Friday, November 26, 2010

End of Silk Road: A tale of two cities

Just finished procrastinating and decide to finish the final entry for my Silk Road trip. The last stop of the eventful trip ends in Beijing, the capital of China and a sister city to Shanghai. It was my first time in Beijing despite I had always wanted to visit this city when I was working in SH. It was mentioned that Beijing is a cultural, educational, and politics hub; whereas Shanghai focuses on finance, expansion, and trade. As we exited the airport, one can definately feel that the atmosphere was drastically different between the cities. There were huge amount of police all around Beijing yet it gave me uneasy feeling. It felt like I was in minority report where there's surveillance cameras everywhere; ranging from subways, shopping malls, street entrances, and washroom exits. Prices were more expensive in this city and I couldn't find any bootlegged DVDs at all.
With the differences stated, which one do I like more? Well.... granted, there's going to be pickpockets in Shanghai and one has to be careful of their belongings, but I feel more alive and comfortable there, and not scared to haggle or buy endless DVDs :p. Beijing is safer, has much huger buildings (lots of government), and cleaner; however, it gave me an uneasy feeling like I was watched everywhere and the possibility of private police rushing out from nowhere and beat you with baton sticks is no joke. I guess the Chinese government needs to stay that way to control the crowd and political retributions in its capital after what happened in June 4th, 1989.


AJEYA RAO said...

Did you visit the terecota warriors?

Edmlee said...

Hiya Ajeya, yea - I went to see the Terecotta warriors at Xian too but didn't find it as intriguing as I would've expected. Cold here in TO, so haven't updated in a while lol, been in hibernation -_-