Friday, August 13, 2010

Beijing: Tianamen Square and Forbidden City

Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City are probably the most iconic places in Beijing.  Tiananmen square is the largest city square in the world.  It was designed in 1651.  Tiananmen Square faces this gate, Tiananmen Gate, which means, "Gate of Heavenly Peace."  To the left of Chairman Mao reads, "Long Live the People's Republic of China."  The right reads, "Long Live the Great Unity of the World's Peoples."

You'll notice the ridiculous amount of flags in this picture.  Those are tour groups.  You find your group by your flag.
A little performance for a school group.
There are a crazy amount of cameras EVERYWHERE!  This is just one lamp post of many...there are some every few feet or so...

The Forbidden City was home to emperors and their families for almost 500 years during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.  It was built between 1406 and 1420.  There are 980 buildings in total and it sprawls over 7,800,000 square feet.  It is enormous!
We tried the pics in the pot again, but these pots were just too gigantic!  So many people were wondering what we trying to do...and yep, there is even a tour group flag in the pic.
Tradition vs Modern
This picture was taken just to show the massive crowds of people everywhere.
Here's a better pot pic!
Always so many intricate designs on rooftops.
I love bamboo.  This looks like a nice Senior Pic shot!
I suppose I may need a post dedicated to the pots.  Don't laugh at my rolled up was sooo hot!!! I was melting!
Goodbye Forbidden City
We headed to the park across the street.  You can climb to the top to see a birds eye view of the Forbidden City...that was our goal.  But then the heat, humidity, and though of climbing the massive hill...kept us at the bottom.
Read the next pic on the significance of this tree.
After seeing this sad site, we ran across...what???  Dinosaur bones, I don't even think they were real.
And then we turned a corner and what??  This park was filled with these dinosaurs...the brontosaurus even growled at Amanda and it scared her half to death...haha!
Here...I had hit a milestone.  In all of my time in Korea, I have always been able to find a Western toilet.  I wasn't so lucky in China.  So, here, in Jingshan Park...I, successfully squatted for the first time!  It took me 5 really isn't that bad.
There was an even nicer park alongside the Forbidden City.  They are always using these brooms to sweep away the leaves.  I was already posing with horrible rolled up jeans, why not grab the broom and make an even bigger fool of myself.

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