Morning at Tiananmen Square

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Morning at Tiananmen Square

The morning started hot and humid with a thick mist or smog covering Beijing.

The driver parked the car in a side street and we walked with our guide, Johnny to our first stop was Tianamen Square. The square was packed mainly with Chinese tourists and although security was high we were able to walk through without our bags being checked.

Tiananmen Square in BeijingThe Square is surrounded on all sides by important buildings with the Parliament on one side and the National Museum on the other. At the top end is Tiananmen which apparently used to mean ‘gate of the heavenly succession’ but was changed at the beginning of the Qing Dynasty to ‘gate of heavenly peace’

Mao’s mausoleum lies opposite Tiananmen and a long queue snakes away from the entrance with tourists waiting over an hour to have less than a minute passing his dead body.

In the centre we saw the national monument to the people, the official flag with it’s five stars – the biggest for the Communist Party surrounded by four representing the workers, the army, the farmers and the students.

Our guide explained that he could not discuss the student demonstrations in 1989 nor did he know much about them anyway.

We were not the only foreign tourists but we did get a fair amount of staring. It was not unfriendly and we even had people asking for a photo with them or their children.