The Time For Some Chaoyang Theater Acrobatics

Congratulations boys and girls, seems the Chinese new year has finished with not too many casualities. Only kidding! It was a smooth ride, with controlled drinking and this time, for the first year in Beijing I was wearing safety glasses. Now it’s time to take a deep breath and really look at what’s ahead for the next year of the sheep. I am seeing something big coming this way, just I can feel it. After all, China and especially this city is the land of opportunities. I guess that’s what I strongly felt the first time when I got there.. and while some of the opportunities have diminished as people have realised their dreams more and more.. the stakes are still high and you can do a lot here that perhaps you no longer cannot in the west.

One of those things that makes me feel like I can really do anything is the Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics Show which we go to see to get that dose of courage that we need on a yearly basis. While it’s best to experience the endless possibilities by yourself, it’s also important to go and see how far some have reach. While entrepreneurship is getting stronger by the day, going back into the roots and history of China will still give you the examples with most impact. Afterall, the history does go pretty damn deep with a lot of interesting things on the way. That is, on the way to what lead the acrobatic theatre having reached as far as it incredibly has today.

Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics Show in Beijing 1

Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics Show in Beijing 2

I can almost bet, that you cannot find a more skillful acrobat show in the whole world, including those of Las Vegas or other famous ones.. Yes, I am sure that there are loads of acrobatics show productions all over the world that have a huge budget, much bigger than that of the Chaoyang Theatre of course. But it doesn’t matter because money wont win here. What makes the best feats will be obviously the most astounding one, dispite of the setting. And saying that the Flying Acrobatics are still a relatively big stage production with a huge historical theatre that is glowing with elegance of a very unique kind.

So after the new year has ended, what better time to go to see the what feats the stage hosts this year and get a kind of a reset for your brain. Freshening up with a bit of acrobatic skill madness, sounds perfect to us! Turns out that we were not the only ones who had the same idea as the Chaoyang Theatre was just packed. But that is equally an important part of the whole show, where the atmosphere goes up to the roof.. thanks to a crowd that is screaming and standing up to cheer the stage performers. It’s really something breahtaking which is not always easy to explain to tourists, but I try anyway like in this article. Perhaps watching a sneak peak show trailer would help, check it out. If you are in Beijing, don’t miss on the acrobatics show at chaoyang theatre, and don’t forget to buy discount tickets available at most booking websites.

Have a good year of the sheep.. See you soon guys and gals!

Your Beijing expert,
Mark Wu

New Year Maddness in Beijing

It’s Chinese new year, yeah! Hooray! It’s time to celebrate.. or is it? Well. It really depends on who you ask. Also “where in China”, will obviously have a big influence on that answer as well. In Beijing you could call it the best, the coolest or the worst. Depending on what you like of course. I have loads of expat friends who especially for the new year festivities, escape the country. Even some that hardly ever leave China and stay very true to the city.. take a flight to some nearest, more calm country during this one week long period.

Chinese Flashy New Year

Then there are those who absolutely love it. Drink up and party all night for a whole week. If you are crazy enough, it’s probably an experience worth it. For those who like calm, stay away this is warning. =)

Either way, if you happen to be in the city expect a lot of fireworks everywhere, all the time. They wont stop.. whenever you look out the window, at any time of the day.. yes during day time!! you will see fireworks.. and things blowing up. And the car alarms, they will join the fun of course. It will be quite dangerous as well, so if you get drunk… walk the streets with huge caution.

That said, enjoy yourself or escape. Up to you but anyway, cool Beijing wishes you a happy new year of the sheep. or was it the goat? There are so many animals every year that I keep forgetting. Cheers!!!

