The CCTV Tower and its (future) neighbouring buildings are the emblem of metropolitan Beijing, and you can spend countless hours simply orbiting past these gigantic buildings on a circular road. The tower is no longer accessible to unauthorised personnel, even though the architect Rem Koolhas dearly hoped to integrate a looping walkway for visitors into the building. After driving in circles around the tower for four days, our guide eventually confirmed that the CCTV Tower wasn’t even a proper loop; maybe it was a twisted one at best. We also found out by accident that our guide’s agency had been constantly monitoring our concentric movements via GPS and repeatedly demanded that our guide justify our course over the phone. We spent the last three afternoons in Beijing’s old Drum Tower. Until 1924, the tower was used to keep track of Beijing Time, informing the city’s inhabitants several times daily with the help of more than 25 large drums. In recent years, this tradition has been resumed.

26.10.2016, Beijing