When I first visited Beijing in 1993 many of the locals looked at me like I was from another planet. Okay, I’m 2 meters tall so that might have had something to do with it. However, it still seemed as if they had never seen a foreigner before. And if I stopped to talk to someone on the street, a crowd of onlookers would quickly gather around.
That was 20 years ago! Today, Beijing is a dynamic and cosmopolitan city with the type of amenities you would expect from any world-class metropolis. Hosting the 2008 summer Olympics also helped the city modernize many of their hotels, create new tourist attractions, and refurbish old ones. Let’s take a look at the best of the old and new.