Sunday, February 22, 2009
This afternoon, Becky, Rebecca, Carolyn and I went to Tiananmen Square. According to the guidebooks it's the biggest square in the world at 3,000 square meters. We walked around, taking pictures of all the buildings and things. There's a large tower (I think it's a monument to something) in the square, with several government buildings on the sides. They're all called The Peoples' something something. All around the square are guards dressed in long green coats. These guys are all over the city, but apparently here they carry guns (I don't know if that's particular with these guys or if it's true all around the city. Probably best not to test it :P). At the far end of the square is the iconic building with Mao's portrait hanging in the center. The left side says "Long live the People's Republic of China (zhong hua ren min gong he guo wan sui)". I'm not sure about the right side, but I'm sure you could look it up. This is where the gate was, because I think they tore it down to make way for this monument to Mao when he died. Tiananmen literally means "Gate of Heavenly Peace" (tian天-heaven, an安-peace, men-gate). It's the southern gateway to the Forbidden City.