returning 
Train tickets for the return trip were not to be on sale until a few hours before departure.  The sales agent kept saying: "no tickets.  Information."  What she meant was, "no tickets, reservations" which was cleared up by the Embassy.  The train I wanted to get on was the Trans-Siberian (the earlier one was just Beijing-UB) and this multi-national endeavor has not figured out how to use modern IT so you are expected to queue and grab, just like it's always been done.  I didn't want to risk the delay (I was wait-listed as no. 70) so I  flew instead.
Train tickets for the return trip were not to be on sale until a few hours before departure. The sales agent kept saying: "no tickets. Information." What she meant was, "no tickets, reservations" which was cleared up by the Embassy. The train I wanted to get on was the Trans-Siberian (the earlier one was just Beijing-UB) and this multi-national endeavor has not figured out how to use modern IT so you are expected to queue and grab, just like it's always been done. I didn't want to risk the delay (I was wait-listed as no. 70) so I flew instead.
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view from my 737 seat
view from my 737 seat
Viewed: 328 times.

Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert
Viewed: 385 times.

more Gobi
more Gobi
Viewed: 311 times.

and more
and more
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and more until pollution and darkness set in as we crossed into China
and more until pollution and darkness set in as we crossed into China
Viewed: 396 times.

I had a day lay-over in Beijing and went for an afternoon walk.  The air was really, really foul.
I had a day lay-over in Beijing and went for an afternoon walk. The air was really, really foul.
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Tian An Men Square has a scale that works for me.
Tian An Men Square has a scale that works for me.
Viewed: 353 times.

Gate of Heavenly Peace
Gate of Heavenly Peace
Viewed: 278 times.

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