PEK Airport – Beijing China. Know Your Terminal! Hint – it is probably “3”

PEK Beijing – Know Your Terminal!

When travelling to or from Beijing’s Airports, keep these items in mind:

BCIA stands for “Beijing Capital International Airport” and is commonly used when referencing the Beijing Airport even though PEK is the same Airport.

Know your Terminal! PEK is a *huge* Airport, and the taxi will need to know which Terminal you are departing from. My United Airlines PEK to SFO flight was from Terminal three and I think most international departures are now from that terminal. Your hotel concierge may ask you “which airport” and I think they really mean “which terminal”. Clear this up before getting in the Taxi as the Chinese Taxi drivers rarely (read that as “never”) speak English. If you plan to use Taxis in China be sure to get the excellent printed cards from your concierge (or make some yourself before you leave) that list locations in Chinese so the driver will understand where you want to go.

PEK is the Airport Code for Beijing’s main Airport which, without much traffic, is approximately a 40-50 minute taxi ride from most areas of the city. The cost for the taxi should be about 100 Yuan, perhaps a little more. In Beijing and Shanghai always ride in taxis with meters to avoid scams.

Note: This is a repost from, where this got no traction. I’m trying to see how the ranking will differ at JoeDuck which has higher authority with Google, seemingly pretty much for anything I write about!

Beijing Table Tennis

Beijing Table Tennis

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

We had a lesson from a former member of the China National Team here in the TT club located in the Basement of the huge sporting goods store on Wanfujing Street, Beijing’s big shopping area.

Translating for me is my pong pal Dr. Kevin Wu, the best medford oregon dentist who is also a very good table tennis player.

In defense of Miley Cyrus, who still rocks …

As the dad of an 11 year old I’ve seen more than my share of the Disney Channel’s huge TV hit: Hannah Montana.   But I don’t mind because Hannah Montana is a great family show.   Unlike so much of the garbage that passes as family fare these days, real life father and daughter Miley and Billy Ray are delightful and charming in a funny and clever show which often brings in subtle and important lessons about teens navigating the complexities of an unusual life.     The show is so appealing in fact that Miley is on her way to being one of the world’s youngest …. billionaires …. as the show and concerts and spinoff merchandies are already pulling in more than that much each year for Disney, and this franchise is likely to last for many more years.

The Media hurricane surrounding Vanity Fair’s publication of mildly provocative pictures of Miley Cyrus is a sorry commentary on the state of TV news, but it has also given us an opportunity to see the *right* way to handle media scrutiny.   Miley Cyrus has apologized to her fans and many have very reasonably criticized Liebowitz, Vanity Fair, and the parents for failing to see that a few of these pictures were simply not appropriate for this legitimately very wholesome superstar (failing to see may be generous – I’m guessing that provocative was what they wer after here as that’s going to sell far more Vanity Fairs).   

I think the jury is still out on whether photographer Annie Liebowitz and Vanity Fair took advantage of the fact that the Cyrus family – mom and dad were present at the session – is hardly going to start telling Liebowitiz how to do her job.    The pictures were not all that outrageous in a current media context, but I think for many of us who greatly value Miley Cyrus’  modest dress and attitude the pictures came as something of a disappointment.

But that said I’m still a big Hannah Montana fan and I’m happy to have my daughter continue to enjoy a great show – still one of the few islands of childhood modesty and sensibility in a world largely under seige from Hollywood’s onslaught of violence and sexual propaganda fueled by our own sad yet powerful prurient interests.

Forbidden City, Beijing

Forbidden City, Beijing

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

The Forbidden City and Great Wall of China are the top attractions in China even for locals and people who come to Beijing from around China. In April we enjoyed the fact there were no crowds (though I think a few weeks later – May 1 – is the worst time to travel in China because people are all over the place celebratintg May day).

Organic Frustrations?

CNN is reporting today on a new study that shows Americans are getting increasingly reluctant about  Organic products:

Folks, that is a good thing because for the most part the whole concept of organic food superiority is at best wrong and at worst…fraudulent and marketing hype driven. 

In terms of pesticides and other chemical concerns, few regular vegetables have more measurable problems than organic vegetables.    However for other concerns, such as insect contamination – you can make the case that organics are riskier since those production methods have eliminated from the production chain chemicals and treatments that prevent bugs, rot, or other forms of biological contaminations.    But I’m not trying to make a case here that organics are “more dangerous” than non-organics.  Rather they are indistinguishable in terms of the health impact on a human, and therefore generally a waste of time, money, and resources.     We surround ourselves with huge risk every day in the form of traffic, smoking (for those who do), and a plethora of contaminants we largely ignore despite the fact they represent measureably far more risk than vegetable items which are far overregulated at almost every part of the production cycle.

It might make your mind *feel* better about your health to eat organic, but unlike hundreds of other behaviors you don’t worry about (bikes in traffic, no seatbelts, smoking, etc, etc, etc) eating organic is not having any measureable impact on your health.

I’m very open to criticism on this and trying to keep an open mind, so if anybody knows of any research on health and organic stuff I’d be very interested in reading it.