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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tian'anmen Square - Halls And Monument : The Largest

Why so cerah? It’s only 5 in the morning…” I angrily woke up and winked my eyes towards the flashy sunrise.
“Get up…we have to walk to Forbidden City to find the tour hub…” hubby forced me.

The key plan was to find one of the Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch located near the Tian’anmen Square, to catch a one day tour to Great Wall and Ming Tombs. Let’s see whether we can make it or not ya!

We went down and show the city map to the front desk.
“How to go to Tian’anmen Square?” I showed her the Mandarin writing.
“Errr…sher ni men jia…errr…khe ni phu chio je…wait, wait…” lost in translation.
“Yes?” The same lady, who checked us in yesterday, came to see us. She spoke little English. She then showed us the way to the Tian’anmen Square, as drawn on the map. We knew that all places looked closer on map, but based on our city walking tour in Asia, Tian’anmen Square didn’t look far for us.

Left, second traffic light, turn right, and then go straight. Wah, so easy. We made a move, passed the “hutong” (alley) and ended at Wangfujing Street. The first thing that we saw, the famous extra-tall China basketball player, Yao Ming!

No, no, not him, physically, but his 3-storey height figurine, holding a ball, hang outside the mall’s window. (Do you know that his parents also played for national team? WOW!)
This famous shopping street has lots of shopping centers along the roadside. There were two major malls, one of which, Oriental Plaza, a complex that has department stores, souvenir stores, boutiques, bookstores, and food stalls. (More info on this in the next post ya.)
“This traffic light ke?” hubby asked.
“No, it should be the second traffic light. There.” It was 200 meters away from us. Gosh!
“Go here la…” hubby recommended turning to the first traffic light, not knowing whether it was a good idea or not, going different direction as what has been told to us.
We actually did turn at the first junction, walked on the bicycle lane, passing few malls, and ended up entering a park.
… (vague impression).

…..(still having vague impression for at least 2 minutes).
“Betul ke ni? Let’s ask that officer.” I pointed to one guy in soldier-green uniform.
“Ni hao… Tian’anmen Square?” I showed him the map. (I bet he didn’t get what I asked.)

Without saying a word, by just looking at the picture on map, he pointed us to go straight. We crossed the road and entered the park. It was BEAUTIFUL! With chain-string green leaves dangling down towards the small canal, statues and traditional Chinese park benches, workers doing their routine on cleaning the park with a bottle of Chinese green tea and cigarette at fingers, old folks doing tai-chi, everything was in place.
We finally reached another end and,
“TU! TU! FUIYOOOOO!” I pointed to a very huge and large open space that happened to be the largest square in the world!
“How to cross the road?” Believe me, the road was REALLY WIDE to be crossed. 6 jam-packed lanes with cars and buses. There was police traffic too. And there was no zebra crossing that we can find to walk on to.
“GILE RAMAI ORANG!!!” Again, believe me, it was like the whole China was there! In fact, this Tian’anmen Square can hold up to 1 million people at a time! We saw no tourist! All locals from old folks to kiddies, in their flashy skirts, jeans, and flowery umbrellas! Street hawkers selling cold ice water and that moment, I knew that I had to buy one…or two…or three…we’ll see.

Avoiding people who went to the right, we decided to cross the road. Finding a way on how to cross the road, we finally saw locals going down the tunnel. Owh, got tunnel la. Dush! We walked down the steps and went to the other side.
The first thing that we tried to look for was the Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch. A government-run company that offers cheap and affordable one day tour package to many famous attractions around Beijing. By hiring this company, you can skip all those illegal, conned and ripped-off tour companies.But we couldn’t find it! We didn’t see any signboards or buildings, and we had no idea where to go. They supposed to have 3 hubs, but we found none!

Fine. Hubby consoled me to take the package offered by the hotel. No choice.
“So what are we going to do today?” “We walk around la…switch today with the Great Wall plan.”

Meaning, we will do Tian’anmen Square, Forbidden City, Beihai Park (Winter Palace), The Egg, and shopping…maybe at Silk Market? WOW! Can we do all these?!

