Beijing : Tiananmen Square with Gate of Heavenly Peace, Forbidden City (Imperial Palace), Pearl shop, Summer Palace, and Peking Duck dinner. Weather: Cloudy with smog (can’t see sun), 45* in AM & 79* in PM
We get up at 6 and have breakfast and leave on the bus at 7:30. Our first stop is at Tiananmen Square – the largest public plaza in the world – built at the height of the Ming Dynasty. The square’s Gate of Heavenly Peace was once used as a staging ground for imperial edicts and by Mao Zedong himself to declare the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. There are four different areas surrounding the square, including a large statue in front of government building, a large tower for Tiananmen Square, Square’s Gate of Heavenly Peace (Mao Zedong), and the National Museum of China.
I was intrigued with ‘people watching’ while in the crowds.
Next we saw some of the furnishings inside the Palace of Gathering Excellence, which was the residence for imperial concubines. The Empress Dowager Cixi lived here.
Some of the carvings on roofs and the side of buildings:
It has been a very full day and is time to head back to the hotel. On our way to the bus we pass some stands with local delicacies:
On our way back to the hotel we stop at a pearl shop. They have pearl necklaces for as much as $6,000. Once again I just window shop. We make it back to the hotel with an hour before going to a ‘Farewell Dinner’ for those not going on to Hong Kong, about 2/3’s of the group. Dinner featured China’s famous Peking Duck!
We say good byes, go to our room to pack everything up to fly to Hong Kong in AM. Get to bed by 10.