Beijing is huge. Colossal, in fact. Ginourmous.
The people, though, were the best. They made even the friendly inhabitants of Mongolia look like monsters. People waved and shouted hello at us. Children wandered up to stare. More than once in China, total strangers came up to us to help us gawp at our terrible map.
You should, if you find yourself there for a few nights, visit the acrobats. From now on I just can’t respect any athlete who can’t balance on a see-saw while using his feet to flip china cups into his hat.
Then, when you’ve watched the acrobats, you should go an watch the opera. There are three reasons for this. First, the opera is actually more a live-action king fu event than something requiring surtitles, but also the actual singing is a bizarrely atonal brand of throat noise, and if that sounds weird it’s because it is. The band plays from the front few rows, which is also great.