As I said yesterday, there are lots of people going to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and one needs to be prepared for it. I listed several discouraging facts about the Games next year. Here is a quick recap:
- 2008 Beijing Olympics will be the most highly attended in history! Good for the Olympics, bad for me.
- Several hotels (including at least one that isn’t built yet) are already completely booked during August next year. And those that have space are jacking up their prices four times the usual amount.
- There are 286,000 hotel rooms in the area but 2 to 3 million visitors coming. Not sure where they are all going to stay (myself included).
- Flights to Beijing are rising in price tenfold. There just aren’t enough seats to fill the needs of travelers.
- Tickets to the Games are hard to come by. The first phase of ticket sales has already passed. I missed it by a few weeks!
And here are my thoughts…
1. Yes, the Games might be the highest attendance ever, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Look forward to meeting a lot of interesting people from different places around the world and collectively being part of something that happens only once every four years.
2 and 3. It’s true there are so many hotel rooms. But who says you have to stay in a hotel!?!? There’s hostels, couchsurfing.com, friend’s apartments and friend’s of friend’s apartments and for who truly know no one in Beijing, there’s www.homestaybeijing2008.com. A truly ambitious local from Beijing organizes renting someone’s house/apartment/space room next August. If you must stay in a hotel, work right now with a Travel Agent to find the best deal.
4. Flights are going to be expensive. You’ll just have to budget for that. But there are ways around it. Try flying to another city other than Beijing. Then training, boating, flying to the Games. You’ll not only get to the Games cheaper, you’ll see some of China’s beautiful country side.
5. The first phase has passed, but the 2nd phase of ticket sales begin in October so be ready! In the US, tickets are sold through CoSport.com.
Hopefully, I’ve put you back on track to getting to the Games next summer. I feel like each of those bullets could be expanded into a post on their own. Keep checking here at Crouching China for some more in depth info on those topics. That’s all for now.