This week marks the one year countdown to the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Building and renovation is proceeding at break-neck speed to meet the deadline. The city is undergoing a major facelift in addition to the massive construction projects underway for the facilities that will house the games.
All the major sites were already getting a makeover when I was there almost two years ago. Parts of the Forbidden City and almost all of the Temple of Heaven were under scaffolding, the bane of a travel photographer.
The last day of my trip coincided with National Day, a time when China pretty much shuts down and millions take a vacation and travel in the country. Tiananmen Square was packed, with a reported one million people descending on it in one day. It sure felt that way. The streets of New York City seemed empty for a long while after I returned.
The above photo is of the Museum of Chinese History with the countdown clock to the opening ceremonies.