FUN AND GAMES
The Weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal has a good article on the ins and outs of attending the Olympics in China this August. Bottom line, it's possible to do even at this presumably late juncture, but there are some complexities and it can be expensive. The piece sets the tone as follows:
"It's true for athletes and tourists alike. The hardest part of the Olympics is getting in.
In the U.S., tickets have been sold out since October, just weeks after they went on sale. Most of the big-name hotels in Beijing have been booked solid for six months or more by Olympic personnel and tour operators. First- and business-class seats on many of the marathon direct flights from the U.S. are sold out, and coach fares are almost double normal prices.
But there are still options."
It's a daunting event in it's scale and complexity, to say the least:
"More than 1.1 million people are expected to visit Beijing during the Aug. 8 to Aug. 24 event, about 40% of them from overseas, estimates the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Tourism. The opening ceremonies start at 8:08 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2008 -- considered numerically lucky in China because the word for the number eight sounds like the word for prosper..."
"The city is expected to spend nearly $40 billion on new structures and transportation for the Olympics, more than triple the amount spent on 2004's Summer Games in Athens."
The article goes on to provide detailed information on arranging a trip at a variety of budgets points.
Like many, I'm still toying with the idea of attending. I love traveling to China, and this should be a showcase Olympics at a historic time in China's evolution as a world player. And it may not be too late to make it happen.