Saturday, May 5, 2012

Beijing Day 3

We first went to Tiannamen Square, the largest public square in the world. It is surrounded by government buildings and museums, including the mausoleum of Mao Tse-tung, which is enormous. There were 2 lines to people waiting to get in that rivaled any lines I've ever seen, even at Disney World! :)

We were celebrities here as at least 10 different groups of people asked to have their pictures taken with us. Around Beijing we have seen many western tourists, but I guess here many of the Chinese tourists from other provinces don't see Caucasian people that much. We were an oddity for sure.

We then walked over to the Forbidden City, a huge complex of different towers and structures used by the emperor. We only visited a third of it but we saw plenty. We were able to meet the last emperor's nephew here--he is only here about 2 times per month. He is a painter and calligrapher and we had him to do a small calligraphy painting for us--the Chinese symbol for love along with our names in Chinese.

After a delicious lunch (lots of different Chinese dishes on a lazy susan), we went to the Summer Palace, which was 4 times larger than the Forbidden City. There was a man-made lake, Lake Kunming, and many, many towers, pavillions,and other structures surrounding the lake. We walked the long corridor, a huge covered walkway with seemingly endless paintings and decorations. It was built by one of the emperors for his mother. We took a boat to the other side of the lake before returning back to our hotel.

 Tiannamen Square
 Forbidden City--Yu Fu, nephew of China's last emperor
 Summer Palace--The Long Corridor
 Summer Palace
Forbidden City

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