Beijing
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Sightseeing at Olympic Sport Center (Ni Hao Beijing, part 2)

Ni hao Beijing!!

As I told you on the previous note, my first day in Beijing was filled with a half day chilling at Olympic Sport Station. And here is the detail 🙂

The opening ceremony of Beijing Olympic

The 29th Olympics Games was held in Beijing, China, the 3rd Asian country after Japan (1964) and South Korea (1988). Approximately 10942 athletes from around the world competed in around 28 sports and 302 events (Wikipedia). This grand event was held in six venues, Beijing National Stadium (Bird Nest), Beijing National Indoor Stadium, Beijing National Aquatic Center (Water Cube), Olympic Green Convention Center and Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sport Center.

Well, me, I had the opportunity to visit two of which, Bird Nest and Water Cube. These two buildings are remarkably popular up until now. So many tourists both local and foreigner come to pay a visit, get inside the buildings or just take some photos right in front of them.

subway-map-beijing

To get to these two buildings, we can take the subway to Line 8 and stop at Olympic Sport Center. Then, we can get out of the station and walk into the entrance–it’s free of charge, unless you want to get inside the building, they will charge you the entry fee.

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Bird Nest was built in 2003 in Chaoyang district. The architectural exterior which is designed like Bird Nest is initiated by Herzog and de Meuron, project architect Stefan Marbach, artist Ai Weiwei, and CADG which was led by chief architect Li Xinggang. This stadium could accommodate 80.000 fix seats and 11000 temporary seats. BIrd Nest hosts opening and closing ceremony, athletic events and football final match on 29th Olympic games.

Around the park is provided with some bench for visitor to take a rest after walk around. Some statues adorned the park, some food and souvenir vendors were waiting for their customers. Small cart like train is also available for who anyone who doesn’t want to go around without being exhausted.

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Right across the Bird Nest is Water Cube. Water Cube or National Aquatic Center is built for swimming competition on Olympic Games 2008. Water Cube is designed in rectangular box shape with bubbles on each surface of its wall which represents water. Square shape is decided as to be more symbolic to Chinese culture and its relationship to the Bird Nest ( Cube symbolizes the earth, the circle/ stadium represents heaven). In conclusion, Water Cube references Chinese symbolic architecture (Wikipedia)

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The Water Cube at night (pic taken fro http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/%E5%9B%BD%E5%AE%B6%E6%B8%B8%E6%B3%B3%E4%B8%AD%E5%BF%83%E5%A4%9C%E6%99%AF.jpg)

I didn’t get inside Bird Nest & Water Cube, and just sit at some food stall enjoying my snack after taking some photos. Some souvenirs like key chains and tees are displayed to attract the visitors. Here, the art of bargaining is indeed a compulsory. The vendors will set the price crazy and you should bargain even more than half the price.

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