is said that PuYi and WanRong, the last emperor and empress of the Qing dynasty [in China], had their photograph taken in front of the two trees after their wedding ceremony to show that "we will fly in heaven, two birds with on pair of wings, and together on earth, two trees with branches interlaced." So, Gigi and I thought we'd also get our picture taken in front of it.
A drum show in the Bell Tower just North of the Forbidden City.
A view to the North of the Forbidden City, taken from the Bell Tower.
Our first stop on our tour of Coffee shops in Beijing.
This was another coffee stop. It definitely stood out in the HuTong. Most of the buildings in teh HuTong were grayish, so this bright yellow coffee shop was fairly obvious. It also had free Wi-Fi.
Lots of tourists and locals riding around on three-wheeled bikes.
In TianAnMen, this is the center point for all railroads in China. They are all measured from this point.
China is very excited to be hosting the Olympics in 2008. There were many signs posted like this around the city. If you look close, you can see the countdown timer to the second that the 2008 Olympics will start. I like timers, so I had to have my picture taken with this one.
Near TsingHua, there is a building that presumably has some Google offices in it.
This is one of the main gates to TsingHua University. The sign says: "Self-discipline and Social Commitment."
Look very close in the tree. As we were walking from TsingHua to Beijing Univeristy, we saw this police man knocking down fruit from this tree. The color of the police uniform is very similar to the color of the tree.
Gigi in front of the main gate at BeiDa (Beijing University).
As always, I need to stop by and get some American food once in a while well I am in China. Pizza Hut is much nicer in China than it is in the States.
This was a very famous Peking Duck restaurant in Beijing. We found it to be all hype and very little taste. Way too commercialized to be tasty. But, we found a little hole in the wall in a back alley a mile off any main road that had absolutely wonderful Peking Duck. So, I would suggest you veer off the main path and try something a little out of the way.
We went to a Peking Opera. This was a story about a robber and an owner fighting each other in the dark. Neither of them could see the other person, so they had a humorous choreographed dance.
A dance from one of the minority groups in China.
This guy was throwing this large jar all around and balencing it on his head.
Bian Nian, or changing face, where the actor can change their face within a fraction of a second. Before on the left and after on the right.
Here are a couple guys imitating birds with their voices. Very funny to listen to. Click here.
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