Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tian'an Men Square, Beijing

On a recent trip to Beijing I made my way to the Forbidden City and near the entrance is Tian'an Men Square. I was very surprised at the size of it. I had seen photos and of course heard about the famous student protests there in the late 80s, but I was still amazed at the size of the square. 

Unfortunately the tomb was closed at the time I visited so i was unable to enter it, but I did walk from one end to the other viewing the various buildings and statues. There were long lines of Chinese tourists going through the security screening area to visit the site. I learned that it is an important national site for locals to visit, and of course it's free to enter.

If you'd like to make a day of it, it is best to start at Tian'an Men Square and head north to visit the Forbidden City. The only entrance to the Forbidden City is near Tian'an Men Square and the only way to exit is to the north. The Forbidden City is quite large and you could easily spend 3 hours wandering around the different buildings and spending time in the garden. Once you exit the Forbidden City on the north end, cross the street to enter Jing Shan Park. The entrance fee is very cheap, I paid 2 yuan. 

In Jing Shan Park you can climb to the top to visit the viewing area for fabulous views of the Forbidden City on a clear day. Once you are finished wandering around the park, head north to Bei Hai where you can wander around the shops, visit a bar or restaurant for music, drinks and food.

For more shopping, just south of Tian'an Men Square, there is a market place for food and souvenirs sold in buildings with European style architecture.  

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