Real Experience of China in Foreigners Eyes

Choosing the location in China and other language learning methods
I chose to go to the Hebei province in the North of China, as this is where the most standard Mandarin is spoken. I realised that I had to work at either a University or a College. Working for a state institution means that the working hours are much less than a private run company. I have 12 hours of classes a week and over four months of holiday a year! For a dedicated language learner this is paradise. I can, and do, spend the majority of my free time learning Chinese.

The College I teach in is in the polluted industrial city of Shijiazhuang and only has one foreign teacher, me! This suits me; as for the 6 months I’ve been here I’ve not had to make friends with other English speakers. All my friends are Chinese. At times this has made me feel lonely and homesick. It’s not for everyone and it does take discipline but, I have resisted finding European friends as the rewards of learning the Chinese culture and language have more than made up for the lack of good English speakers.

The students are another resource I’ve made good use of. Most are only too willing to help as usually they get a chance to practice their English. I try to have a one-hour conversation with a student every day. Being in the dominant position I am able to determine the content of the lesson and I have found this sense of being in control of my language learning further increases the speed of learning. I also record the lessons and record new vocabulary onto my MP3 player (Pimsleur style).

As for materials: I started learning using Pimsleur and now use the Rosetta Stone software. Being in China I’ve also got access to a wealth of cheap language learning material. I’ve bought many excellent books to learn oral Chinese. Having a vast range of materials means I never get bored. I don’t try to memorize each book thoroughly. I find my language learning process has been much quicker when I come across a language point again is another book which triggers my previous memory.

Talking to taxi drivers, shopkeepers and others blissfully ignorant of English have only helped to speed up my communication skills. The one language-learning tool I’m missing is a girlfriend. However, though easy to find my morality has stopped me. Northern China’s morality seems similar to Britain’s in the 50’s. I’m 26 now and in my ‘comrade’s’ eyes I should get married soon. Dating is not usually casual like in the West and should lead to marriage. Considering I will leave this city this year marriage is not something I can even contemplate.

Fuel for my learning has come from the Chinese people who are some of the warmest people I’ve ever met. It’s no exaggeration to say that they have been the greatest motivation for my success in learning Chinese. The compliments are never ending to the extent that I must always keep a reality check on my ego. Indeed, the Chinese like modesty.

Before coming to China I could speak very little Chinese. I had completed half of Pimsleur’s Mandarin Chinese level 1. Now, after six months of living in China I can now get around without an interpreter and can have conversations. I’m far from fluent but my learning has been exponential and I hope with hard work that another six months will bring fluency in speech. I’ve recently met other Westerners here learning Chinese who are impressed at my standard. I’m no cleverer than them. My short-term success has been due to planning my trip to China and learning how to learn a language.

My advice to anyone wanting to learn Chinese is to come to China. Rather than paying for a substandard university course you can have a true immersion experience and get paid for your efforts. If you did want to go to University then fee’s (and living costs) here are cheap. For example, you could study Chinese for a year at any Chinese university for around $1500 – $1800

Chinese Culture
Living like a native I’ve had a chance to see China for real and this has helped me absorb Chinese culture. This is something I think would be impossible for many to learn without living in China. Here are some of my experiences.

When first eating in a restaurant in China I was shocked to see such delicacies as pigeon heads displayed in front of me. The Chinese will eat all the parts of an animal and are very fond of dinning. At meals the uninitiated can cause offence by sitting at the wrong place at the table; toasting another’s glass at the wrong height depending on seniority can also cause offence; not drinking enough alcohol at specific occasions is also a no, no.

The pitfalls are endless but the Chinese are forgiving to foreigners. When I first arrived I hugged a couple of female colleagues. I even put my arm around the female president of our college who is also a famous lawyer in China. When I think back now I cringe as touching in this manner is reserved for lovers.

On the other hand, those with homosexual tendencies casting a virgin eye on China might think they were in paradise. It’s not uncommon to see two women holding hands or sitting on each other’s laps, cuddling each other. Male friend will often place their hands on your thigh and even walk with their arm around your waist/bottom! My boss (a ladies man) even walked past me and slapped my bottom once, as a sign of affection! Believe me these displays of affection still take a little getting used to.

