Tuesday, 23 April 2013

China - impressions

A few thoughts occurred to me as a first time visitor to China, including --

Smoking – although it's quite common, it's not as pervasive as I had been expecting.

ID checks at airports – even on domestic flights there's an ID check as part of the security process.   For non-Chinese, this means producing your passport, just as if you're going through the immigration check on an international flight elsewhere.  I can speculate as to the reasons for this, but as I don't know for sure, it may be better if I don't!

Bridges and other infrastructure - nothing prepared me for the massive amount of infrastructure that has obviously been constructed in the past few years (and is still being constructed).  The Three Gorges project is an obvious case and is immense, but in addition there were bridges, roads (and road tunnels), railways (although we only glimpsed these), modern airports, metros in Shanghai and Beijing and massive housing developments. 


Domestic airlines and airports - our itinerary had 3 domestic flights (on, as it happened, 3 different airlines).   In all, we either arrived or departed (or both) from 4 separate airports.  Each airport was modern and efficient.   We didn't have any delays with check-in or, and baggage delivery was invariably prompt (I suspect that baggage handlers in China don't receive the same terms and conditions as those in Australia, so there are probably more of them!)     The aircraft were modern Boeings  737-800 (once) and A320s (twice).  We received a drink and snack on the daytime flights and a hot meal on the evening flight.  The catering was nothing fancy, but appreciated nevertheless.   On one flight, I saw one passenger receive a beer, but I didn't have the courage to see if I could obtain one.  However, there was certainly no wine, so perhaps on that score, Australian domestic airlines rank a little more highly!

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