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Thursday, February 12, 2015

BEIJING OLYMPIC GREEN: #Bird'sNest #WaterCube

Beijing's hosting of the summer Olympics of 2008 was an affirmation of two things, China being a sports dynamo and at the same time an economic powerhouse.

6 years later, the Olympic Village is still in tact and well kept. They call it Olympic Green and it is a favorite open park for locals. Visiting Beijing without seeing the Bird's Nest and the Cube ( Aquatics Center) feels like the trip is not complete.

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Beijing Olympic Stadium #Bird's Nest


The Olympic Green is easily accessible via subway so we went here in the afternoon on our first day since we didn't have a lot on our itinerary but to stroll around and get a feel of the place.

HOW TO GET TO THE BIRD'S NEST

>>By Subway
Take Subway Line 10 and get off at Beitucheng Station. Then interchange for Subway Line 8 and get off at Olympic Park ( Olympic Green ). Very convenient.

>>By Bus
Bus 409, 426, 645, 653, 656, 658, 660, 689, 694, 740, 740, 753, 758, 803, 839, 849, 850, 858.




Facts about the stadium:

* Construction began on December 24, 2003, the same day as the neighboring "Water Cube" National Aquatics Centre.
* Occupying 258,000 square meters and seating 91,000 people, it will stage the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics competition and soccer finals during the Games.
* It cost 3.5 billion yuan ($500.7 million), used 42,000 tonnes of steel and involved the relocation of 4,707 residents from 2,043 households in the surrounding area.

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* Construction was suspended in 2004 after complaints that it was costing too much. Some 9,000 seats, 12,000 tonnes of steel and the retractable roof were cut from the design. Further delayed for 14 weeks because, officials said, of the complexity of preparing for the opening ceremony.
* After the Games it will become the home stadium of Beijing Guoan Football Club and an auction will be held for the naming rights. It will cost 40 to 50 million yuan ($5.72 million-$7.15 million) a year to run.
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Other than strolling around marveling at the architecture, one can enjoy snacks at food stalls inside the park. And what about having Beijing"s famous yogurt and socializing with the locals?
Read:  If Taiwan is to Milk Tea, Beijing is to Yogurt #BeijingYogurt 北京酸奶



Day Or Night?
Depends really on your taste. I say afternoon when you can see the place in the light of day, enjoy strolling around and wait till it gets a bit dark and the complex lights up. The Bird's Nest is in hot yellow while the Water Cube is lighted blue. Either way, both offer good views.





SHOPS
There are also a lot of souvenir shops where you can buy cheap keepsakes to bring home. We found these pens (pictured below) for on 1 RMB each, that's 7 pesos each. They are unique because of the Chinese image on the tip. I found out later on that these pens are prevalent in Manila (Divisoria) although at least the ones we got have very distinct Chinese feel into them.





We also bought some miniatures of the Bird's Nest for display at the office desk (as if I don't work at home.haha) and other cheap goods. 

It was fun being at the Olympic Green on our first day in Beijing. A very good introduction to the modern architecture of the city that has finally announced to the world that it is joining the ranks of some of the greatest cities on earth.

Our Great Wall of China experience next! >>>>>cheers!



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