Beijing Construction Blues?
July 13, 2006 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Beijing Mefites: Will the construction for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing interfere with a trip there this autumn?

Are the massive construction projects overtaking the city currently, or are the main attractions unaffected? It might be disappointing if half the city is covered in scaffolding.
posted by jsonic to Travel & Transportation around Beijing, China (6 answers total)
I will also be going there, in the Fall. Based on past trips, half the city is always covered in scaffolding, or shaded with cranes.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:58 AM on July 13, 2006

But the main attractions (I assume you mean the Imperial and Summer Palaces, Tien An Men Square, Temple of Heaven, etc.) Have mostly been renovated recently anway, so there should be no pervasive construction there.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:01 AM on July 13, 2006

I was there about a month ago, and some of the major attractions (Forbidden City comes to mind) were under renovations. However, it doesn't really spoil the visit because only certain sections of it are under construction at one time, so you can still enjoy the majority of the exhibits.

Although you may miss out on some photo-ops.
posted by mutantdisco! at 9:05 AM on July 13, 2006

As Kirth Gerson says, at any given moment the pace of just regular construction in Beijing means that something, somewhere will be covered in scaffolding. But, the Temple of Heaven has just been finished, and parts of the Forbidden City are generally always under renovation although it in no way detracts from the experience (it's huge, you really won't notice). One of the bigger undertakings involves expanding the subway lines, but this mostly affects the street traffic (and not in particularly touristy areas either- does anyone know if they're done with the line that's going to go down Xinjiekouwai?). I think the main, most noticeable change that is resulting from the Olympic renovations is the street-widening which involves getting rid of a lot of the hutong (small houses crowded into little alleyways- they're either primitive or have character depending on who you ask). But, I doubt anyone's going to try and get rid of the ones around Houhai lake anytime soon as those have become very trendy. The area around the Bell and Drum towers still has a lot of those at the moment IIRC. I'm starting to ramble but if you have any questions please email me (in my profile). I lived in Beijing for a year and I miss it a lot, and it's difficult for me to check my urge to tell anyone who mentions it everything I want to tell them.
posted by Oobidaius at 9:17 AM on July 13, 2006

It is said that half the construction cranes in the world are in China. From my travels, I would agree.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 10:15 AM on July 13, 2006

I traveled to Beijing this April and didn't notice the construction at all. This is possibly due to the horrendous traffic, fleets of bikes, deafening city noises, pedestrian stampedes, and other distractions of Beijing that make the city so frustrating and so fun. You won't have the time or energy to be bothered by a few cranes.
posted by zoomorphic at 7:30 PM on July 13, 2006

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