Thursday, 26 December 2013

Beijing or Chairman Mao is looking at you (I part)

One piece of advice, please do consider the calendar when you plan your travel to the capital of PRC - Beijing. Avoid notable dates such as the International Worker’s Day on 1st of May (if only I had checked beforehand) Women’s Day, Independence Day... You may end up getting squeezed in the Beijing Subway (Metro) and in the Forbidden City. Not so picky about place to live? Choose one of the multiple hostels near the centre so that you will be within walking distance from the sites.  

Forbidden City view looking down
Forbidden City

                                                                                                         Forbidden City

Dragons Wall in the Forbidden City
Dragons Wall
Ming Dynasty is to be blamed for the creation of this wonderful monument, now full of artefacts, jade and porcelain. Your may get disoriented after the first 20 minutes wondering around the endless chambers.   Nice art kiosks give you the opportunity buy lucky characters for present. These auspicious symbols are given at special occasions such as wedding or to attract money and professional growth.
While passing through the gate to The Imperial Palace, right behind you may sense ominous presence. Turn around and you will observe the Chairman’s Portrait. The creepy feeling, that Mr Mao has his eyes on you wherever you go. Even when you go back to your miserable democratic country.

Tian An Men Square (Guangchang)

Looking around the imposing, world-famous Tiananmen Square I spotted a huge line coming from the Mao ZeDong Mausoleum. The diligent workers waited patiently on a long queue to catch a glimpse of their famous chairman. Quite controversial leader, who has left his mark on the current role of the country in the big game.

Door Ornamentation in the Forbidden CityLate afternoon people are making photos of the soldiers changing the flags. From time to time the street merchant will try to persuade you to buy a nice kite. Note. Kite culture is not strictly associated with the younger generation. Often in the city parks men around their 50s are to be seen steering a kite and enjoying themselves.
On the Western edge of the square is the Great Hall of the People, where crucial legislative decisions are taken by the Communist Party.   

Wanfujing DaJie

Eating scorpions and snakes is not reserved for Indiana Jones. You can also get one bite. They are prepared right in front your very eyes and if you are brave enough you will munch on this delicacy. However, don’t fall into this trap of common misconception. Most Chinese are as excited to eat these exotic foods as you are. In proximity is the Night Market for souvenirs, full of pushy salesmen.    

Main Parliament Building in Tiananmen Square
Soldiers and Chairman Mao Portrait in Tiananmen Square

   To be continued.

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