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First impressions of Beijing – Live from the highway

July 28th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Arrived in Beijing from London Heathrow this morning. Only been here a few hours but I’ve had time to post my first video journals to YouTube:

(Updated links thanks to Katie)

Stepping off the plane…

Straight into a Coca-Cola billboard…

Reporting from a taxi…

They’re all on my YouTube Channel

Have I arrived in an Olympic city? Yes I have. The massive Beijing Airport (home of the PEK airport code) is as large and as modern as any airport I’ve ever seen. Banners, billboards and signs for the Olympics are everywhere, along with countless volunteers…

Our taxi driver didn’t speak ONE WORD of English, and even the locals trying to tell him where I was going seemed flustered. I think it may be a’ cultural thing’ to yell here more than in the West, so maybe he wasn’t as angry as he seemed…

Touching down, the thick pollution in the air is the first thing you notice; stepping off plane its the heat.

The first piece of communication I saw didn’t read “Welcome to Beijing”, it was a Coca-Cola billboard. Acually, the first two signs that greeted me when I stepped off the plain were Coca-Cola billboards. A nice touch for those who know of my previous involvement with the Zero Coke Movement.

Well, I’m off to explore the city. I’ll have my camera with me and my aim is to document my experience of Beijing for my clients, collegues, family and friends back home (that’s in alphabetical order). New friends also welcome!

Zai Jien for now!

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One planet; one bag

June 11th, 2008 · 4 Comments

I’ll soon be leaving my home-town of Sydney for a trip with multiple-purposes… Research, recreation, reunion… Other ‘r’ words that don’t come to mind at 1am.

Anyway, I’m sharing my itinerary with friends and family via Dopplr, the less-than-perfect but best-we’ve-got trip sharing web application. At its best, Dopplr allows you to coordinate your travel plans with friends and even benefit from the notes of other Dopplr users on the cities you’ll be visiting. At its worst, you discover that the site is still in development and really basic things (e.g. an “I’m going on this trip too!” link) haven’t been developed yet. If you’re interested in the nitty gritty of my itinerary, just request it using the link above. Broadly though, I’m going to Mumbai, London, Tallinn, Berlin, Manchester, Oxford and Beijing.

Additionally, I am planning on taking only carry-on luggage for the entire trip. Informed by over-packing on previous trips and inspired by the voluntary simplicity movement, my guide on this particular idea will be Doug Dymant via his website, One Bag. Any packing tips / tricks you have will be welcomed!

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Category: The Explorer's Handbook