Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the world
Tiananmen Square is located at the center of Beijing and has an area of 440,000 m2. Here you can visit the following:
Tiananmen Tower (situated at the North end, built in 1417),
Monument to the People's Heroes (situated at the center of the Square, built in 1952),
Great Hall of the People (situated at the West of the Square, built in 1959),
Mao Zedong Memorial Hall l (situated at the South side of the Square)
China National Museum (situated at the East side of the Square, built in 2003, it is a combination of Chinese History Museum and Chinese Revolutionary Museum)
Flag-raising ceremony (between 4.45 and 5.00 am)
Flag-lowering ceremony (between 7.00 and 7.50 pm)
In Tiananmen Square you can also stroll or relax all day long, flying kites, taking shots, chatting with friends, shopping in all those shops nearby, etc.
Tiananmen Square has also witnessed a great number of important events such as
The May, 4th Movement of 1919
The proclamation of the People’s Republic of China in October 1st, 1949
Mass rallies during the Cultural Revolution
Students protests in 1989
The 1984 and 1999 military parades celebrating the 35th and 50th anniversaries, respectively, of the People's Republic of China Stay right in the middle of Tiananmen Square and take a deep breath, look at the majestic places surrounding Tiananmen. This square breathes history, makes you broaden your mind.
The Chinese are very economical - they eat every part of an animal.
We were invited to have some chicken feed one day. In order not to be impolite we tasted them. What shall I say? It's for sure not my favourite food - but maybe it's yours!
If you've already seen...
If you've already seen everything in Beijing, go and visit the countryside...three hours by train and you'll spend a nice weekend in the valley surrounded by mountains....
There are several activities you can choose from: horseback riding, rent a jeep, and in the evening you'll be served a grilled lamb, vegetables and chinese beer in karaoke bar...
Trip is very cheap, but accommodation is poor...
I wish I could remember the name of this specific little town I visited...
Fun shopping in narrow streets
Just south of Tiananmen Square is a maze of small streets lined with shops selling clothes and souvenirs. You can walk among the many small street, exploring the whole neighbourhood while beeing on a shopping spree.
Here you will find those shopping streets you think about when you think china. Lots of signs and flags and smells and people. All while hawkers cry out to the crowds that their store is the place to visit. Most stores simply have a megaphone shouting out a pre recorded message over and over again on a loop.
I can especially recommend it in the evening, maby in combination with a stroll over the square to the north, and a visit to the japaneese restaurant just south of Qianmen subway station. Mostly clothes and souvenirs
Always have your location written down
Read up on all the other taxi tips here at VT, they seriously came in handy during my trip.
The only thing I want to add is that you must have EVERYTHING written down in Chinese when you travel around Beijing. Not one driver knew any English, and we were in over ten taxis during our trip. No matter how much you say the name of your hotel in English, there's a 99% chance that they will not understand you.
If you need a special taxi service (such as negotiating with a driver to take you to the Great Wall and return you to your hotel), find a younger person who speaks some English to write the entire negotiation out for you.