Some bad things about China
The negative cultural aspects of China for me are few but I should mention them. The Chinese don’t queue and often push their way onto public transport old and young must fight to get onto trains and busses, which as overcrowded.

The Chinese smoke everywhere (though not women). As a westerner it seems shocking to have someone light up a cigarette next to me in such mundane places as an Internet bar and let the smoke waft into my face without any care.

The Chinese spit on the streets all the time. Actually this doesn’t bother me. But, it might others.

The Chinese can’t drive. The Chinese government in their bid to increase car ownership have a very relaxed driving test. A taxi driver even let me drive his car once. I agreed then realised while driving I was not wearing my contact lenses. He kept insisting that I overtake vehicles at dangerous corners as a result I nearly hit a pedestrian. I even overcharged myself at the end of the journey.

In general the Chinese are very helpful. If you are carrying things friends will automatically want to help, such is their communal nature. They will help you do all manner of things that you never thought you needed help with before. Sometimes for an independent westerner this can seem intrusive.

Being asked awkward questions
Many westerners know that the Chinese upon first meeting you will ask how much you earn or what your job is. This may feel uncomfortable to some but the probing questions go much deeper.

The Chinese will often comment on your looks and will freely say if they think you’re fat, beautiful etc. When I ask the Chinese if they think their lovers are beautiful often they may say “no”! Students introducing themselves to me have in the past said such downright honest things such as “I love eating food so I’m fat”.

Depending on where you live in China you will have to cope with others seeing you naked. As a reserved English man I felt quiet shy at first. Many toilets even some modern ones will just be a number of holes in the middle of the room where you must squat for everyone to see.

The Northern Chinese will rarely go to a bar like westerners do. If they drink it’s at a meal. Perhaps much alcohol will be consumed. However, there is a ritual to drinking alcohol. People do not sip their drinks individually they must always toast others. This communal feeling creates a feeling of great solidarity. It seems the drunken Friday night fights you find in England are not seen in China.

The streets are always full of people playing! Playing Chinese Chess, or outdoor ball games. Not just the young but also the old. You can go to a park at night and it’s full of people some ballroom dancing, others dancing to disco music, some playing their instruments in the park other playing sports and of course there’s martial arts. The vibe is truly amazing. I explained to a Chinese friend of mine that, parks at night in England could be dangerous places inhabited by just the young. It seemed an alien concept to him.

All in all, the TEFL language learning method is a way to get immersed into a culture and furthermore get paid for your efforts. If you’re dedicated and efficient you’ll be able to learn your target language quickly. I know that when I do return to Europe I will always have friends in China and so people to practice Chinese with, and a reason to return to this great country.

From Keith

Are you in China…..! and do u want to share your stories with as !

send as e-mail now or

Posted in Trips to Beijing | 6 Comments

top ten Chinese modern architecture

top ten Chinese modern architecture

China’s New Architectural Wonders

When global audiences tune in to watch the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the world’s fastest and strongest athletes won’t be alone in striving for superlative achievements — a new generation of innovative architecture is rising in China. Fueled by a surging economy (the latest Chinese census, released on Dec. 20, says the country’s GDP is $1.93 trillion, or 16.8% higher than previously measured), China will soon be home to the world’s largest airport, the world’s first fully sustainable city, and the world’s highest outdoor observation deck, to name just a few of its innovative architectural feats.

With spending on China’s residential building construction growing at 7.1% annually and nonresidential construction activity increasing by 7.4% (according to Cleveland-based researchers the Freedonia Group), the world’s most populated country is experiencing a building boom of unprecedented scale.

The phenomenon is reaching beyond Beijing and Shanghai. As The New York Times recently reported, even the lesser-known northern city of Harbin is remaking itself with a new urban center. Built from scratch, a virtually instant skyline of residential and commercial skyscrapers is starting to sprout within a 285-square-mile area.

PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES. Still, it’s Beijing and Shanghai, the nation’s most populous cities, that are attracting the most attention. The roster of talent hired to complete projects in these two megacities reads like a Who’s Who of star architects: Holland’s Rem Koolhaas, Switzerland’s Herzog & de Meuron, and Britain’s Foster & Partners are all completing buildings scheduled to debut by the time the Olympic torch is lit.

