Our first proper Chinese tourist outing as a group started at eight o’clock in the morning. From our hotel in Beijing, we took the bus to Tian’anmen Square, where Yang Yang gave us a quick explanation of the area and the different structures and buildings, before letting us go off on our own for about thirty minutes.
We then made our way into the Forbidden city. The design of Forbidden City reminds me a bit of a video game, with different levels, each of which you cannot reach without first making your way through others. Or at least that’s how it felt for me. The symbolism and style of the ancient Chinese architecture is so significant that I almost couldn’t tell the different buildings apart, as they were build with that meticulous attention to tradition and details. Even from the Summer Palace the day before, the buildings within the Forbidden City were very similar. I find it fascinating that each architectural and decorative decision has such tradition and importance behind it.
That night we had a delicious supper in the usual Chinese way; sharing a variety of different dishes. We also celebrated Siobhan’s birthday with a song and some yummy cake!