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Unread 02-28-2014, 12:54 PM   #61
John Sabato
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Originally Posted by sheepherder View Post
Did you take any pictures of PRC soldiers???
Here you go Rich... (Photos 1 through 6 were taken in Tiananmen Square. The last two photos were taken on top of the Great Wall, near the town of Badaling. Notice the empty holsters on the right side of their belts. The young man dressed in black coat/hat and boots next to them was described as an "assistant", but I think he is probably a protégé in training to be uniform.)
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Unread 02-28-2014, 01:03 PM   #62
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Man oh man, just looking at those photos of you in Beijing made me want to cough! I thought the air quality in Osaka in 1992 was bad, but that was nothing compared to that nasty soup y'all were breathing over there.

I bet NOVA/DC, awful as it is (been there too many times, and used to live in Richmond) seems pristine compared to Manchuria during the Winter!!

ETA: Fascinating photos, nevertheless! Visiting Beijing and the Forbidden City/Tiananmen Square is on my 'bucket list', for sure!

I must recommend Taiwan, the night markets in Taipei offer a nearly unparalleled shopping experience, and the food is out of this world!! That and it's hard to beat sub-tropical weather in February!
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Unread 02-28-2014, 01:13 PM   #63
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Perfect~~~
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Unread 02-28-2014, 01:48 PM   #64
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The frangance of SULFUR permeated Beijing. Shanghai, not so much.

Pollution is apparent in Beijing as there is not much wind in the city. Much of the heating is done by coal. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that China had just celebrated their new year a couple weeks before our arrival, and just before our arrival was the Fireworks festival that accompanies their new year. The fireworks festival is probably the largest use of fireworks in the world. The smoke lingered in the city during our stay because there was no wind to wash it away.

Here is a perfect photo example. The cold damp air in the morning makes a lot of fog... and when you add the pollution to it, it looked like Photo #1 out our hotel room window at 9AM in the morning on the first day in-country.

This is a very unusual for a combination office building and hotel. The second photo was taken 3 days later in the afternoon. Notice the dramatic difference in the fog/smoke level.

We had surgical masks with us, and many locals wore them, some very decorative, but my wife and I didn't feel the need, and neither did our native english speaking guide.
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Unread 02-28-2014, 02:10 PM   #65
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How was the air in the rest of the country you visited? Did they have a Mcdonalds or Starbucks? Where and what were your best meal?
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Unread 02-28-2014, 03:03 PM   #66
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The air quality was much better everywhere except Beijing... I thought Shanghai was fine. All our breakfasts were full Western buffets with all the trimmings... they were easily the best meal of the day to sustain our energy.

Local Meal Quality varied for the meals outside of our hotels. There is very little meat in their diet, but all was edible. The strangest thing is the way they cut their meat. For example, a chicken leg would be cut laterally several times so that each bit contained a piece of the bone. (Someone needs to teach them how to de-bone their meats).

The best meal? in the very expensive underground international mall below our hotel in Beijing, there was a FatBurger franchise. After 3 days in Beijing, it was a delicious taste of home. A large single burger with the trimmings was about $8.00. I don't remember how much the accompanying chocolate milkshake was, but it was delicious!

In answer to your other question about fast food availability, Starbucks, KFC, and Burger King, Subway, and McDonalds were all represented... You can see that a 6 inch tuna sub at Subway was 25 Yuan... There were approximately 600 Yuan to the dollar. Here are the only photos I managed to take as we passed them. :
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Unread 02-28-2014, 03:10 PM   #67
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Capitalism defeating Communism~ The old Chairman would have a fit!!!
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Unread 02-28-2014, 03:13 PM   #68
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It never failed to amaze me how delicious a Big Mac could be overseas once I tired of the native fare.... For example, I loved the week I spent in Copenhagen, Denmark, but the local food smelled awful. Thank goodness for the Turkish buffet, the pizza buffet restaurant, and the McDonald's in Copenhagen. 'Twas never afraid to sample a lot of the native beer, no matter where I went!

It never failed to amuse, the sameness, yet differences in McDonald's throughout the world. France "Royale with Cheese", beer at German McD.'s, Teriyaki burger and beef curry rice at McD.'s in Japan...
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Unread 02-28-2014, 03:18 PM   #69
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Because we left Shanghai on the last day earlier than the hotel started serving breakfast, we grabbed breakfast at the McDonalds at the airport. It was truely a taste of home, and very reasonable. I had a sausage/cheese muffin, and a medium coffee, normally at least $2.00+ in the USA. At the airport, it was 48 Yuan. (again, there were 600 Yuan to the dollar).
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Unread 02-28-2014, 03:40 PM   #70
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The world has definitly shrunk! For the better? or For the worse? I'm sure the better! If it has a MacDonalds its probobly safe! The mid east maybe not~~
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