Asia – Some helpful stuff to bring along
While traveling in Asia have at hand the following items:
Water, plenty of it. Don’t stick to sweetened soft drinks like soda and sports drinks.
Vitamins and minerals (Centrum), one a day, since you will encounter new foods (and probably don’t know if they are or they aren’t more nutritious than the ones you are used to). Well, just to make sure you get all the essential ingredients while away from home.
Paper and wet tissues (or even a small wetty cloth will do).
Sugarless gum that’s sweetened with xylitol because at traveling time we sometimes can’t brush the teeth afterwards.
Tea leaves or coffee bags.
Small and light thermos (when I travel I always bring one with me for tea). You can use it for water, milk, juice, etc. Drinking tea after eating can help destroy the germs that cause cavities and refresh your breath.
Light clothes and footwear.
White short-sleeve 100% wool t-shirts: this is definitely a must, especially if you are kind of hairy person. You should bring along several of them, you won't be sorry because they will retain most of your perspiration. You can use them alone or under your shirts.
Dong1 zhi4 Festival (Winter Solstice Festival)
This festival is one of the most important Chinese festivals and is celebrated on or around December 22 (in 2007 it was on December 22). And this is exactly the time when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest (it actually marks the first day of the Dong1 zhi4 solar term).
The Dong1 zhi4 Festival is also a time for the family to get together, it is a time for family reunion.
In northern China, like Beijing, people eat dumplings on Dong1 zhi4, in the south people eat tang1 yuan2 (balls of glutinous rice flour plain or stuffed with ground peanuts or black sesame seeds plunged into a sweet soup made of water, ginger and rock sugar) which symbolizes reunion.
Regarding the Chinese dumplings (jiaozi) eaten in north of China, they resemble ears. At Dong1 zhi4 Festival parents usually like to tell their children that if they don’t eat dumplings on this day, their ears will be frozen and drop down.
Well, as you must know, temperatures at this time are already below zero, eating hot dumplings warms you up, really.
20 million square meters by 2012
Since March of 2007, a brigade of over 12,000 engineers began the construction of the Underground City at 15 separate sites in Beijing.
According to the official plans (led directly by the State Council and the Central Military Commission) the Beijing Underground City will occupy 20 million square meters and its completion is scheduled for the year of 2012.
The future Beijing underground city will link up its 11 districts and 7 counties through 20 main lines of communication. Command centers will be located in the east, south, west and north sides of the city, with 12 to 16 sub-centers throughout.
In times of peace, 52 exits will be available, while in times of war or emergencies, 128 to 168 sites will be opened for evacuating inhabitants and deploying materials.
The underground city will be linked to the CCP's central compound, including government and military, military bases, airports, railways, strategic roads, parks and suburban strongholds.
Mercado de las Perlas / Pearl Market
En el mercado de hongkiao puedes encontrar "de todo" , en las primeras plantas tienes relojes ,maletas , bolsos, recuerdos de la revolución cultural , teteras... y en las siguientes tienes , de una forma más elegante , todo tipo de joyerías , sobre todo en las que venden perlas , que son las que dan nombre a este mercado
En las plantas inferiores hay un gran barullo , los vendedores te agarran y te llevan a sus puestos donde tienes que regatear sin ningún pudor , ya que del precio final al inicial puede haber una diferencia de 3 o 4 X
En el tema de las compras cada persona tiene sus gustos , yo desde luego aconsejo no dedicarle demasiado tiempo a las compras , pues hay mucha gente que las convierte el tema principal de su viaje y cuando ven sus compras en casa pueden sentir algo de insatisfacción , aparte de pensar que han dedicado un montón del tiempo de su viaje irrepetible a comprar cosas que por poco más las pueden comprar en sus casas
No cabe duda que el regatear es un reto muy tentador y que hay algunas cosas que vale la pena comprar
In the hongkiao market you may find "everything" , in the lower levels you have watches, suitcases, bags, souvenirs of the Cultural Revolution, teapots ... and in the upper ones , that are more elegant , you may find all types of jewelry, especially pearls, which are those that give name to this market
In the lower floors there is a great chaos , the sellers grab you and take you to their stalls where you have to bargain without any shame, since the end of the initial price may be a difference of 3 or 4 X . In the jewelry are , you must bargain also , but there you will have an attendant that will show you every thing very politely
On respect to "shopping" each person has their own ideas , I certainly advise not to spend too much time shopping, because there are many people who makes the main theme of his trip, and when they see their purchases at home they may feel some dissatisfaction, and also they can think that they have put a lot of time of his unique trip to buy things that can be purchased at home by a little more money
There is no doubt that bargaining is a very tempting challenge, and that there are some things worth buying
transport to airport
be carefull to go to the international airport you need more time than you think occassionally.
from downtown it can take if unfortenate up till 3hrs by car to the airport.
you can better stay night before flight to nearer hotels to the airport.
have a good flight.