The first thing that struck me on arriving in Beijing was the sheer modernity of everything. Not what one thinks of when it comes to China. The airport is hi-tec and enormous as is the infrastructure that surrounds it.
This is enhanced on the drive into Beijing itself. The number of new skyscrapers is breathtaking as is their design. It really looks like something out of a science fiction film.
Our hotel is situated in the centre of the city on top of a luxury shopping centre selling everything from Bulgari to Rolex and everything in between. Fascinating how China has introduced the luxury of Western Globalisation without the inconvenience of introducing the democracy that would usually go with it.
Now I realise I am not seeing China is a whole but only a relatively small and incredibly wealthy part of it – but it is an eye opener just the same.
This afternoon includes a visit to the forbidden city which will be a whole new experience.