Tuesday, March 29, 2016

China/Korea 2009: day 6 (Beijing)

Beijing day 2: Saturday 10/3/09
Map of my Beijing stops, this day in magenta; here are the photos from today. Yellow highlights in the text correspond to flags on the map.

Got up and wandered down Wangfujing St, was going to catch the metro at the end of the street and go up to the Temple of Heaven, but I spent too long meandering and neglected to note when the Temple closed, so I missed it. Ran into a couple who I had met the day before on the Wall tour and they treated me to lunch near their hotel – it only cost about $3 and was filling but good. Place was called Merry Home. Wangfujing is mostly a pedestrian market on the southern half, with supermarkets, clothing stores, jewelry stores, fast food, pretty much everything. Near the end is the Night Market with all the nasty food on a stick, like scorpions, larvae, and starfish. It's all great for people watching and just wandering.

Made a right on Xichangan St which passes between the Forbidden City on the north side and Tianenmen Square on the south, and after a few pictures with Mao's portrait I crossed over and went into the Square. The National Day parade had been just two days before, and the Square had been closed to the public for practicing for weeks; all of the floats from the parade were parked in the Square, so the Square was jam packed with people celebrating. I bought some flags and medals to get into the spirit of it. On the east side of the Square is the National Museum and on the west is the Great Hall of the People, which I think is where their Assembly meets. Didn't have time to go into either, and for some reason Mao's Tomb was closed due to the holiday. Spent about 4 hours there, which covered daytime, flag lowering, dusk/sunset, and darkness, so I got some really good photos. Went souvenir shopping in the mall nearby (where I had dinner the night before) and at dinner at a hole-in-the-wall place in the hutongs nearby. Cab back to the hotel.

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