I haven’t been in Beijing for about six months and recently had the opportunity to go back for work twice in the last month. The first time I went I had heard that the pollution was bad, but I hadn’t realized just how bad until I landed.
Getting in to the car I immediately sensed a strange taste in my mouth. It was as if a little bit of dirt had gotten into it. I didn’t notice it at first, but even after a drink of water the taste just wouldn’t go away. The visitor who I was accompanying took it pretty hard and I knew in his mind, Shanghai was a better city. It’s funny how the pollution can change your view.
Because it was his first trip though, I was able to revisit some of my favorite places in Beijing – Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Even with the gray skies, I still had a good trip.
My more recent visit the situation was flipped – Shanghai has had high PMI 2.5 levels for the last week and Beijing was clearer. I flew in the evening and I picked up the most beautiful sunset out of the window as I skimmed across the sky.
I’m happy I’ve made it back to Beijing. It is a completely different city depending on the weather. What places fall into that category for you and what times of year should be avoided?