But more remarkable than the architects’ names are the projects themselves. The CCTV tower designed by Koolhaas, resembles nothing so much as a skyscraper tumbling into a somersault and required an entirely new structural system. The new Olympic stadium by Herzog & de Meuron — nicknamed “the bird’s nest” — will be the world’s largest “green” sports arena.

The following 10 projects range from residential to infrastructure. Each, in its way, pushes the boundaries of the architectural status quo. Together, they represent the wonders rising on the skyline of the new China.

With thanks to

1.The Commune, Beijing

First phase completed 2002, expansion scheduled for completion in 2010
Even if the Commune didn’t sit beside that wonder of the ancient world, the Great Wall of China, it would still qualify as a wonder. The complex includes houses by 12 of Asia’s leading architects. It was conceived by married real-estate developers Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi, who gave each architect a $1 million budget. Shigeru Ban, the Japanese architect most famous for the paper houses he designed for refugees of the Kobe earthquake, designed the Furniture House, featuring the laminated plywood typically used for modular furniture, and China’s Yung Ho Chang created the Split House, which takes the idea of a boxy dwelling, slices it in half, and spreads it out like a fan.

The Commune is now operated as a boutique hotel by the Germany luxury hotel group Kempinski, which is responsible for an upcoming expansion, which will feature 21 homes (including replications of the originals). One element will remain untouched in the new development: the Commune’s private pedestrian trails, which trace untouched sections of the Great Wall.

2. Beijing International Airport, Beijing

Foster & Partners. Under construction, to be completed in late 2007
According to the U.S. Embassy to China, the country will be building 108 new airports between 2004 and 2009 — including what will be the world’s largest: the Beijing International Airport, designed by Foster & Partners. Set to open at the end of 2007, in time for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the airport terminal will cover more than 1 million square meters, giving it a bigger footprint than the Pentagon.

It’s designed to handle 43 million passengers a year initially and 55 million by 2015, figures that will probably push the new facility into the ranks of the top 10 busiest airports, going by the 2004 numbers from the Airports Council International. Given the scale and traffic, Foster & Partners focused on the traveler’s experience, making sure that walking distances are short, for instance.

Building on Foster’s experience designing Hong Kong’s new mega-airport, the massive Chek Lap Kok, the sprawling Beijing terminal is housed under a single roof. To help passengers distinguish between different sections of the vast space, skylights cast different shades of yellow and red light across walls — a subtle but innovative navigational aid. The architects also kept sustainability in mind: An environmental-control system reduces carbon emissions, and skylights situated on a south-east axis lessen solar heat, keeping the building cool.

3.Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai

Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects. Under construction, completion scheduled for 2008
Rising in the Lujiazhui financial district in Pudong, the Shanghai World Financial Center is a tower among towers. The elegant 101-story skyscraper will be (for a moment, at least) the world’s tallest when completed in early 2008.

One of the biggest challenges of building tall is creating a structure that can withstand high winds. The architects devised an innovation solution to alleviate wind pressure by adding a rectangular cut-out at the building’s apex. Not only does the open area help reduce the building’s sway but it also will be home to the world’s highest outdoor observation deck — a 100th-floor vista that will take vertigo to new heights.

4.National Aquatics Centre, Beijing

PTW and Ove Arup. Under construction, completion scheduled for 2008
The striking exterior of the National Swimming Center, being constructed for the 2008 Olympic Games and nicknamed, the “Water Cube,” is made from panels of a lightweight form of Teflon that transforms the building into an energy-efficient greenhouse-like environment. Solar energy will also be used to heat the swimming pools, which are designed to reuse double-filtered, backwashed pool water that’s usually dumped as waste.

Excess rainwater will also be collected and stored in subterranean tanks and used to fill the pools. The complex engineering system of curvy steel frames that form the structure of the bubble-like skin are based on research into the structural properties of soap bubbles by two physicists at Dublin’s Trinity College. The unique structure is designed to help the building withstand nearly any seismic disruptions.