Not so Cool: Access Blocked Google from China

Google China Flag

With all the greatness that is keeping me here in the buzzing city with a pumping heart.. There are also definitely quite a few things that are not that cool in Beijing. I mean wherever you go, one is going to have the “bad” and “good” side. It’s just a pick on what suits you best and definitely China is not for everyone. Anyway, I started wondering is google blocked in China and turns out it is. I couldn’t access my favorite search engine and it really started to bug me. While there are obviously ways around accessing google, I couldn’t help thinking that this is some sort of a scam from the government. In a way it is, because they are trying to protect “sensitive information” without consulting the people themselves. It’s a forced restriction and has nothing to do with the free will of China’s citizens. Well, probably most of you already know all that rap about the evil government. Which is not that evil really.. one could argue that the Chinese are used to a little bit different sort of a complicated system than we are in the west. Knowing your way around things, might take a little time for foreigners.. but there are still clear ways that things operate here.

Besides that, you need to know where you can cross the line and where not. Obviously quite a few people at Google are not very good friends with the Chinese government. But they know that people are passing the restrictions. Especially if you don’t need a VPN to access Google like in the nice little how to that I posted earlier on.. then you can say that no one is going to mind. It’s just to stop things a little so that “things” don’t get out of hand. I am sure their model is successful and they need to kind of experiment and hold on to the leash at all times. In case things get out of hand, Beijing is ready to say “stop!” and hault the whole thing. It’s a funny situation really, but necessary according to those who know the problem. Of course by blocking Google they are preventing the devision of a republic that should have devided by natural circumstances a long time a go.

A lot of foreigners just get annoyed: “Damn, I can’t access Google!”. But there are reasons behind everything as you can see 😛

Real Beijing is on The Streets

For anyone who is looking for an authentic and mind opening experience of China and Beijing is going to be a pretty cool guy. It’s not that easy to go into it, especially with a western mind that often has it’s limitations with adventure. While Beijing is all about adventure, surprisingly many people come without actually experiencing much any of it. China has become like a superficial travel destination for those who want a one time picture experience that they can show at home. Look, I’ve been to the great wall of China! Well, I have news for you people. This doesn’t really say if you have been to China or not. Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh from my part. It doesn’t say if you have experienced China in it’s original form.

A lot of the infastructure that has been created around tourism is just plain money motivated. With all kinds of people between every transaction trying to make a buck. Forget ethics or any kind of business rules, if there is a way to make money of tourists then that will be made in Beijing.

Beijing an Odd Mix

But actually that’s the great thing about the place because those coolest and most amazing experiences are left alone for those adventurous enough. If you are someone who wants to do on their travels the same thing everyone else is doing. Then China will be a good match and a fun one at that. But if you want to find your own exciting way, China is a dream come true!

With a lot of flexibility, cheap when you know your way around… and open people who like to communicate with you. I can tell from my deep experience, that you are in for a ride that’s nowhere else. And that in it’s essense makes Beijing such a cool place to be. You have to walk the streets between all that fancy stuff, because in China that is where life is. Or more over, that is where the meeting with life is.

Watch out, China could teach you more than you are ready for.

How I First Fell in Love with Beijing

I thought it would be a story worth sharing, what really started my journey in the very cool Beijing. It was not love at first sight to tell you the truth. In fact, the first time I arrived here I hated it. Mainly because of the crowded city, it’s pollution and noise. But that’s not just all, I thought the people here were unpolite and noisy as well. Of course, I didn’t speak the language then and couldn’t much communicate with everyone. Even though a lot of people attempted to talk to me, in Chinese of course. The language that has become one of the major languages in the whole world. So I guess it can be expected that visitors speak their language, instead of it being the other way around.. like in most non-english speaking countries.

Beijing Night Street View

I was a pretty ordinary tourist back then too, and just visited local sights.. like the tempel of heaven, forbidden palace, and tiananmen square to name a few ones most people know. Of course, I really enjoyed visiting those places and thought that these are very special in the city. But the real meeting with the soul of the area just didn’t happen. I felt distant and non-comfortable at times.

Perhaps it was just luck or coincidence, but after when I went to Shanghai i totally fell in love with that place. It was because of meeting great people that were showing me around the amazing city, I guess! Then I decided to stay there, and lived in Shanghai for a year or so. After a great, fun year and learning lots of Mandarin. I went back to Beijing with my friends, and met for the first time.. yes, real Beijingers. I went to underground clubs, and realised that this is a cool one of a kind place that I just had to live in.

And here I am!=)