Tiananmen Square, Beijing
Favorite thing: I was there 3 years ago this November, from memory we arrived about 10am, Fistly do you know that you have to go across the road and leave everything there, e.g. camera, bags etc. it is not hard finding where you have to go, you are given a ticket and then go back across the road and get in line. I did not find the time a problem when I was there, I would guess it took about 10 mins standing in line, slowly moving all the time, the line moves quite quickly and of course it is interesting just to be there. I was not with a tour so there were no other westeners there at the time, lost of Chinese tourists. There is a stall selling flowers (artificial) just before you enter I can't remember how much they were charging but lot's of Chinese were buying them, you find a statue of Mao first and that is where the flowers are placed. My guess is that they are continually reused, someone might contridict me on that point. I have read a couple of Mao's bioghrophy's and of course heard the speculation on wether or not it is his body or a wax model, no matter it was quite strange and interesting being there, then get ready for the souviner's for sale as you leave. Enjoy your time it is a facinating country.
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
Fondest memory: 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.
During the week long National Day celebrations around October 1 they bring out Sun Zhongshan's portrait, some political slogans, and a bunch of pretty flowers. The China government used to roll out similar large paintings depicting two old Eastern European men with long beards (Karl Marx and some other founder of communism) but now the only bearded fellow you'll see in Tiananmen Square is Colonel Sanders standing in front of the KFC at the southwest corner.
Fondest memory: The Chinese characters visible in photo #2 mean "excellent" and are part of a long National Day political banner surrounded by pretty flowers.
Fondest memory: You can climb onto the Tiananmen Gate to get a good view of Tiananmen Square. The Tiananmen Gate's second floor used to be closed to the public, but now you can look at the meeting areas of political leaders. Very interesting. It's just that you have to go through very strict security upon entering.
Fondest memory: You can feel the power and strength of the country when you stand on Tiananmen Square. Tiananmen Square and Gate are so politically symbolic of China. With a huge picture of Chairman Mao at the entrance of the gate, you know that you are standing at the heart, the control center of China. The enormous size of the square itself also symbolizes the strength of the country.
I have already seen how they fold the Chinese flag on evenings, after the sunset. I saw it from accross the street, near Mao's portrait. I didn't think it was impressive at all and I wouldn't recommand it to anyone.
But I decided to go see the flagrise with friends. We stayed out all night and arrived at Tiananmen Sq. around 3.30 AM. I was amazed to see how relatively crowded this place was at such an early hour ! Actually, we cannot go into Tiananmen Sq. as it is close and only opens at 4.30 AM. So we waited on the side and talked to people who were selling souvenirs to kill the hour.
Every day, the flag rise depends on the time when the sun comes out, you should be able to check the time out on newspapers. Try Beijing Youth Newspaper.
Once Tiananmen Sq. opened, everyone was running towards the flag podium, it was crazy ! There was music (chinese anthem of course) when the flag rose. I thought it was special and I've never been so proud to be Chinese !!
Tiananmen Square is one of the world's largest squares. There is always a lot happening there...
It is always nice, when we don't have anything to do, to have a stroll there. I love to watch the multiple and various kites flying over the people. No where else have I seen so many beautiful kites...
Sometimes, I am just amazed to see that kites can fly so high in the sky... Also, it is a pleasure to see kids playing and running all around...
Favorite thing: The world largest square is located on the opposite side of the gate of the forbidden city. It is famous because of Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, which has free admission. Unfortunately this square has also been the settings -during the past years - for different political reasons.
Fondest memory: With an area of some 400,000sq.m, is the largest square in the world today. Here you will find the 'Monument of People's Heroes' in the centre, 'Chairman Mao Memorial Hall' to its south, 'Tian An Men Rostrum' on its north, the 'Great Hall of the People' on its west, the 'Museum of the Chinese History' and the 'Museum of Chinese Revolution' on the east. The Square is listed top among Beijing's 16 scenic spots.
Fondest memory: Lion is a special animal to Chinese people. A pair of stone lions, a male and a female, can often be seen in front of the gates of traditional buildings. The male lion is on the left with his right paw resting on a ball, and the female on the right with her left paw fondling a cub.
Favorite thing: This photo is taken from the Tian An Men Gate, where I stood directly over the big Mao portrait. The entrance fee is very expensive. And I think it is not worth it. But for the Chinese people this Gate is very important as Mao Zedong proclaimed the formal establishment of the People's Republik here. That was on Oct. 1st 1949. I was there around Oct 1st 1993 invited by the Beijing Language Institute (no entrance fee :) ). The Tian An Men Suqare was full of flowers and people.
Fondest memory: What impressed me most in Beijing? Well, crowded almost everywhere. I remember the local people told me never go out on holidays. I didn't take their kind suggestion then and so I went to Tian'anmen square. WOW!!! Then I really regret - tooooooo maaaaaannnnyyyy people!!(I am not lieing. Looking at the picture so you know.) You have to walk chest to back against each other. A ten meter distance took 10 minutes to finish. That's crazy! But that's also one very special experience for me.
In Beijing, remember wake up earlier and go out for some morning walk, you can feel the energetic side of the city. Walk along the Cheung On Street from Wang Fu Jing to the Tian An Mun Square, you will find the morning sun is climbing up right behind you. At about six every morning, old people gather at the Square for exercise while the Liberation Army hold the Flag Lifting Ceremony.
Fondest memory: Tian An Mun is a must see site. It is so historical and it has been the center of capital for many centuries. Worldwide known events or issues either recent one or happaned decades ago were taken place right here.
the People's Hall
This building is one of the most important polictial centres of People's Republic of China.
If you are a foreigner and has no idea of the Chinese political structure, I think you can regard it as another parliament building. :-)
GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE
Tian An Men square has got several highlights: south of the Palace Museum and north of Tiananmen Square is the Ming Dynasty rostrum of Tiananmen (gate of Heavenly Peace ). From this vantage point you can scan the golden roofs of the place and the square which is called 'the heart of China'.