After a light breakfast at the hostel, we head out to our first destination which is Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The most famous historical landmark in China draws thousands of crowds from all over the world daily. We took the Beijing metro from ZhangZhiZhoulu which is where our hostel located to Tiananmen East or West Station. I'm surprised by how efficient and huge the Beijing metro network is. You could almost get to any of the Beijing attractions by train. The ticket system is fairly easy and it works just like Singapore's system and is cheaper. It cost about 2 - 4 yuan for every train that we took. I heard all public transport system in China is subsidized by the government which explains the low fare rate. However, the main issue is you have to squeeze your way through and get onto the train because its always crowded. At times you could barely move your body. I always thought Singapore train crowd was worse and now i have seen the situation in Beijing and is a lot worse than ours. Nevertheless it was a good experience of their culture.
Map of Beijing train network
A metro station in Beijing
ZhangZhiZhongLu station - 10 mins walk to our hostel
After a wild struggle on the train, we finally made it to Tiananmen Square. You can either alight at Tiananmen Square East or West station. It is believed to be the largest square in the world. In Tiananmen Square you can attend the national flag raising ceremony every morning at sunrise, visit the National Museum of China, and go to the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, in which one will see the body of the great Chinese leader. Be warned that the queue to Mausoleum of Mao Zedong could last for hours as it is the most visited attraction in Beijing and is free to enter. Overall, it was worth spending the whole morning at Tiananmen Square.
National Museum of China
Tiananmen Square with a flag of China flying high (right photo)
A Chinese public security vehicle
Great Hall of the People
Monument to the People's Heroes