Tiananmen Square

6.01 review
Sights and Museums, Outdoors, Historic Site, Plaza
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Dongcheng, Beijing, China, Beijing, China
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Los Angeles
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Well yeah I am the dork that was on the lookout for a tank to stand in front of for a photo op. Unfortunately, errr more realistically fortunately, there weren't any tanks here at the time. Let alone I didn't have a briefcase with me.

None the less this is one of the largest squares I have ever been to. I hadn't realized just how big it was or how ridiculous the lines are in China till I arrived here on my first full day in country. This place is MASSIVE! The lines for paying tourists were long, the lines for free entrance (primarily Chinese nationals) were ridiculous and then some.

Once you get into the square, well there isn't much to do except take some photos look around get your bearings and move on.

However this square is historically rather important. June 4th 1989 being the most recent item where pro democracy protesters were killed by the PRC Govt. The endearing image of one businessman standing in front of a row of tanks blocking them from moving forward is an image from my childhood that I will never forget. However it was also an important part of multiple Chinese dynasties as well. Originally a gate into the Forbidden City, the square was later built in 1651. Mao proclaimed the beginning of the PRC here in 1949 and it was involved in lots of other random acts since the 1450s. Regardless, this is one of the top 10 sized squares in the world. Over 500,000 people can be assembled here at a single time. That kinda gives some perspective to its massiveness.

From the square, it was very easy to see the southern side of the Forbidden City, Mao's Mausoleum, the National Museum, and The govt building "the Great Hall of the People". All are definitely landmarks. However I only visited the Forbidden City on my trip. I wasn't really interested in seeing Mao or a govt building either. The museum, perhaps on a future trip, I will have time to make it.

Currently though the square is just a giant open area with almost nothing in it at all except some vendors hawking goods, random tourists milling about, and a couple of flag poles.

Kewl place to have been, but not exactly what we would call an outstanding place. It is just well known. I still am sad that I couldn't get a pic in front of a line of tanks.

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