Starting in the Centre: Tiananmen Square
Beijing is a huge place so where better to start than its centre. Today Dave and I took the subway Tianamen Square. We left in the late morning to avoid peak-hour which I can only imagine how bad it might. Fortunately he lives along the line that passes directly under Tiananmen. If you go by subway you’ll exit into the square on stations on the east and west sides. We had to drop something off first, so got off a stop up line 1 at Wangfujing then walked over to the square. Upon first sight it is a huge open space that photos and the typical TV footage a foreigner has seen doesn’t give perspective of.
The area has many soldiers both on both ceremonial duties and security. No doubt there are many also plain clothes security there too.
The main attraction that everyone knows is Tiananmen gate which provides the entrance to The Forbidden City / Imperial Palace.
Meanwhile in the centre of the square is the Monument to the People’s Heroes. The square has been the site of many major social and political events over the history of China.
On the south side of the square is the gate house which was once the entrance to the inner city. The city walls have since been removed.
The square is surrounded by important political, cultural and historical institutions. While it bustling with visitors most of these are Chinese domestic tourists, many in groups.