Tian’anmen Square, Beijing, China

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Day 2, we went to Tian’anmen Square, the center of Beijing.

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You have to touch these knobs on the gate for good fortune.

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First court.

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We decided to get on the front tower to take a panoramic view of the square.

This is where the leaders of the country appear for important events in the square, including watching over the military parades.

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The view of Tian’anmen Square from the top.


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Secret police standing by the edge of the tower.

First national emblem.

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First gate.

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After entering it.

Map of the palace

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Haider (and other tourists).

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Another throne.

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This throne is mostly shown in TVs and movies.

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Going to back garden.

Hilary joined us later that day.

Gallery bridge…

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With crazy carving on its ceiling.

Stony hill.

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Getting out the palace from its back door, we saw Jingshan Park, what rumored to be an old coal hill later decorated into a beautiful imperial garden, was also here the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Chongzhen, committed suicide by hanging himself in 1644.

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We spotted an old man playing Tianjin Kuai ban at the foot of the hill.  Kuai ban an ancient form of storytelling.  It is my first time listening to it live. 

Up the hill we go.

Almost to the top, but we could already see everything in the palace.

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With Hilary, my bff since high school! We all made our way from Plano to here… somehow! who would have figured!

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National Opera theatre stood out from a bunch of historical and communist style buildings.


Sunset, everyone’s on his/her way out.

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Interesting English.

Haider is again carry backpacks, this time just Hilary’s pink backpack.

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Elderly people dancing Xinjiang style at the foot of the hill.

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We spent half an hour looking for the tree where the emperor had hang himself.  To our relieve, our efforts were not in vain Winking smile

The tree.

Haider trying out Beijing yogurt.

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Then we went to the original Quanjude roast duck shop for dinner.

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It’s only 5:30pm and the tables were full.  We had to wait for 3-5 groups of people before us.

there are three way to cut a duck, which way would u like?