China in 2007 - Part 2

2022/08/22

This is a continuation from my previous post about my work trip to Beijing in 2007, when I worked for a company that sold railroad measurement equipment.

About halfway through the time I was there, I had a weekend free, so did a bit of sightseeing. On the Saturday, I went to The Forbidden City (紫禁城) and Tiananmen Square (天安门). I took a cab to the center of Beijing to the front of the Forbidden City.

Street between Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City

There was a lot of construction in progress when I went, as there was a big push to do restoration work before the Olympics. There were a number of flyers and signs that asked English speakers to point out any translation issues with existing signs.

Courtyard inside main gate

I knew it was big, but you don’t really get a sense of scale from pictures. It was much bigger than I expected.

Courtyard with stream

There were nooks and gardens everywhere, in addition to the giant plazas.

“Throne building”

“garden with stone structure and tree”

“Bamboo, stone railing, wooden building”

Despite its size, almost everywhere was crowded. There were some opportunities to find empty spaces in some of the places farthest from the entrance.

“Looking down row of arches”

Some more pre-Olympics construction here:

“Pre-olympics construction”

Before I left, I walked around Tienanmen Square. Everything is enormous. You can see how smoggy Beijing was that day.

“Great Hall of the People”

“Zhengyangmen Gate”

“Mao’s Tomb under renovation”

Another day, I went to the Summer Palace (颐和园), which is a huge compound of gardens in the northwest of the city from the Qing dynasty. I’ll put that into part 3.