Posts Tagged ‘beijing’

Lobby of China World Hotel, Beijing

Lobby of China World Hotel, Beijing


Lobby of China World Hotel, Beijing

Lobby of China World Hotel, Beijing


Lobby of China World Hotel, Beijing

Lobby of China World Hotel, Beijing


This is my first stay at a Shangri-La hotel, and I’m reasonably impressed.  Nice room, great service, and seemingly the biggest employer in town.  Definitely an Asian-feeling hotel, both in design and in terms of service.

 I’ve never seen quite so many people whose job is basically “standing by something”.  Thailand comes close, but it’s really a phenomenon here.

There’s one guy whose only job is to press the ‘up’ button on the elevator.  Actually, there are three of these guys, each working an eight-hour shift.

Chamber group at China World Hotel, Beijing

A chamber group plays in the lobby of the hotel


There are countless people who are paid to stand by things – signs, doors, plants, pillars, hallways, lobbies…  There’s live music in the lobby around the clock – everything from a pianist in the morning to a full chamber orchestra in the evenings. 

Still, in a country of 1.3 billion people, I guess you have to do what you can to create employment opportunities.

Lion statue at Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square, with Mao Zedong looking on from the background


Less than 24 hours after arriving at home, I’m off again.  Barely time to kiss the cats, do the laundry, and repack my bag.

Took off on a short hop from Basel to Munich, then onwards to Beijing.  I managed to get nearly nine hours of sleep on the plane, so arrived in Beijing feeling reasonably fresh.  Someone at the office had arranged a VIP meeting, so we were met at the gate and escorted through the airport and into a car from the hotel.

After a bite of lunch and a quick shower, jumped into a taxi to head to Tiananmen Square to do a little sight-seeing.  Tip: this sort of activity is more enjoyable when it’s not -3C outside.  I made the same mistake in Berlin.

Beijing actually feels a lot like Berlin, with wide open vistas and monuments dotted throughout the city.  For all the population density in China, the city feels relatively empty.  And it’s definitely the most modern, cleanest city I’ve been to in Asia, besides Singapore.  I was expecting something more along the lines of the infrastructure in Bangkok, but was pleasantly surprised.

Off tonight for a quiet dinner someplace closeby, then probably straight to bed.  Which means that I’ll almost certainly be awake by 4am.  No matter how many times I travel, the jetlag always gets me…