5Central Chinese Television CCTV, Beijing

OMA/Ole Scheeren and Rem Koolhaas. Under construction, scheduled for completion in 2008
The design of the new Central Chinese Television (CCTV) headquarters defies the popular conception of a skyscraper — and it broke Beijing’s building codes and required approval by a special review panel. The standard systems for engineering gravity and lateral loads in buildings didn’t apply to the CCTV building, which is formed by two leaning towers, each bent 90 degrees at the top and bottom to form a continuous loop.

The engineer’s solution is to create a structural “tube” of diagonal supports. The irregular pattern of this “diagrid” system reflects the distribution of forces across the tube’s surface. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren and engineered by Ove Arup, the new CCTV tower rethinks what a skyscraper can be.

6.Linked Hybrid, Beijing

Steven Holl Architects; Li Hu, lead architect. Groundbreaking on December 28, 2005, scheduled for completion in 2008
Linked Hybrid, which will house 2,500 people in 700 apartments covering 1.6 million square feet, is a model for large-scale sustainable residential architecture. The site will feature one of the world’s largest geothermal cooling and heating systems, which will stabilize the temperature within the complex of eight buildings, all linked at the 20th floor by a “ring” of service establishments, like cafés and dry cleaners. A set of dual pipes pumps water from 100 meters below ground, circulating the liquid between the buildings’ concrete floors.

The result: The water-circulation system serves as a giant radiator in the winter and cooling system in the summer. It has no boilers to supply heat, no electric air conditioners to supply cool. The apartments also feature gray-water recycling — a process that’s just starting to catch on in Beijing in much smaller buildings — to filter waste water from kitchen sinks and wash basins back into toilets.

7Dongtan Eco City, Dongtan, Shangha i

Masterplan by Arup, for the Shanghai Industrial Investment Corp. In planning stages, first phase to be completed in 2010
Developed by the Shanghai Industrial investment Corp., Dongtan Eco City, roughly the size of Manhattan, will be the world’s first fully sustainable cosmopolis when completed in 2040. Like Manhattan, it’s situated on an island — the third-largest in China. Located on the Yangtze River, Dongtan is within close proximity of the bustle of Shanghai.

By the time the Shanghai Expo trade fair opens in 2010, the city’s first phase should be completed, and 50,000 residents will call Dongtan home-sweet-sustainable-home. The goals to be accomplished in the next five years: systems for water purification, waste management, and renewable energy. An infrastructure of roads will connect the former agricultural land with Shanghai.

8.Beijing National Stadium, Beijing

Herzog & de Meuron. Under construction, to be completed in 2008
Sports stadiums have long followed the enduring design of one of the original wonders of the world, Rome’s Coliseum. Herzog & de Meuron’s National Stadium in Beijing is an attempt to rethink the classic sports-arena layout for more ecologically correct times.

The Swiss architects (of Tate Modern fame) wanted to provide natural ventilation for the 91,000-seat structure — perhaps the largest “eco-friendly” sports stadium designed to date. To achieve this, they set out to create a building that could function without a strictly enclosed shell, yet also provide constant shelter for the audience and athletes alike.

To solve these design problems, they looked to nature for inspiration. The stadium’s outer grid resembles a bird’s nest constructed of delicately placed branches and twigs. Each discrete space within the facility, from restrooms to restaurants, is constructed as an independent unit within the outer lattice — making it possible to encase the entire complex with an open grid that allows for natural air circulation. The architects also incorporated a layer of translucent membrane to fill any gaps in the lacy exterior.

9.Donghai Bridge, Shanghai/Yangshan Island

China Zhongtie Major Bridge Engineering Group, Shanghai # 2 Engineering Co., Shanghai Urban Construction Group. Officially opened in December, 2005
A key phase in the development of the world’s largest deep-sea port was completed when China’s first cross-sea bridge — the 20-mile, six-lane Donghai Bridge — was officially opened in December, 2005. Stretching across the East China Sea, the graceful cable-stay structure connects Shanghai to Yangshan Island, set to become China’s first free-trade port (and the world’s largest container port) upon its completion in 2010.

To provide a safer driving route in the typhoons and high waves known to hit the region, Donghai Bridge is designed in an S-shape. The structure, reported by Shanghai Daily to have cost $1.2 billion, will hold its title of China’s — and one of the world’s — longest over-sea bridge for only a couple of years, though. In 2008, the nearby 22-mile Hangzhou Bay Transoceanic Bridge, which also begins (or ends, depending on your journey) in Shanghai, will earn the superlative.

