Beijing Friendship Hotel - Youyi Binguan
The first part of our trip involved Tom's five-day,
international engineering education conference in Beijing,
which he and his colleague in Beijing had jointly developed during the past year and a half.

Tom selected this
large hotel complex for the conference.
All of the meetings were held here, and most of the attendants from outside China
stayed in rooms here.

Beijing Friendship Hotel is the largest garden-style hotel in Asia. Originally built to house fellow communist visitors from Russia in 1954, it covers an area of 335,000 square meters. Its style is a mix of modern design and traditional Chinese architecture. It offers a full range of amenities, several restaurants, a business center, halls for meetings, a western grocery store and recreational facilities and offers a large variety of services. There are 1700 standard rooms, deluxe suites, apartments, and offices. It is 25 minutes from Tiananmen Square by car.

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Meet Chor and YuLin

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and "John" Zhang

Our first night in Beijing was spent with "John" Zhang, Tom's counterpart at CMES in Beijing,
who took the four of us out to dinner. Chor and Tom have been working with John for a couple of years.
Last summer Chor and Tom made two trips to China to train Chinese faculty at numerous universities,
for an ASME program which will prepare their Chinese students for an
international Certificate in Engineering Management.

For the rest of our trip we would be accompanying Chor and Yulin.
Chor is Tom's former boss at ASME. He is originally from Malaysia and Yulin grew up in Hong Kong. Both have recently retired. One of their first retirement trips would be this one, to the outer reaches of China, after the Conference. They very generously invited us to accompany them... a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to see China with our Chinese-American friends!

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Yulin and I trecked around Beijing with other spouses during the conference.
There were several tours arranged for us. We also ventured out on our own:
Yulin's familiarity with parts of the city and her ability to speak the language were a godsend ...
and kept us out of trouble most of the time!

Continued... a brief glimpse of The Conference
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