Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tiananmen Square and Xi Dan

As I read Tiananmen square is a must see in china, so I made it my next place to see. Also I wanted to shop and Xi Dan area was recommended.
As usual I took a taxi to Tiananmen Square and then I found out that my camera's battery was dead.
I searched for someone that sold batteries and after a while I found one. I started taking pictures as usual, it's a really amazing place, very organized and highly secured. I have some recommendations for the visit:
First, go as early as possible because it'll get really crowded and because it's an open area it'll get really hot and exhausting.
Second, you should enter the Mao's Mausoleum but you'll need to put anything you have in the lockers across the street.
Third, Tiananmen Square is just a short walk from The Forbidden City so if you visited Tiananmen Square early enough you can then visit the forbidden city afterwards instead of doing what I did (visiting each of them in separate days).
I wanted to experience as much of Beijing as I can so I decided to take the subway to Xi Dan area. I got help from the police officers which were really nice and helpful. The subway was clean and not the crowded and it was only one stop to Xi Dan.
Xi Dan is a very large area with shopping malls (department stores) everywhere. The department stores I visited categorized its floors, each floor had certain type of stuff (men's wear, women's wear, electronics, etc). Bargaining is a must!
The first department store was a book store, 5 stories building with books about everything all in Chinese. The building had people in every floor reading and buying. I really think that's the only thing worth mentioning in Xi Dan.
I finished my first day shopping and went home out of exhaustion, while I was in the taxi I got to know how big Xi Dan really is. I'll go there tomorrow (إن شاء الله) to see what I can buy.
Here are some of today's photos:

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