Sunday, July 31, 2016

Olympic Park In Beijing

With the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics coming up next month, it seems appro-priate to have visited the Olympic Park in Beijing a couple of weeks back. 

I remember vividly watching the 2008 Olympic Games, awed by the stunning images of the Bird's Nest and the Water Cube, venues in which the best in the world showed off their athletic prowess and revelled in their performances after much training and sacrifice. To see these architectural feats in person is indeed an experience that I am grateful for. 

When upfront with these innovative structures, one gets a sense of inspiration. Inspiration to move forward with faith and hope, embracing the challenges and rewards that life has to offer. Indeed, I see such inspiration as a catalyst to work towards greater things in life.

Trying to run at the Olympic Park in Beijing, China.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Great Wall Of China

When I first told my Mum about my trip to Beijing, she asked if a visit to the Great Wall of China was in the itinerary. I said I wasn't sure and made a comment that it would be fine with me if it was not, to which she replied how she couldn't imagine a trip to Beijing without seeing the Great Wall. 

Fortunately, it was one of the first few stops of the itinerary, and any hesitancy I had about the energy and effort required to trek the wall dissipated when its magnificence revealed itself and the fantastic views it accorded made the arduous trek, for me at least, worthwhile. 

The decision to head to the Mu Tian Yu section of the Great Wall was a well-taken one. Apparently less touristic and with much less of a crowd compared to Ba Da Ling, we were able to take our time on ascents and descents, with many a photo opportunity secured. As time goes by, I am sure I will appreciate even more the chance I had to see in person one of the seven wonders of the world. 

Mu Tian Yu section of the Great Wall of China.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A First To Beijing

Travelling with friends for the first time, even good friends I might add, is a somewhat delicate expe-rience. Although we may know each other well, being in close proximity and having to navigate the decision-making process for almost a week, is a challenge that will either strengthen our friendships or otherwise. 

Having accepted an invite to visit Beijing with two friends leading up to the Hari Raya holidays, the intent to keep an open mind and to be flexible in terms of sightseeing and food was a wise move, resulting in an immensely enjoyable trip, and friendships that are now on an even more solid footing. 

With this visit to Beijing being a first for me, I appreciated the care and effort taken to introduce me to the city and its many attractions as well as its cuisine. Attention to detail is a boon when travelling with a hotelier amongst us, and the opportunity to experience the hospitality of two of the leading hotels in the city is something to remember. A progressive city that values the past, lovely weather and good company make for an enjoyable trip indeed. 

Johan, Brennen and I at Today Art Museum in Beijing, China.