Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
 

What Beijing looks like on a gloriously clear day

By Jaime FlorCruz and CY Xu, CNN
September 2, 2013 -- Updated 0147 GMT (0947 HKT)
Beijing's smog has been particularly horrendous this year. Clear days like this one are photo-celebration worthy. Check out the contrast between the good days and the bad. Beijing's smog has been particularly horrendous this year. Clear days like this one are photo-celebration worthy. Check out the contrast between the good days and the bad.
HIDE CAPTION
Quick, grab your cameras
One fine day
The sad truth
Rare sight
About time
To more transparency
To the top
Blame it on the geography
Finding a solution
Longing for clear skies
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Beijing's smog has been particularly bad this year
  • China's Action Plan for Air Pollution Control calls for $230B to be spent on pollution controls
  • The rare clear day provokes a frenzy of picture taking in the capital

(CNN) -- It is not uncommon to see tourists and residents in Beijing frequently check their smartphones and laptops to get the city's latest air quality readings, such is the problem with pollution.

This year has been particularly bad as the Chinese capital has been blanketed by smog on most days. The gritty, dangerous air has shrouded buildings and caused flights delays.

To be fair, it is not always doom and Beijing-style gloom -- the city does enjoy good days too, as the gallery above shows.

Read: Beijing pollution: Does it put you off traveling there?

But these better days seem few and far between. Recent data from measurements of particulates in the air, indicated levels fluctuating between "very unhealthy" and "hazardous," according to the US Embassy's Beijing Air, an air-quality monitoring apps.

On a few occasions the numbers were so bad they were deemed "beyond index."

Taking action

In July, China unveiled The Action Plan for Air Pollution Control (2013--2017), which calls for 1.7 trillion yuan ($230 billion) to be spent on air pollution controls over the next five years.

In a separate initative, to help reduce smog, Beijing will begin testing a new automobile pollution tax this year, the first Chinese city to do so.

The pollution tax will be collected at the city's gas stations and will be added on to the standard gas prices. Beijing is also adding more than 1,000 electric taxis this year.

These measures may not be nearly enough, but they're still music to the ears of Beijing's 17 million residents who have been spluttering in the city's bad air.

Read: Living with Beijing's 'air-pocalypse'

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 16, 2014 -- Updated 2326 GMT (0726 HKT)
Take a trip to the Chinese town that has more relics than people.
November 13, 2014 -- Updated 1742 GMT (0142 HKT)
You know about reggae and Usain Bolt -- but you probably aren't aware of these other Jamaican superlatives.
November 14, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
Artist creates brilliant tribute to Dutch impressionist painter -- a cycle route that glows in the dark
November 14, 2014 -- Updated 0633 GMT (1433 HKT)
European airlines beware: These 320kph trains are upping the travel game with roomy seats and onboard wi-fi.
November 13, 2014 -- Updated 1053 GMT (1853 HKT)
For such a relatively small collection of islands, the UK packs in an phenomenal range of beautiful scenery.
November 12, 2014 -- Updated 2237 GMT (0637 HKT)
Animals run behind the Rovos Rail train's observation balcony in Africa.
Rovos Rail's epic trips out of South Africa pamper passengers with fine dining, vintage comfort and even a bathtub.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0137 GMT (0937 HKT)
Nasir al-mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran
Self-taught Iranian photographer gains rare access to shoot religious buildings as they've never been seen.
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
The subject of erotica has a way of making people uncomfortable.
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 0037 GMT (0837 HKT)
A
UK's Heathrow Airport pairs destinations with fragrances to evoke long distance travel. We do too.
November 6, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
Bumper cars, a freefall simulator and robot bartenders are just a few of the cool features on Royal Caribbean's new Quantum of the Seas.
November 2, 2014 -- Updated 2258 GMT (0658 HKT)
Up in the mountains and across deep chasms, these bridges are both spectacular and terrifying.
ADVERTISEMENT