[photopress:hotelbeijing_new_airport.jpg,full,alignright]Although there are still stories in some of the American press about the ‘genocide Olympics’ and profound articles as to whether there should be a boycott the tide is turning and the number of positive news stories is on the rise.
The LA Times, not known for its liberal and world-vision news, is positively burbling.
It writes that here are some of the things visitors will find going up around Beijing.
A third terminal at Beijing Capital International Airport. It is expected to welcome 43 million passengers a year and is seen in our illustration. It will come with a light rail line linking the airport to the city center’s Dongzhimen station in 18 minutes.
The 6,000-seat National Grand Theater has brought a bold, head-turning splash of modernism to the Tiananmen Square area.
Qianmen Street, with its small shops, tea houses and theaters, is being turned into a pedestrian mall, complete with a free tourist trolley and underground parking garage
Upscale shopping centers such as Oriental Plaza near Wangfujing and Shin Kong Place in the Central Business District have become commonplace in Beijing. But the Place, a new mall on the western side of the Central Business District, has something more than Adidas and Gucci: a 98-foot-wide LED screen suspended high over the courtyard, showing movies, promotional videos, satellite TV and shoppers’ own digitally uploaded photos.
Early in 2006, the China National Film Museum opened. The massive, state-of-the-art facility, has an Imax theater, four cinemas and a permanent exhibition on the history of Chinese film. Among its fascinations are a segment from
Ongoing restoration of some of the major sights in the Forbidden City, such as the Meridian Gate and the Hall of Supreme Harmony. Qianlong Garden is now being renovated.
In 2005, the Capital Museum, formerly near the Confucius Temple, moved to a striking new contemporary building near the Muxidi subway stop in western Beijing.
The city’s newest and most noteworthy avant-garde architecture — including Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’ CCTV Tower — clusters in the Central Business District along the Third Ring Road on the eastern side of the city.
The ‘Bird’s Nest’, the 91,000-seat stadium, designed as a mesh of twisting steel beams by Swiss and Chinese architects, is already a Beijing icon. The water cube next door on the Olympic Green has a translucent blue Teflon skin to optimize sunlight while minimizing heat.
The list of new places to stay reads like an international hotel beauty pageant: Hyatt Regency, Four Seasons, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton. By the opening of the Olympics on Aug. 8, the Chinese capital will have 130,000 beds, not including those in hotels not inspected and certified by the city’s tourism organization. Rates are expected to increase during the Games.
It burbles on a lot more than that but it is a remarkable piece telling the readers that Beijing is the place to visit above all others. And it may well be right.
Source: LA Times