10.National Grand Theater, Beijing

Paul Andreu and ADP. Under construction, to be completed in 2008
Located near Tiananmen Square, the 490,485-square-foot glass-and-titanium National Grand Theater, scheduled to open in 2008, seems to float above a man-made lake. Intended to stand out amid the Chinese capital’s bustling streets and ancient buildings, the structure has garnered criticism among Bejing’s citizens for clashing with classic landmarks like the Monument to the People’s Heroes (dedicated to revolutionary martyrs), the vast home of the National People’s Congress, or Tiananmen Gate itself (the Gate of Heavenly Peace).

French architect Paul Andreu is no stranger to controversy — or to innovative forms. A generation ago, in 1974, his untraditional design for Terminal 1 of Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport was criticized for its unusual curves, yet Andreu’s groundbreaking, futuristic building later was seen to distinguish de Gaulle from more generic European and international air hubs. (The same airport’s Terminal 2E, also designed by Andreu, gained attention in 2004 when it collapsed, tragically killing four people.)

Beijing’s daring National Grand Theater is as much a spectacle as the productions that will be staged inside in the 2,416-seat opera house, the 2,017-seat concert hall, and the 1,040-seat theater. At night, the semi-transparent skin will give passersby a glimpse at the performance inside one of three auditoriums, a feature that highlights the building’s public nature.

Source: Chinese Architecture

Posted in Trips to Beijing | 17 Comments

Wonders of Tai Chi

Wonders of Tai Chi
Click image for larger version    Name:	taiji.jpg  Views:	18  Size:	252.8 KB  ID:	37028
Exercise is good for your body. Regular exercise can help you burn calories, lose weight and enhance your muscle tone. These anti-aging effects make you feel better, and make your body healthier and stronger.

Wanting to exercise and actually being able to do it are two different things. Not everyone can afford to pay for an expensive gym membership, or re-arrange their work schedule to fit around the time when an exercise class is held. Some of us have health issues that make exercising more difficult for us than for younger, healthier, people. What can we do to exercise? Try tai chi!
What is tai chi?
Click image for larger version    Name:	taijitu.jpg  Views:	12  Size:	46.4 KB  ID:	37029
Tai chi is an ancient form of martial arts. This centuries old practice originated in China, but is now taught and used all over the world. You may have seen a group of people in a park who are silently and slowly moving their bodies the same way at the same time. Tai chi is a common form of exercise in China, and is beneficial for people of every age and level of health. This is a low impact, aerobic, weight bearing exercise that is also helpful with relaxation.
What are the benefits of tai chi?
Name:  太极白领.jpg  Views: 103  Size:  49.2 KB
Tai chi helps with anti-aging in many ways. Regular practice of tai chi can ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis by reducing joint pain and stiffness. Tai chi improves balance and flexibility, which helps prevent falls. It increases your cardiovascular function, and overall body strength. Those who do tai chi sleep better than those who do not do tai chi. Few things can make you feel younger than the ability to wake up refreshed after a great nights sleep! Put all these benefits together and you can see why doing tai chi can make you feel stronger, healthier, and younger.
In addition to physical benefits, tai chi can also give you some mental benefits. Doing tai chi can ease symptoms of depression. It can help with the mental issues that are involved with being overweight or obese because it helps to center you, and make you more aware of where your body is in space. It can also help you to deal with the emotions that cause you to overeat. Tai chi assists with the mental aspects of anti-aging because it forces you to concentrate on what you are doing as you are doing it.
Where can I start?
Click image for larger version    Name:	2.jpg  Views:	15  Size:	187.8 KB  ID:	37031
Check with local gyms to see if they offer a tai chi class. There may be a martial arts studio that offers a class in tai chi that is near where you live. Both places are good if you want to work with a group of people who are all doing tai chi together. For a quick example of what tai chi looks like and feels like, go to YouTube, search for some tai chi videos, and give that a try. Prefer to exercise at home? There are some great tai chi DVDs that can get you started.
More information about Beijing Culture and Festivals
Posted in Trips to Beijing | Leave a comment

