The 2008 Summer Olympics was one of the most spectacular ever. I was in Beiing in 2007 while the Olympics complex was still under construction and our tour bus just swung by on our way to the Great Wall. In September 2008, I visited the Olympic Complex but the Paralympics was on-going so the area was crowded and a bit restricted. We took the Subway to Beitucheng Station and walked 3KM to the National Stadium aka the Birds Nest. Then we had to hike back 3KM to the Beitucheng Station. Exhausting! This time, thanks to more thorough research in bjbus.com, we took Bus 82 from Qianmen that dropped us right outside the National Aquatic Center aka the Water Cube. From there we walked around the area of the Birds Nest, the Water Cube and the Indoor Stadium. Great photo ops!
The Olympic Games 2008 are finished now. The games were a big event in China. People are still very enthusiastic. Everybody enjoyed the games. All the visa restrictions, that have been very tight this summer, are going back to normal.
The wonderful architecture of Bird's Nest and Water Cube will remain as a landmark for a peaceful and friendly event. Let'shope, that the spirit of the Olympics will bring more freedom and peace in the future!
The "Friendlies" of the Olympic Games: Beibei Jingjing Huanhuan Yingying Nini: Beijing huanjying ni! Beijing welcomes you! See my picture:
How to get there ? Not easy, but I'll try to explain it from my own experience.
First, get to Dongzhimen subway station. Few metars east (Dongzhimenwai street) and then first street left, there is long distance bus station. Don't mistake it with public buses station on the beginning of these street, long distance bus station is 200 m from the corner, there is even an english sign which points direction.
What you need is bus 915 kuai, what means fast one. It's not 915-2 or 915-3, or just ordinary 915. Until you don't find small white container with number 915 you are not on the right place.
Get on the bus, and after approximately 1 hour get off on BIAN MIN JIE DONG KOU station. Cross the street and take a bus 915-2 and get off the bus on 4 th station. You are at the right place if you see big sign Yanjing beer. On the huge cross road turn right, Shunan bei (north road), and you'll see King and Queen garden hotel. From here there is approximately 2 km till Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park. Try to find a taxi, if you are lucky.
Before you start these advanture have in mind that nobody speaks english, so take some paper with Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park written in chinese.
Recording Sports on your Phone from Beijing
For those that want to avoid high roaming fees on mobile phones (as high as $2.25 per minute), here's a special site for the Olympics selling GSM SIM cards that work in your phones when traveling in Beijing.
Unique thing about this SIM card is unlimited photo and video uploads to capture events at the Olympics on your mobile phone to share. And calling rates are much lower when using SIM card.
A lot of those venues are near the northwest between the North Fourth Ring Road and North Fifth Ring Road. Wudaokou and Qinghuayuanzhan stops on subway line 13 are the closest, but still a bit far to walk.
Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Gymnasium is called 'Beihang' for short and is near Xueyuan Qiao.
Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium is off of Chengfu Lu.
CAU Gymnasium is also not far from the other two.
There will probably be lots of maps available in Beijing. CITS offices or the Friendship Stores around town are a good bet. If you want to get a map in advance in the U.S.A, you could try Borders bookstore.
As I went to Beijing one year before the Olympic Games, the "bird nest" wasn't finished so, I could just take this picture inside my tour bus. I'd have loved to have had the chance to go inside of this amazing place!!!!
The 29th Olympiad will be held in Beijing from August 8 until August 24 2008.
The National Stadium (Bird's Nest) is located at Olympic Green, covers an area of 258,000m2 (about 63.8 acres) and it will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Half of the competition venues are located in Olympic Green at the north end of the central axis of Beijing.
Don’t worry, Beijing authorities have planned everything, for your convenience subway stations will connect the Olympic Green to the downtown area. And of course you can still opt by taking a bus, taxi, car, etc.
During the Beijing Olympics 31 venues will be used in Beijing and some more in other six cities (Hong Kong, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenyang and Tianjin).
Venues in Beijing:
Athletics and Football (Olympic Green)
National Aquatics Center
Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronized Swimming (Olympic Green)
National Indoor Stadium
Artistic Gymnastics, Trampolines and Handball (Olympic Green)
Hockey (Olympic Green)
Archery (Olympic Green)
Tennis (Olympic Green)
Fencing preliminaries and finals and Modern Pentathlon (fencing and shooting) (Olympic Green)
Beijing Shooting Range Hall
Shooting (Shijingshan District)
Cycling (track) (Laoshan, Shijingshan District)
Laoshan Mountain Bike Course
Cycling (Mountain Bike) (Laoshan, Shijingshan District)
Cycling (BMX) (Laoshan, Shijingshan District)
Wukesong Indoor Stadium
Basketball (Wukesong Sports Center, Haidian District)
China Agricultural University Gymnasium
Wrestling (China Agricultural University (East Campus), Haidian District)
Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium
Judo and Taekwondo (Beijing Science and Technology University, Haidian District)
Equipment: Capital Indoor Stadium
Volleyball (Baishi Bridge, Haidian District)
Beijing Shooting Range Clay Target Field
Shooting (Xiangshan Nan Lu, Haidian District)
Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium
Volleyball (Beijing Institute of Technology, Haidian District)
Beihang University Gymnasium
Weightlifting (Beihang University, Haidian District)
Wukesong Baseball Field
Baseball (Wukesong Sports Center, Haidian District)
Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium
Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics (Beijing University of Technology, Chaoyang District)
Olympic Sports Center Stadium
Football and Modern Pentathlon (running and equestrian) (Olympic Sports Center, Chaoyang District)
Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium
Handball (Olympic Sports Center, Chaoyang District)
Football (Gongti Lu, Chaoyang District)
Workers' Indoor Arena
Boxing (Gongti Lu, Chaoyang District)
Ying Tung Natatorium
Water Polo and Modern Pentathlon (swimming) (Olympic Sports Center, Chaoyang District)
Beach Volleyball Ground
Beach Volleyball (Chaoyang Park, Chaoyang District)
Triathlon (Ming Tomb Reservoir)
Urban Road Cycling Course
Cycling (Road Race)
Fengtai Softball Field
Softball (Fengtai Sports Center, Fengtai District)
Shenyang Wulihe Stadium
Football Preliminary (Shenyang)
Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park
Rowing and Canoe/Kayak (flat-water racing and Slalom Racing) (Mapo Village, Shunyi District)
Venues outside Beijing:
Hong Kong Equestrian Venueses
Equestrian (Hong Kong)
Qingdao International Sailing Centre
Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Centre Stadium
Football Preliminary (Qinhuangdao)
Football Preliminary (Shanghai)
Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium
Football Preliminary (Tianjin)
Apparently some kind of big sporting event will be held here in 6 years. The 2008 Olympics are EVERYWHERE you look in Beijing - I was there just a month after the city won the bid and every cab has a sign that says "Build New Beijing - Hold Great Olympics" and people are so happy to talk to you about it. They've gone on a major tree-planting spree and are working on shutting down factories and decreasing pollution, building major new facilities - all for the event! It should be fantastic. Make plans to be there in 2008 - I doubt I'll even recognize the city anymore so maybe it's better to go now and see it while you can still catch glimpses of the hutongs and history of this great city.
Beijing is preparing for the games too be held in 2008. Inevitably there is building work all over the city. This is a photo of the main stadium that is nearing completion.