Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Asia (
-   -   Olympic Stadium under construction (

jamckanna Sep 14th, 2007 01:47 AM

Olympic Stadium under construction
We are visiting Beijing in Nov '07 and would like to view the construction underway at the Olympic stadium and Nautatorium (Bubble Building)- not just to view from the street but to tour the interior of these incredible structures. Would appreciate hearing from anyone who has actually been in the neighborhood - is there any access to the interiors? are tours available?

Also, thanks to the many contributors to this forum - your sharing has made planning a joy!

petitepois Sep 14th, 2007 02:57 AM

Good luck! I found the bird's nest so closely guarded that even photographing it from the OUTSIDE was prohibited. But perhaps you'll have better luck. Keep us posted!

baaj Sep 14th, 2007 04:39 AM

That is interesting. And ironic. The 2008 Olympics is China's coming out party to the world, and they won't let you photograph the iconic structures without permission?!

Old habits die hard, I guess.

LeighTravelClub Sep 14th, 2007 10:28 PM

We did mange to get some shots of the birds nest but only from inside our coach. We were told that it is not possible to get any closer. Fair enough is a construction site! A link here shows the closest we could get.

rkkwan Sep 15th, 2007 05:21 AM

There are about 12 photos on Panoramio that you can find using Google Earth.

ggreen Sep 15th, 2007 11:08 PM

When I was in Beijing this summer, I asked a friend who is there working in an Olympics capacity if we could get onto the site. She said it was basically impossible even for her (her client is one of the biggest sponsors), and she holds her meetings in the parking lot!

We did get some great pics from a highway bridge nearby (just to the west and a little north of the "birds nest"). The trick is to get a taxi driver to take you to that bridge and stop for a few minutes, then go on to a final destination...

We did find the small exhibit at the top of the tv tower to be fairly interesting. Maquettes of the buildings, lots of incarnations of the mascots, a large scroll you can sign for the athletes that they hope to get into the Guiness Book of Records, etc. I think it was RMB50 to get in, and it includes the viewing platforms and some other small galleries; best time to go is when the sky is not too hazy, and at the end of day when the sun sets and city lights come on. The tv tower visit is set up so that everone first goes to the viewing platform, then to the Olympics exhibit, then to the (CCTV version) Chinese history in photographs floor.

Lastly, I would recommend a visit to the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall not far from Tienamen Square, if only to see the room-sized model of the city of Beijing. The model is very current, and includes the Olympic structures and buildings under construction in the center of the city.

Both the tv tower on a clear day and the Planning Exhibition hall give you a good understanding of the scale of the city!

jamckanna Sep 16th, 2007 08:22 AM

Many thanks for the info and encouragement. The rationale for restrictions at the Olympic sites is puzzling given the successes at marketing the 3 Gorges Dam throughout its construction - I had the impression that it was possible to walk on the dam, but maybe the dam construction also has been viewed only at a distance. Anyone have comments on the experience at the dam site?

Also, having heard so much about the Chinese preparations for the Olympics, we would like to view the hotels and new construction. Any comments on spectacular modern buildings in Beijing that are worth visiting?

ggreen Sep 16th, 2007 08:40 PM

The new CCTV building in central Beijing is probably the most spectacular of the new construction. It was about half built when I was there in July; maybe it will be done by the time you're there. (You can search for pics of it on Flickr.)

There is sooo much construction everywhere in Beijing that I think the whole place will be interesting to see. (It was for me in this respect!)

Definitely check out the model at the Planning Hall. As I mentioned, it shows new construction - and buildings only in the planning stages are identified by white placeholders. The model is very impressive!

I believe that by the time you are there, the next of the many subway lines currently under contstruction is scheduled to be up and running. That would be very interesting to check out, too! (FWIW, the subways are pretty easy to figure out, and all signs are in Pinyin in addition to Chinese characters, which helps a lot. If you want some initial tips, let me know!)

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:24 PM.