Beijing Sex Shops Signal A New Cultural Revolution

Within walking distance of our guesthouse in central Beijing, I was surprised to come across three shops specializing in adult products and noticed even more interspersed throughout the city. Nothing like that had ever crossed my sights when I spent a year living here as a student a mere decade ago. Today's shops sell massage devices, oils, lingerie and other treasures once striclty forbidden in the People's Republic.

Yong He Gong Temple Slideshow

Scenes from Beijing's Lama Temple, the best-known Tibetan Buddhist temple in China.

Medical Fortune Telling

Dim natural light streamed into the room, where a hospital bed stretched nearly the length of one wall. A monk, two translators and four of my fellow correspondents crowded around me as a Taoist doctor rattled off my diagnosis.


“No, breast disease...

“No, not now. In the future. Maybe.”

I panicked, searching the eyes of each person in the room for reassurance. Nothing. My colleagues looked glad they were not in my position.

My Serendipitous Meeting

I had just finished conversing with store owners along Dianme Wai with the help of Li Min, one of our interpreters, when I decided to pop into a clothing boutique and check it out. That's where I met 26-year-old Yan Ying Zhi, a recent college graduate, super-friendly, who was excited to practice her rusty English on me.

"Go with me to other store," Yan smiled, offering to help me, after I'd discovered that nothing in the store was going to fit me.

I nodded, returning her smile and followed her out the door.