Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tiananmen Square National Flag and Wangfujing Street

With only 3 days left in Beijing one starts to think...What do I want to see before I leave? I was interested in seeing the National Flag come down. Since the raising of the flag occurs at sunrise and the taking down happens at dusk we opted for the latter. Sandy has been wanting to visit Wangfujing Street which is a short distance from Tiananmen so we decided to bundle to 2 together. We left the apartment around 3:30 and took the subway down to Qianmen. The square was full of people apparently there for the same reason we were. We were able to get some pictures of the Soldiers and the Workers memorial statues on either side of Mao's tomb. In the past this area had been blocked off to visitors. This is the soldier's memorial statue:

Us in front of the statue:

Close up of some of the figures:

The Hero's Memorial:

The crowd gathering at dusk:

Even the street sweepers gathered to show their respect:

The flag is slowly lowered down the pole. I had thought that they'd play the national anthem but I was wrong. The honor guard takes the flag down and places it on a smaller pole and carries it over to Tiananmen gate and the ceremony is over:

After the ceremony was over we hopped on the #1 subway for 1 stop to Wangfujing Street. This area is a combination of 5th Ave and Times Square all in one. It is a pedestrian only street that is lined with expensive designer name shops as well as cheap souvenir shops.

One of the unique attractions is the snack street. Snack Street is a small alley off of Wangfujing where you can buy snacks. This is a picture of the gate:

The alley is lined with small stalls selling assorted delicacies such as...
Scorpions and Sea Horses:

Beetles on a stick:

Star Fish and Lizards:

Sandy is wondering what all these things taste like...
What is that your eating? Looks like yak eyes...

The alley was swarming with people and was very crowded:

Me and Olivia at a souvenir stand:

It was time to go as you can see Olivia is passed out in the pack...

We leave on Wednesday and we'll see what we can do before we leave...

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