In Beijing: A Rainbow of Nations

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  08.09.08 | 2:43 PM ET

imageI’ve been to plenty of world-renowned tourist spots before. But as I walked around the Forbidden City yesterday, I found myself thinking that the hordes of travelers in Beijing were a far more diverse bunch than the crowds I’d jostled with at the Taj Mahal, say, or Edinburgh Castle. Then, after a little more thought, I realized that wasn’t it. The people around me didn’t necessarily hail from a broader range of countries—the difference was that almost everyone was, literally, wearing their national colors on their sleeves.

I passed Dutch soccer fans in bright orange polos at the ticket booth, Russians in red and white baseball caps at a coffee shop, and later a group of young men (either athletes, or extremely healthy fans) in Team Cameroon track suits near the Hyatt. There was even a Mexican fan dressed up as a red-and-green lucha libre wrestler.

Ordinarily, I’d see a tourist and tend to assume—until proven otherwise—that they were probably American or British. Here, though, there’s no hiding the diversity. It’s been pretty cool rubbing shoulders with such a colorful array of travelers.

Related on World Hum:
* In Beijing: The Inescapable Games
* In Beijing: Not So ‘Sanitized’ After All?
* In Beijing: Red Tape and Roadblocks

Photo by Eva Holland

Tags: Asia, China

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

2 Comments for In Beijing: A Rainbow of Nations

Ling 08.11.08 | 9:17 AM ET

Looks like you’re having a good time, Eva. Have fun and be safe. I read yesterday about some nutcase who killed an American tourist and then killed himself.

Eva 08.11.08 | 10:58 AM ET

Thanks, Ling! I heard about that too. Thankfully, though, the biggest risk I’ve encountered so far is getting ripped off by souvenir vendors. My bargaining skills are mighty rusty…

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