An Alley Affair.

By Mark Andrews

Kansai Time Out. August 2008

Travel article about the main attractions of China’s capital Beijing and also how to explore the hidden hutongs.

August sees the world’s eyes focused on Beijing. For the government, this is modern China’s coming out on the world stage. Whether the choreographed games will go according to plan and without any nasty reminders of China’s lingering problems remains to be seen. Olympics or no Olympics, Beijing is a great place to visit with a rich cultural heritage.

At the northern end of the now infamous Tiananmen Square, Mao’s portrait stares out over a very different Beijing. Today the automotive symbols of “to get rich is glorious” capitalism drive where once processions of red book waving masses marched. There is though an uneasiness with a high police presence ready to pounce on the first sign of dissent. Surrounded by the apparatus of the state this is the centre of Beijing. However, other than looking at Mao’s embalmed body or the flag raising and lowering ceremonies there is little attraction in the square itself.

Unfortunately I don’t seem to have any electronic version of this article.

Mark Andrews has written about everything from Japanese houses to heli hikes on New Zealand glaciers, test drives of Chinese cars to bar and restaurant reviews. He currently specialises in travel articles and reviews of Chinese cars plus articles about the Chinese auto industry.

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