Just after Himalaya, I happen to get an opportunity to go to Beijing for an IBM AP Conference. I was impressed by their infrastructure and wondered what Indian political learn from their China visits. Incidentally, a couple of ministers from Karnataka state government were in China (Beijing/Shanghai) at that time. Did they do anything after returning to Bangalore? Looking at traffic and roads and other civic work, I can safely say that they did nothing to improve Bangalore's infrastructure.
Anyway, here are selected photos:
In this one, Sairam and I are posing as great warriors in shopping area in the Forbidden City (photos) located just opposite Tiananmen Square. Our friends in the background are keenly watching the mock-fight :-)
My friend Pavan and I bought a musical instrument at the Great Wall, which, according to the seller, needed "some water and just air" to produce music. We are proudly showing off our skills with the instrument just at the gate of the Great Wall:
I visited the Ming Tombs also, and here our guide is explaining the structure of the tomb area. You can see my blue shirt near the lower left corner :-)
I missed the Temple of Heaven, which I hope to see next time I get a chance to go to Beijing.
Another fun part of Beijing visit was shopping at the Silk Road shopping complex. I just couldn't believe the extent of bargaining that is possible. I went there with 100 Yuan thinking that it would suffice because I didn't really want to buy much, but I ended up spending 250 Yuan. I bought so many Chinese dolls and lanterns, and other stuff. It was crazy! The sales girl told price of a Chinese lantern (Deng) is 280 Yuan, and I bought it finally for 20 Yuan. And sometime I wonder: did I pay more :-) But I loved that bargaining. Those sales girls wouldn't let you get out of the shop and say with a cute smile, "you bargain, how much do you want to pay." They displayed very good sense of humor, they would joke with you, and will make sure that you agree on a price and buy the stuff before you get out of the shop.