Our time in China has finally come to a close! It’s been an amazing trip here, and even just the last couple of days have been full of new experiences and cool activities. We went to the famous Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Olympic Park, the Temple of the Heavens park, the National Museum of China, and of course more delicious food.
Tiananmen Square was quite impressive, apparently the “largest city center square in the world.” The largest square goes to the Red Square in Russia, but over here they’ve got the largest city center square. Or so our guide said. There wasn’t a lot to see there actually, the square is surrounded by imposing government buildings and museums, and there is a large stone column in the middle. Apart from that, it’s just a massive empty square, and we couldn’t even find the spot of the famous tank man (unsurprisingly, there is no marker for it). We moved on pretty quickly to the Forbidden City, where we joined some 10,000 of our closest friends in pushing through the ancient buildings. The tourist site was absolutely packed, but that just made it even more similar to the scenes from Mulan! It was cool to see the famous site, but after seeing so many ancient Chinese buildings it actually wasn’t all that different. And we couldn’t go into any of the buildings or see anything up close, so it was really just cool for the history and not as much for what it is today.
After the Forbidden City, we went over to the Summer Palace which is today a very large park. Three quarters of the park are water, specifically a large man-made lake with an average depth of just 1.5 meters. The park is quite beautiful, however, and has many old structures with various bits of history and significance. We walked around for a while, then went on to get some pictures of the Bird’s Nest stadium at the Olympic Park and called it for the evening.
Then we had our last day in Beijing! We first went to see the Temple of the Heavens park, which was a beautiful public park full of locals playing games and dancing. We spent a few hours out, then said goodbye to my mother and aunt as they began a long journey back to the States, and we went to the National Museum to learn more about ancient China and see some beautiful ancient decorations and artworks. We finished out the trip with an amazing dinner where we got to watch the chefs prepare all of the food and we met other travelers in Beijing. Now I’m getting everything together for a trip to Tokyo tomorrow, and so I say goodbye China and I hope to see you again someday!