Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Beijing Day 6 - Fraser Suites & CCTV Tower

4 Star Security Embassies. I Found my Missing Lego pieces.

sunny 8 °C

Fraser Suites is located in about 600m East of CCTV new headquarter site, 600m NE of World Trade Centre 3, and 600m West of the Temple of the Sun (not Temple of Heaven where every package tour takes you to). In other words, it's located @ 666.

Hugging the SE corner of the Temple of the Sun is the Embassy district. It's a off-limit area like Area 51. And like Area 51, they're populated with aliens. All the embassy buildings are decked with beautiful coiling barbwires up the top of wall. And about 1.5m away from the perimeters of the embassy buildings are surrounded with a very nice 3m tall wire fence like a maximum prison. In the space in between, let call it shoot-to-kill corridors, stood the motionless solders. The embassy staff know they're in safe hands, and electric fences.

Well, I didn't really go there with the camera. If I start shooting, 1 of them security guards that disguised as statue might spring back to life and shoot me with something more easier to operate than a DSLR. No, I was driven past from Novotel to Fraser Suites, and inspect the area from the comfort zone of a passing taxi. Yep, except from the air, the area passed my security criteria. I award it 4 stars for security. I hold back 1 star because the security's weapon isn't measured up to John Rambo's.  The embassy staff might feel like staying in a penitentary, but it also frustrates suicide bombers to no end. Better safe than seared?

Fraser Suites usually locates in expat area. Here's a list of things to keep your eyes out to spot for an expat area: a high concentration of high fashion shops, upscale multicultural dining, trendy cafe - sorry café, how clumsy of me - where Beijingers can be seen with their laptops, or smart phones. Look, I'm tapping into wire-fi. If all that can't convince you, there's the EtonKids Kindergarten to add weight to the evidence.

sky screen, The Place, Beijing, China
The LED sky screen @ the Place, Beijing

sky screen, The Place, Beijing, China
Floating rock castles

sky screen, The Place, Beijing, China
Chinese pheonix goddess

One of the typical high fashion shopping mall just across the Jintong West Rd from Fraser Suites is The Place (世贸天阶). The reason why this place - or The Place - grabs attention is its large canopy that could easily be mistakened as just a slightly odd looking ceiling in the day time, but by night time, it reveals its purpose as a giant LED sky screen. I don't know exactly what time it switches on (and off) the LED sky screen, it shows some animation for 10 mins every hour on the hour. This structure is a drawcard for The Place. It's popular with the (expat) families with kids. There aren't too any interesting restaurants there to blog about. Another good thing about this place is that no cab driver knows about Fraser Suites, I use it as landmark.

Logo, The Place, Beijing, China

I tend to go to the World City to grab some grubs while I stayed in Fraser Suites. The World City is The Place's immediate northern neighbour with multicultural eateries lining 2 sides. This is high-end eat street. At least it looks upmarket while it also has Pappa John, and other Chinese fast food franchises. Mind you, some American fastfood outlets like Papa John (and Pizza Hut) are rebranded in China (and other countries) to higher end.

After dropping the bags in Fraser Suites, and recharge my own battery with my fave brew of Iron Guanyin tea, I made my way to the CCTV Tower that's the headquarter for China Central Television. It was then that I found my missing Lego piece that I lost a long time ago. It's always the last place you look.

CCTV News Headquarter, Beijing, China

CCTV News Headquarter, Beijing, China
Look! It's a plane! It's a giant reversed number 7!
It's my missing Lego piece!

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