Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beijing, China: Pictures With Strangers (Video)

Traveling through different Asian countries this year, there's always been a time or two when someone asks you to pose for a photograph.  Simply because I'm a foreigner, there's a fascination that is apparently satisfied with a photo.  Still, I wasn't prepared for the attention I would receive in China.  Visiting Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City in Beijing,  I was approached by many people wanting a photo.  Holding babies, shaking hands, and striking a pose I felt like a politician!  I was surprised by people's curiosity and affection.  This interaction with perfect strangers was a lot of fun, and something I'm always remember about China.


  1. Hi Lauren,

    Thrilled to have discovered your videos and blogs this morning! I'm in Beijing for a week and have already been photographed many, many times!

    First time on the subway today, so your video was great prep on that too.

    I'm in North Korea next week for the Mass Games and then South Korea the week after. Any tips for Seoul?

    As a 'thank you', here's a tip from me: if you're a vegetarian or vegan travelling in Beijing, plan your meals in advance! There are quite a lot of really good vegetarian restaurants in Chaoyang district, but you need to know where they are in advance (try Don't leave things to serendipity or you'll come unstuck. Nothing worse than a trek across the city on an empty stomach and trouble trying to find food you can eat (needle / haystack)!

    Looking forward to your next video and happy travels!


  2. Chris -- thanks for the feedback and the great tip! We lived in Seoul for a year, so I've posted many blogs about our adventures there. You must visit Namdaemun Market, which is the most atmospheric I've seen in Asia. During the day you'll find great shopping, at night there's great street food. Take in a Korean baseball game -- not for the game, but for the fans! No need to do all the palaces. Pick either Gyeongbuk Palace for the changing of the guard or go to Changdeok Palace to see Biwon (the Secret Garden). Koreans love to hike, so join them! You can do this in Seoul at Bukhansan National Park. If you're looking to join a tour try "Adventure Korea." I hope this helps -- have fun!