Tag Archives: Walking


Walking Las Vegas Strip

I was in Las Vegas for the week. My meetings started at 8am and most nights ended at 10pm, so I didn’t get alot of time to really do anything.

My last night, after 10pm, I went for a walk on the Las Vegas Strip. I exited through the taxi stand area, turned right / West and walked along Tropicana Ave.
At the light with Las Vegas Blvd, I crossed the street and turned right. From there I walked North passing Excalibur, New York-New York, Monte Carlo, Mandarin Oriental, City Center Place, Planet Hollywood, Harley Davidson Cafe, Cosmopolitan, Aria, Bellagio (saw the nice fountain show!), Paris, Caesar’s Palace, Flamingo, and Bally’s.
From Bally’s I took the Monorail ($5) back to the MGM. This was a fun way to see the city lights!


Tiananmen Square Walk

Background on my evening Tiananmen Square Walk: My short visit to Beijing was almost over, my meetings were completed, and I had a short 60 minutes to do some sight seeing.  My host had to leave for Shanghai,  and I was left with our nice to driver, who agreed to drop me off at Tiananmen Square for one hour.  I was looking forward to this!

The traffic along Chang’an Avenue was really heavy and he couldn’t park close, so  he found a section of the street two blocks away where he waited for me.  With a finger pointing to the square, he set me off on a solo walk.

National Centre for the Performing ArtsI started east walking by the architecturally unique National Centre for the Performing Arts (really beautiful!), I then followed along Chang’an Ave passed the Great Hall of the People and reached the north west corner of the square.  I saw the Tiananmen Gate, the iconic entry way to the Forbidden City, with the picture of Chairman Mao on it… this is one of the most common images you see in tourists pictures.

Tiananmen Square is physically across Chang’an Ave, south from the Gate.  The plaza area is fenced  on all sides, and if you look at the pin on Google Maps, it’s right at the entry I went through.  The entry is a guard station that scans all packages and backpacks.  I was waived-through no problem.  Overseas tourist types like me, while not common, looked welcome.  I would say most of the visitors to the square were citizens of China from other parts of the country (lots of tour buses).

Flag lowering ceremony
While at the square I briefly walked by The National Museum of China, Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, Monument to the People’s Heroes, and very popular flag pole.  I got there right at sunset and 100s of people were gathered around the flag pole as the soldiers, in a very solemn ceremony, lowered the flag, right at sunset.

When the flag was lowered, the Tiananmen Gate lights were turned on.  It looked really nice!  A couple of people from a university came up to me, in excellent English welcomed me to China, asked me where I was from and with pride shared some of China’s history with me.  Very memorable.

But it was time to go.  I didn’t want to keep my driver waiting.  I haven’t been to China in over 8 years and it was very nice to be back. I had a really nice Tiananmen Square Walk.

Great Hall of the PeopleMausoleum of Mao Zedong

As business travelers who go to the Dongcheng  or Xicheng Districts in the city center know, during rush hour, the Chang’an Ave is 10 lanes of very, very slow traffic.  After my brief walk through Tiananmen square my driver had to drive 3 miles to my hotel.  It took over 40 minutes.  This is Beijing — get used to it.  The last time I was in town, my host had me use the subway — probably a good idea for next time.

There’s so much more to see in this area.  I didn’t have time to go into the Forbidden City.  There’s some really nice outdoor shopping bizaars nearby, and the museums are beautiful, but not this trip.  Maybe some other time.



Vancouver Walk – Evening stroll through Chinatown, Gastown, Waterfront, and Granville

For my last evening in Vancouver, I wanted to go exploring.  I had seen the Jimi Hendrix Redhouse in Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco two weeks earlier so I thought it would be cool to look for the Jim Hendrix Shrine on the edge of Chinatown here in Vancouver.

Chinatown GateSo pressed for time (I wanted the lighting from sunset), I took a taxi to Chinatown.  I saw the Jimi Hendrix Shrine, and I started a nice walk through Vancouver downtown.  I walked north and west through Chinatown, into Gastown, all the way to the Waterfront, then I headed south along Granville street all the way back to my hotel.  A really very nice loop through the city center.

Along the way, I saw: some historic buildings in Chinatown: Bank of Commerce, Carnegie Centre, and the really thin Sam Kee Building.  I crossed under the Chinatown gate walked through Victory Square Cenotaph, the Sun Building, the Dominion Building and as I entered the Gastown area, I saw the famous Gastown Steam Clock.

Canada PlaceI followed Cordova Street west toward the Waterfront Station.  From the Granville building plaza, I got a fantastic view of the Burrard Inlet harbour area.  I saw a helicopter take off from the Helijet Terminal; I saw the gigantic DP World Centerm Container terminal and the very nice looking Canada Place area jutting out into the harbor.

Birks PlaceWalking south along Granville, I passed by the Birks Place / fka Bank of Commerce building and the Vancouver Block building with its iconic neon clock.  I walked past the Granville Mall shopping area, made my way through the theater district, and I had dinner at a nice pub, then headed back to my hotel on Howe Street.

Chinatown, the main stretch of it on Pender Street, was nice to visit, but one block north the area got really sketchy.  Stay on Pender and things are fine.  I connected with Gastown by walking along Cambie and Cordova streets.  They were fine.  The area right in front of the train station was a little iffy but mostly ok.  Granville was full of people shopping and a very safe walk.

Vancouver is a great place to visit and a really beautiful place to walk around sunset.

Vancouver Downtown Walk – Chinatown, Gastown, Waterfront, and Granville at EveryTrail
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