What I think about Beijing, China
So I've been to Beijing two times...and quite a few years apart as you can tell by my hair. What I think of China is always going to be biased by my intrinsic quality of not being Asian- so a lot of the culture I don't understand quite yet. It's also going to be biased by my time in Taiwan where the culture is similar but manners are completely different.
My first impression of Beijing is always the buildings- big, short, stark rectangle shapes (Communist style architecture). The city is so spread out that you HAVE to take a taxi or subway everywhere. Hopefully the only places you want to go are near a subway station because taxis are few and hard to come by. Usually someone's already waiting for a taxi before you...or they take the taxi you're hailing. There's not very many patches of green- maybe the pollution destroyed all the vegetation. That's another big thing- pollution. When I went the second time I especially noticed the smog that seemed to hang everywhere and I felt a little like a smoker with the poor air quality. Of course it's a hard thing to combat: a large population needs transportation.
However, Beijing has a lot to offer tourists and a lot of history to explore. Every tourist spot is going to be crowded no matter where or what time you go so be prepared. I especially enjoyed Tian'an Men Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall. I got to visit tons of other places too so I'll be writing about all of them in later entries.
So...what do I think about Beijing? Honestly, I can't be completely frank because I want to be able to go back to China again someday and it's not exactly fair to compare cultures when I'm obviously from a biased background. Let me just say, lots of things I like and lots of things I could care less for. Beijing is still definitely worth a visit and I would go again. (I didn't get to explore the buildings in Tian'an Men Square and see Mao's body)