So, I think we should’ve done Beijing at the beginning of our trip. We would’ve been much more impressed and fresh. Yesterday after getting settled into our hostel we walked to the Forbidden City. It was big, hot, and paved as far as the eye can see. The architecture was amazing; bigger buildings followed by even bigger ones, but we were so hot and squashed by the crowds to truly enjoy it. I think we are also a bit Chinese-architectured-out. We were hoping for a more interactive / educational exhibit that told us more about the daily lives of the emperor and his consorts. Instead it’s simply the structures.
We spent about an hour and a half, then exited toward Tiannenmen square having entered at the North “military” gate. From there we took a sidetrack over to Wangfujung shopping street for some lunch, ice cream, and a trip to a giant toy store. Zoe had a great time at the store running around all the toys. In the basement was a huge playpark that she and Bryan enjoyed for an hour. After the much needed air conditioning we walked back to Tiannenmen for some pictures and a walk across the square. There is security checking bags to get into the square, but nothing unexpected for a capital city. It was later in the evening and cooling off, so it made for a nice walk. Zoe liked running around in the open space, until Chinese people accosted her for pictures; then it was “mommy, mommy, mommy”. Poor thing really wants to just be a kid, but can’t be left alone.
We then walked farther south to the Qianmen shopping/bar area. It made us remenisce to a time about 3 years ago when we would’ve been able to enjoy a night out on the town. Would’ve been a blast. Zoe did enjoy all the cheapo shops and statues of dragons in front of them. We hopped a city bus back to our hostel and had noodles for dinner in our room. Tired.