Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 22, 2017
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Peking curiosity

From hip to historic, China’s capital is an empire for the senses

Beijing can feel chaotic and sprawling, especially as it races to finish Olympic construction before the Games begin on August 8. But there’s an ancient order to the place, a cosmology, and you can follow it. The palaces and temples line up like stars on the city’s north-south axis; the government chose to build the Olympic Stadium on this axis, too. All over town there are digital billboards with a countdown to the Games. Down to the second. But wait. Besides the cranes and compact cars and floating particulate matter, everything essential about the city — its tall vermillion walls, its septuagenarians flying kites on bridges, its pigeons — has been there all along. The palaces and temples line up like stars on the city’s north-south axis; the government chose to build the Olympic Stadium on this axis, too. All over town there are digital billboards with a countdown to the Games. Down to the second. But wait. Besides the cranes and compact cars and floating particulate matter, everything essential about the city — its tall vermillion walls, its septuagenarians flying kites on bridges, its pigeons — has been there all along. Down to the second. But wait. Besides the cranes and compact cars and floating particulate matter, everything essential about the city — its tall vermillion walls, its septuagenarians flying kites on bridges, its pigeons — has been there all along. Beijing can feel chaotic and sprawling, especially as it races to finish Olympic construction before the Games begin on August 8. But there’s an ancient order to the place, a cosmology, and you can follow it. The palaces and temples line up like stars on the city’s north-south axis; the government chose to build the Olympic Stadium on this axis, too. All over town there are digital billboards with a countdown to the Games. Down to the second. But wait. Besides the cranes and compact cars and floating particulate matter, everything essential about the city — its tall vermillion walls, its septuagenarians flying kites on bridges, its pigeons — has been there all along. Beijing can feel chaotic and sprawling, especially as it races to finish Olympic construction before the Games begin on August 8. But there’s an ancient order to the place, a cosmology, and you can follow it. The palaces and temples line up like stars on the city’s north-south axis; the government chose to build the Olympic Stadium on this axis, too. All over town there are digital billboards with a countdown to the Games. Down to the second. But wait. Besides the cranes and compact cars and floating par Beijing Capital International Airport is scheduled to open its new Terminal 3 in time for the Olympics. Air Canada (tel: 888-247-2262; www.air canada.ca) flies direct to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong from Vancouver and Toronto. Air China (tel: 866-270-5897; http://ca.fly-airchina.com) flies direct from Vancouver to Beijing. Taxis from Capital Airport cost about $15, and come the Olympics, budget travellers will be able to take a new airport express rail link to the Beijing Subway (www.bjsubway.com) at Dong­zhimen. For a hutong courtyard experience, try the Bamboo Garden (24 Xiaoshiqiao Lane; tel: 011-86-10-5852-0088; www.bbgh.com.cn), a Qing official’s mansion, from $120, or the Hotel Côté Cour SL (70 Yanyue Hutong; tel: 011-86-10-6512-8020; www.hotelcotecoursl. com), starting at $180. Room rates, however, are expected to double or even triple for the Olympics. The Grand Hyatt (1 Dong Changan Jie; tel: 011-86-10-8518-1234; www.beijing.grand.hyatt.com) is within walking distance of the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and many interesting hutong neighbourhoods. Doubles are $200 to $450. Beijing can feel chaotic and sprawling, especially as it races to finish Olympic construction before the Games begin on August 8. But there’s an ancient order to the place, a cosmology, and you can follow it. The palaces and temples line up like stars on the city’s north-south axis; the government chose to build the Olympic Stadium on this axis, too. All over town there are digital billboards with a countdown to the Games. Down to the second. But wait. Besides the cranes and compact cars and floating particulate matter, everything essential about the city — its tall vermillion walls, its septuagenarians flying kites on bridges, its pigeons — has been there all along. The palaces and temples line up like stars on the city’s north-south axis; the government chose to build the Olympic Stadium on this axis, too. All over town there are digital billboards with a countdown to the Games. Down to the second. But wait. Besides the cranes and compact cars and floating particulate matter, everything essential about the city — its tall vermillion walls, its septuagenarians flying kites on bridges, its pigeons — has been there all along. Down to the second. But wait. Besides the cranes and compact cars and floating particulate matter, everything essential about the city — its tall vermillion walls, its septuagenarians flying kites on bridges, its pigeons — has been there all along. Beijing can feel chaotic and sprawling, especially as it races to finish Olympic construction before the Games begin on August 8. But there’s an ancient order to the place, a cosmology, and you can follow it. The palaces and temples line up like stars on the city’s north-south axis; the government chose to build the Olympic Stadium on this axis, too. All over town there are digital billboards with a countdown to the Games. Down to the second. But wait. Besides the cranes and compact cars and floating particulate matter, everything essential about the city — its tall vermillion walls, its septuagenarians flying kites on bridges, its pigeons — has been there all along. Beijing can feel chaotic and sprawling, especially as it races to finish Olympic construction before the Games begin on August 8. But there’s an ancient order to the place, a cosmology, and you can follow it. The palaces and temples line up like stars on the city’s north-south axis; the government chose to build the Olympic Stadium on this axis, too. All over town there are digital billboards with a countdown to the Games. Down to the second. But wait. Besides the cranes and compact cars and floating par Beijing Capital International Airport is scheduled to open its new Terminal 3 in time for the Olympics. Air Canada (tel: 888-247-2262; www.air canada.ca) flies direct to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong from Vancouver and Toronto. Air China (tel: 866-270-5897; http://ca.fly-airchina.com) flies direct from Vancouver to Beijing. Taxis from Capital Airport cost about $15, and come the Olympics, budget travellers will be able to take a new airport express rail link to the Beijing Subway (www.bjsubway.com) at Dong­zhimen. For a hutong courtyard experience, try the Bamboo Garden (24 Xiaoshiqiao Lane; tel: 011-86-10-5852-0088; www.bbgh.com.cn), a Qing official’s mansion, from $120, or the Hotel Côté Cour SL (70 Yanyue Hutong; tel: 011-86-10-6512-8020; www.hotelcotecoursl. com), starting at $180. Room rates, however, are expected to double or even triple for the Olympics. The Grand Hyatt (1 Dong Changan Jie; tel: 011-86-10-8518-1234; www.beijing.grand.hyatt.com) is within walking distance of the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and many interesting hutong neighbourhoods. Doubles are $200 to $450.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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