On The Metro: Beijing, China... Line 15!

Going underground in Beijing opened my eyes for sure, beginning on the capital's vast network at Line 15 it's been an education compared to my previous experiences in Wuhan! From the suburbs of Shunyi District, discovering Wangjing then going for gold at the Olympic Green, I won big! Tsinghua University's station stop finally took me further west along Line 15! Let's go!

Wuhan Metro's Line 2 used to be my go to line but during this Beijing life, I'm currently living along Beijing Subway's Line 15. Line 15 stretches all the way from Shunyi District in the East to Tsinghua University to the West in Haidian District! Spanning a serious distance across China's Capital city. Starting off in Shunyi, I tend to take the train from either China International Exhibition Center or Hua Li Kan, both stations are both quite close to my current apartment. Made up of a colossal Exhibition Center and a favourable expat community, there's not that much to see around those stations aside from villa complex's. Sure, it is home for now. I might live a good distance from the buzz of Beijing's City centre but Line 15 keeps me conveniently connected with the action from my Shunyi suburban location. Shunyi District might not be most expats cup of tea but with 15线 on my doorstep I have the best of both worlds, no need for noise! It isn't like 光谷广场地铁站! Line 15 always keeps me hooked up to the action. 下一站? 望京站? 

December 2017 saw me get myself to Wangjing to experience its Korean side, taking Line 15 on Beijing's vast subway system. It wasn't a problem to get myself from Shunyi's 国展地铁站, it took me around twenty minutes! With no interchanges needed to take, it was a blessed day for sure! Adding to those blessings, I ate some great Korean food and discovered Soju! Oh, how that Korean rice wine has since given me many some vile hangovers! Wangjing usually helps me out getting into the city, it's a transfer station between Lines 14 & 15. That connection opened my eyes during my second day in Beijing back in November 2017. Wangjing used to be a shadow of its former self, it was no sleepy place when I visited during that Sunday discovery. The relief when that train stops at Wangjing from Shunyi is always a blessing, most people get off to change to Line 14 thankfully, it's commuter crazy! Telling the truth, I need to get myself back to Korean Town for some more Korean cosmetics, seafood soup and Soju now! 奥林匹克公园? 谁?

Not long after arriving in Beijing, China I took Line 15 to reach Beijing's Olympic Green! I wanted to see what it looked like? Boarding a Line 15 train from Guo Zhan, I found the Bird's Nest Stadium with much ease, making an almighty impact it was a scene of national pride! With a paved promenade like walkway, it was easy to bike it for most of the day, unfortunately I had to leave my rented bike ride for the next stage. Seeing Beijing's famous 'water cube' Aquatics Centre from the outside showed me enough, I felt that it wasn't necessary to pay the entrance fee. The Bird's Nest Stadium dominated the whole area, causing hysteria even though the games were over nine years previous during that 2017 time. Finding my own slice of Beijing's 'Olympic glory' didn't take me long, from Guo Zhan it was only forty minutes to Line 15's Olympic Green Subway Station. Preparations had already started for the recently announced 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing! Absolutely, Beijing will be going for gold once again! A Line 8 connection?

To conclude my Line 15 Olympic Green day I biked up to the Beijing Olympic Forest Park that was linked with Line 8 of the Beijing Subway. I didn't realise that Line 8 was in my Line 15 grasp, I took note for next time! Regardless, the vast Olympic Forest Park gave me some chill for sure, working in life in Beijing had kicked started at an almighty pace and I was lacking a scenic view! Making the most of the fresh air it was lovely to be walking at my own pace, people got on with their family time without stress. Having only seen the handover from Athens to Beijing, it was great to see the Beijing Olympic sites in real life. Line 15 had so far shown me quite a lot, the Olympic offerings had impressed me much! It begged the question, would I still be in the city to see the upcoming Winter Games in 2022? Leaving that Olympic Overness behind me, Line 15 had one more place to show me! Beijing's Subway dwarfs Wuhan's own ten times over! 对不起!

Taking my time, it was awhile longer before I found the time to travel to the Western terminus station on Beijing's Line 15. Tsinghua University had something to show me for sure, upon exiting to street level I peddled for victory to reach one of China's most famous universities. Like Wuhan University I was expecting to see an array of pleasing sights, I was living during that rare Beijing city day out. From Hua Li Kan to 清华东路西口地铁站 took me about fifty minutes, anyhow I reached the gates of that famous Chinese university, gaining access without any stress. The Beijing blue skies gave the university buildings a certain shine, it was a lovely day to be exploring, blessed! No longer a student I saw that Uni through experienced eyes. Birmingham had been the one for me, no disrespect to Tsinghua or Beijing, though! With that location found I wondered where the gardens would be? Yes, Beijing's Subway had big plans for me! Sneaking in like a pro, I biked in like many other students were doing! 北京, 我不是一个 rule breaker! No!

Trusting my Baidu Maps APP led me to the right turning, dodging the oncoming bikes like torpedos in battle I caught the right turning, I was so graciously afforded a chilled view of a period building or two. Allowing the predictable photos to be taken, I got my snaps of the scene that's featured above this section, it wasn't like anything I had seen in China. Coming from the perspective, it looked almost colonial with a European touch? Wuhan University may have had similarities but Beijing's Tsinghua University served it's own form of Realness! My whistle-stop trip to Line 15's western terminus gave me life, I have been extremely busy since I started my Montessori weekend course! Getting out of my Shunyi locality gave me life to be within the grounds of Beijing's Tsinghua University. Wangjing, the Olympic Green and Beijing's Tsinghua University all impressed me much! Regardless of the shear number of commuters, Line 15 on Beijing's Subway continues to provide the sights! Which Beijing Subway line is next? 我不知道?


Joseph Harrison 


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