We walked towards the square and saw one huge building on the left. We got to know that it was the National Museum of China. It was one of the Ten Great Constructions that is declared during the 10th birthday of People Republic of China. Digitally displayed in front of the entrance, this museum has received 31 million (31,224,200 to be exact) of visitors in 86 days! I lied if the screen lied ok!
We didn’t include ourselves into the numbers. (Yes, even it’s free. We had enough with museums in Vietnam.) We directly went to the two gigantic screens that advertised on China tourism. In the rear, there was the Monument to People Heroes that commemorates all China modern heroes. The 38 meters height pedestal, glazed by Mao Zedong’s words, has kept many revolutionary events in China modern history. We tried to hit a pose with the monument in between us by using an auto-timer, but due to TOO MANY people walking behind us, blocking this Buddhist-style building, we didn’t manage to get a good one! We’ve tried, I think, more than 10 times! And this was the best.
We got fed-up! There were soooooooooooo many people, most of them were locals from all over the places in China, who seemed to take a day tour around Beijing, just like what the tourist had. Do they need this? Well…China is big, so we assumed, these locals came from outskirts, first time in Beijing, like Kedah or Perlis people come to Kuala Lumpur la.
And they were queuing for what? 100 meters of zig-zag line, heading to Mao Mausoleum? Yup. The resting place for Mr. Mao, the Chairman of the Politburo of Communist Party from 1943 till his death in 1976, who they adore and respect. To be fair to Uncle Ho Mausoleum, we excused ourselves from entering in. No way! Yeah, it’s free and open only half day, but queuing behind those locals will definitely waste our time.
With Mao Mausoleum on the south, Tian’anmen Gate on the north, Monument to People Heroes at the center, National Museum on the east, we saw Great Hall of the People at the west of the square. This hall held all national congress and diplomatic meetings, been said even larger than Forbidden City, IS the largest hall structures in the world! Haih! All largest-largest la here! To be in the hall, spend RMB15, you can feel what state leaders feel. (No, we didn’t. Haha!)
“Jom, gerak gi gate.”

We walked north (Chinese use compass meh?) towards the Tian’anmen Gate, that hold Mao’s picture at the same red rostrum where he declared the People’s Republic on Oct 1st, 1949. This gate separates the square with Forbidden City. From this also known as Gate of Heavenly Peace, you can see young troops, raising and lowering China flags, every sunrise and sunset. (Be there 30 minutes earlier to get a very good view on the rostrum by paying RMB15 ya.)
Since it was neither sunrise nor sunset, we didn’t get a chance to enjoy that. So we proceed to the Forbidden City! Wooho!


Lily Riani said...

hahahha... tiennamen square tuh memang macam tuh, i kat situ afternoon... giler ramai orang, queue for mao place tuh pun panjang cam dlm gamba u... i pening... and gambar semua muram. apparently they only time yg nampak blue sky masa 2008 olympic, they close down factory and control the polution.

i memang jenis alergic to dust & polution etc... 2 minggu tuh sesak napas... cam nak pengsan.

Biqque said...

tu la lily, TIAP2 ari ramai orang tau! on the way ke great wall pun still nampak ramai orang kat situ, padahal selasa! gile arh!

kitorang takde la sesak napas, tapi taik idung itam! hahahaha!

suhaisweet said...

Nice one!, Visit my latest, goin' to touch ur heart, hopefully ;D

TheBubblyMe said...

x pg pon melawat Mao tuh.. we went there morning.. and x der org bratur mcm tuh.hahaha rupa rupa nyer tutup. kihkih.

Biqque said...

tutup? hahahaha! mustahil takde orang kan...

ala tak yah masuk kot...

dibitz said...

ramainye manusiaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! kalau i, taik hidung jadi batu dah!!

byya said...

omg...mmg xsanggup nak beratur panjang mcm tu. mase kat vietnam tgk ho chi minh pon superb ramai mcm tu, nasib baik guide kitorang srh pegi awal2 pagi. tapi tian'anmen mmg kene ade dlm itinerary :)

anisizatyA.J said...

Gila awesome! Kalau pergi time CNY mesti lg havoc

Biqque said...

dib, gile kena guna minyak pelincir nak kuarkan batu taik idung hahaha!

byya, tian'anmen square HARUS ada dlm itinerary!

anis, ya Allah mcm tak sanggup je nak gi time CNY...zzzz...

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