The most delicious Chinese food in Foreigners’ eyes

Chow Mein

Name:  Chow Mein.jpg  Views: 18  Size:  38.4 KB


Name:  Dumplings.jpg  Views: 18  Size:  52.3 KB

Fried rice with egg
Name:  Fried rice with egg.jpg  Views: 18  Size:  9.8 KB
fried shrimps with cashewnuts
Name:  fried shrimps with cashewnuts.jpg  Views: 18  Size:  47.9 KB
Gong Bao Chicken
Name:  Gong Bao Chicken.jpg  Views: 19  Size:  52.9 KB

Ma Po Bean Curd

Name:  Ma Po Bean Curd.jpg  Views: 19  Size:  31.8 KB

Peking Duck

Name:  Peking Duck.jpg  Views: 18  Size:  16.1 KB

Spring Rolls
Name:  Spring Rolls.jpg  Views: 18  Size:  16.9 KB
Sweet and Sour Pork
Name:  Sweet and Sour Pork.jpg  Views: 18  Size:  33.1 KB
Won ton Soup

Name:  Won ton Soup.jpg  Views: 18  Size:  9.2 KB

Posted in Trips to Beijing | Leave a comment

Best Ice cream you need to try~

Try Ice cream from Xin jiang(Tibet) any time you visit there. the local name is “Maruxna” which is pronounced Ma-rue-sh-na. The Chinese name is 维吾尔冰淇淋 (wéiwúĕr bīngqílín) and you  call it Uyhur Ice Cream

Click image for larger version    Name:	41cfdc8ac63dbc5b9f2fb484.jpg  Views:	57  Size:	37.2 KB  ID:	149

Name:  115509a65c8.jpg  Views: 205  Size:  86.8 KB

Xinjiang’s Ice Cream Man (or Woman)

A small motor was quietly whirring on top of this small push cart as I approached it. The motor was spinning a deep tub of ice cream ingredients while the woman on the other side used a long wooden spoon to gently scrape the sides. The cart, set on four wheels, is essentially Xinjiang’s version of the Ice Cream Man. They may not make their way through the city neighborhoods beckoning children with the sound of “The Entertainer”, but they have their own unique style.

Within the Uyghur markets (like the Urumqi International Bazaar) and along streets lined with Uyghur restaurants you’ll find numerous carts or stands with a large pile of recently made ice cream ready to scoop into a small cup. These vendors usually set up their carts in the desired location, open a large umbrella to keep the area cool, and stay put for an entire day.

This Ain’t Bluebell

I have to be honest and say that the first time I ate Uyghur ice cream I didn’t like it very much. When I hear the word “ice cream” I usually begin daydreaming about a large gallon of Bluebell or a small pint of Ben and Jerry’s (I’ve been in China too long!) but this stuff is a whole different genre of frozen desert. Uyghur ice cream has a very milky flavor and is usually grainy in texture.

The ice cream can be made in different flavors, but all share the same tint of yellow. Some are milk flavored while others are flavored to a specific fruit, but you’ll have to ask to know for sure. I once heard rumors that they use goat and camel milk as the main ingredient but all the Uyghurs I have talked to laugh at this idea.

To Eat or Not to Eat?

There’s no doubt that if you come to Xinjiang during the summer you’ve got to at least give this ice cream a try. There’s a chance you won’t like it and you can always stop by the local store for regular ice-cream-on-a-stick, but it’s another great example of interesting foods, foods like incredibly tasty Xinjiang bread or the Big Plate Chicken, that you’ll only be able to (easily) find in this part of China.

Still not convinced? A single cup, like you see in the picture above, is only 2-3 RMB (about 25 cents). There’s really no excuse.

Posted in Trips to Beijing | 10 Comments

Top 11 famous subways in the world

No. 11 São Paulo Metro

Click image for larger version    Name:	abc1.jpg  Views:	355  Size:	37.5 KB  ID:	21996

The São Paulo Metro (Portuguese: Metropolitano de São Paulo, commonly called Metrô, called Subway on the boards in English) is the city of São Paulo‘s rapid transit system. Companhia do Metropolitano de São Paulo – Metro was founded on 24 April 1968. Eight months later, work on North-South line was initiated. On 1972, the first train trip occurred between Jabaquara and Saúde stations. On 1974, the segment between Jabaquara and Vila Mariana entered into commercial operation.

