Wandering Tiananmen Square

On our last day in Beijing, after spending the morning recovering from our hangovers at a tea house we took a quick trip to Tiananmen Square.

Despite it being a Monday, there was still a huge queue to get into the square. Guards were checking IDs at the gate with and ID scanner, and at first I thought I wasn’t going to get in as they can’t scan my passport with it. I figured they would just want to look at it, but they just waved my girlfriend and I through. I guess we weren’t the people they wanted to keep an eye on.

Being a Monday the square was relatively empty so we had space to breathe. I was impressed by how large Tiananmen is. It’s a fine example of how to build a city – don’t keep blocking the view with skyscrapers. The vast open space is surrounded by empty roads, government buildings, museums and the entrance Forbidden City.

We had wanted to visit the Chairman Mao mausoleum but were disappointed to find that it was closed. So instead we just wandered around the square.

At the center of Tiananmen Square is a war memorial, commemorating those lost in the Second World War. China really suffered during the Second World War, and as a Westerner raised on tales of nothing but Nazi Germany it’s easy to forget what was happening in China at the time. The memorial stands in the center of Tiananmen Square, a reminder of those who gave their lives fighting for China’s freedom.

After wandering around for a while and taking some pictures, it was time to fetch our bags and fly back to Shanghai. We managed to not visit the Great Wall so we will definitely come back again at some point.

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