Inspiration Thursday I: Beijing, China

In 2008, just following the Olympics, I spent 11 days in Beijing.

While I won’t say it was my favorite trip (I will list why below), I did come across some surprises that I still find visually inspiring.

First, the bad:

  • I knew maybe 4 words of the language. Everyone else knew 0 words of my language.
  • They don’t use addresses, just descriptions of locations. Even pointing at a map doesn’t necessarily get your taxi to where you want to go.
  • I got the sense that not only the designer bags are knockoffs, but some of the retold history is fabricated as well.
  • Squat toilets. ‘Nuf said.

Now, the good:

  • There is a thriving artist community in and around the city. 798 Space is a more touristy venue, but great to visit, nonetheless. I actually spent 2 days here. It’s a converted factory property, now hosting work spaces, galleries, and cafes. I also took an adventure to Yi Hao Di (I think!) and was the sole patron in an international collection of gallery shows. It was beyond the 5th ring road, and I was lucky enough to catch a ride back to town with a kind local woman.
  • Artifacts and history dating back thousands of years. It’s pretty amazing.
  • Great architecture.
  • Hutongs.
  • The food is incredible.
  • Getting around is CHEAP!
  • Massage and relaxation are valued. Getting a foot or full-body rub-down includes snacks and a private room, and again, is CHEAP.

Anyway, I unearthed a bunch of photos from the trip from which you designers and travelers might glean some inspiration.



What say you, good reader?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s