No. 10 Mass Transit Railway

Click image for larger version    Name:	AB10.jpg  Views:	372  Size:	70.6 KB  ID:	21997

MTR, or Mass Transit Railway, is the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong. The MTR first began service in 1979. On 2 December 2007 the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) granted a 50-year service concession (which may be extended) to MTR in return for making annual payments to KCRC, thereby merging the railway operations of the two corporations under MTR management. At the same time MTR changed its Chinese name from “地鐵有限公司” to “香港鐵路有限公司”, but left its English name unchanged. The network includes 211.6 km of rail with 150 stations, including 85 railway stations and 68 light rail stops. The MTR system is currently being operated by MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL). Due to its efficiency and affordability, the MTR system is a common mode of public transport in Hong Kong, with over 4 million trips made in an average weekday.

Name:  AB1010.jpg  Views: 4311  Size:  4.8 KB

As of first-half 2009, the MTR has a 42% market share of the franchised public transport market, making it the preferred transport option. The integration of the Octopus smart card fare-payment technology into the MTR system in September 1997 has further enhanced the ease of commuting on the MTR

No. 9 Beijing Subway

Click image for larger version    Name:	ab9.jpg  Views:	196  Size:	62.8 KB  ID:	21999

The Beijing Subway (simplified Chinese: 北京地铁; traditional Chinese: 北京地鐵; pinyin: Běijīng dìtiě) is a rapid transit rail network that serves the urban and suburban districts of Beijing municipality. The subway’s first line opened in 1971, and the network now has 9 lines, 147 stations[1] and 228 km of tracks in operation and delivers over 4 million rides per day. It is the oldest and busiest subway in mainland China, and the second longest after the Shanghai Metro. Since the newest line, Line 4, entered operation on September 28, 2009, daily ridership has exceeded 5 million.

Name:  ab99.jpg  Views: 4302  Size:  6.0 KB

The existing network still cannot adequately meet the city’s mass transit needs and is undergoing rapi expansion. Overall, plans call for 19 lines and 561 km of tracks in operation by 2015. The Chinese government’s ¥4 trillion economic stimulus package has accelerated subway construction. In addition to 10 lines already under construction, work is set to begin on 2 more lines in 2010, and the entire network will reach 420 km by 2012.

No. 8 Montreal Metro

Name:  ab8.jpg  Views: 4323  Size:  78.2 KB

The Montreal Metro (French: Métro de Montréal) is a rubber-tired metro system, and the main form of public transportation underground in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The Metro, operated by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), was inaugurated on October 14, 1966, during the tenure of Mayor Jean Drapeau. Originally consisting of 26 stations on three separate lines, the Metro now incorporates 68 stations on four lines measuring 71 km (44.12 mi) in length, serving the north, east, and centre of the Island of Montreal with connections to Longueuil, via the Yellow Line, and Laval, via the Orange line.

No.7 New York City Subway

Click image for larger version    Name:	ab7.jpg  Views:	268  Size:	62.1 KB  ID:	22002

The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and also known as MTA New York City Transit. It is one of the oldest and most extensive public transportation systems in the world, with 468 stations in operation (421 if stations connected by transfers are counted as a single station); 229 miles (369 km) of routes, translating into 656 miles (1,056 km) of revenue track; and a total of 842 miles (1,355 km) including non-revenue trackage. In 2008, the subway delivered over 1.623 billion rides, averaging over five million on weekdays, 2.9 million on Saturdays, and 2.3 million on Sundays.

No.6 Seoul Metropolitan Subway

Click image for larger version    Name:	AB6.jpg  Views:	275  Size:	56.6 KB  ID:	22003

The Seoul Metropolitan Subway, in Seoul, South Korea, is one of the most heavily used rapid transit systems in the world, with well over 8 million trips daily on the system’s eleven lines (total figures for Seoul Metro, Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation & Korail commuter lines). The system serves Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi-do and northern Chungcheongnam-do. There is a connection (not a free transfer) to the Incheon International Airport Railroad (A’REX) at Gimpo Airport Station on Line 5 and a free transfer with the single-line Incheon Subway system at Bupyeong on Seoul Subway Line 1. Over 70% of the total metro track length is underground.

No.5 Tokyo subway

Click image for larger version    Name:	ab5.jpg  Views:	666  Size:	67.2 KB  ID:	22014

The Tokyo subway is an integral part of the world’s most extensive rapid transit system in a single metropolitan area, Greater Tokyo. While the subway system itself is largely within the city center, the lines extend far out via extensive through services onto suburban railway lines.

No.4 Madrid Metro

Click image for larger version    Name:	ab4.jpg  Views:	397  Size:	55.7 KB  ID:	22013

The Madrid Metro is a metro system serving the city of Madrid, capital of Spain. The system is the sixth longest metro in the world after London, New York, Moscow, Seoul and Shanghai, though Madrid is approximately the fiftieth most populous metropolitan area in the world. Its fast growth in the last 20 years has also put it among the fastest growing networks in the world, rivaled by the Shanghai Subway or the Beijing Subway. Unlike normal Spanish road and rail traffic, Madrid Metro trains use left-hand running on all lines due to historical reasons.

No.3 Moscow Metro

Click image for larger version    Name:	ab3.jpg  Views:	253  Size:	77.9 KB  ID:	22012

The Moscow Metro (Russian: Московский метрополитен, Moskovskiy metropoliten), which spans almost the entire Russian capital, is the world’s second most heavily used metro system after the Tokyo’s twin subway. Opened in 1935, it is well known for the ornate design of many of its stations, which contain outstanding examples of socialist realist art.

No. 2 Paris Métro

Click image for larger version    Name:	ab2.jpg  Views:	316  Size:	53.3 KB  ID:	22011

The Paris Métro or Métropolitain (French: Métro de Paris) is the rapid transit metro system in Paris. It is a symbol of the city, notable for its station architecture, influenced by Art Nouveau. It has 16 lines, mostly underground, and a total length of 214 km (133 mi). There are 300 stations. Since some are served by several lines, there are 384 stops in total.

Paris has the most closely spaced subway stations in the world,[citation needed] with 245 stations within the 105 km2 (41 sq mi) City of Paris. Lines are numbered 1 to 14, with two minor lines, 3bis and 7bis. The minor lines were originally part of lines 3 and 7 but became independent.

No.1 London Underground

Click image for larger version    Name:	ab1.jpg  Views:	574  Size:	56.6 KB  ID:	22009Click image for larger version    Name:	ab11.jpg  Views:	708  Size:	54.5 KB  ID:	22010

The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and neighbouring areas of Essex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire in the UK. With its first section opening in 1863, it was the first underground railway system in the world. In 1890 it became the first to operate electric trains. Despite the name, about 55% of the network is above ground. It is usually referred to officially as ‘the Underground’ and colloquially as the Tube, although the latter term originally applied only to the deep-level bored lines, to distinguish them from the sub-surface “cut and cover” lines that were built first. More recently this distinction has been lost and the whole system is now referred to as ‘the Tube’, even in recent years by its operator in official publicity.

Global Times Forum

Posted in Trips to Beijing | 1 Comment

Where to find the full moon

IF you find yourself in Chna on 23th of September then consider gazing the moon at the following places.

Dongting Lake, Hu Nan province

Guilin, Guangxi PRovince

Guilin, Guangxi PRovince

Dongting Lake, Hu Nan province
HUang Shang, An Hui Province

HUang Shang, An Hui Province


West Lake, Huangzhou, Zhe Jiang Province

West Lake, Huangzhou, Zhe Jiang Province

Lao Shan QIngdao Shangdong province

Lao Shan QIngdao Shangdong province

Lu Shan, JIan Xi province

Lu Shan, JIan Xi province

Mount Emei, Si Chuang Province

Mount Emei, Si Chuang Province

Moon Cake

Mid-Autumn Festival

Posted in Trips to Beijing | Leave a comment

Travel Tips, Travel Pictures, Travel Stories

Posted in Trips to Beijing | 1 Comment