Beijing Day 2: Tiananmen Square

Note: This post is written by Suanne. Ben’s comments are in quotes.

It was a wet morning when I woke up the next morning. What is better for breakfast than a hot bowl of sour and spicy noodle soup?


We had breakfast at Ben’s favourite noodle shop. It is a 24-hour noodle shop. We ventured out early to beat the crowd in Tiananmen Square. The noodle is handmade and we can see the chef at work. The sour and spicy soup is very appetizing.

A combo which comes with a soft drink and a marinated egg is RMB22 (about $3.70). One thing for sure, the noodle here tastes better than those in Vancouver. Not sure why? Perhaps, the flour or the seasoning in the flour, or because it’s freshly hand-made.

The noodle shop is called Malan. It is really nothing fancy and is one of the many chain noodle restaurants around. What I like most about the restaurant was that they pull the noodle only when you order it. So it takes a while to get it made even.

I agree with Suanne. The noodles in China is much much better than the ones we had in Vancouver. I still don’t know why. For me, in Vancouver, I normally notice the broth and the ingredients. The noodles are just, well, noodles. But here in Beijing, I find that I take note of the noodles more than I do everything else.


My first glimpse of the red wall of the Forbidden City. After breakfast, we took a slow walk to the Donganmen; one of the entrance to the Forbidden City.

The suite that I had been staying in for the past few months are just minutes walk away from the Forbidden City.

I wanted to not to show Suanne the Forbidden City. I want to leave it on for a day when she is not too tired. I mean, she just got to Beijing yesterday. I know she is tired and despite her excitement, she is dealing with jet lag.  She does look tired, isn’t she? 🙂


The above are some of the scenes outside the Forbidden City which is separated by a moat and tall wall.

I wanted to bring Suanne to walk by the walls of the Forbidden City through the side entrance. It is a lot more beautiful here and a lot more quieter. The Forbidden City has four entrances. This eastern entrance is called Donghuamen.

Too bad we did not have a picture of the Donghuamen gate. This is the gate where the concubines of the Emperor enters the Forbidden City for live long servitude. Once the concubines enters the Donghuamen Gate, they will forever stay and never leave the Forbidden City.


The above is Wu Men or the Meridian Gate. It is the first entrance to the Forbidden City. I remembered it’s name because … of it’s shape which is U-shape. There are so many gates that I got them all mixed up. I can remember the name “Wu Men” because in a lot of Cantonese opera show that involved execution, it is always carried out at Wu Men.

Wumen is the main entrance to the Forbidden City. Beyond the gates you see at the background is the Forbidden City proper. This entrance is extreme crowded in the morning every day. So it is best to come real early before the tour buses comes around.

We just went through the gates of the Forbidden City. We did not go in that day. That day we were here was a weekend and so I thought it would be really crowded. I saved the visit to the Forbidden City for a weekday where the crowd is thinner.


The doors for imperial use is decorated with nine by nine brass studs. Nine symbolises luck.


I think this is a photo taken from the Tiananmen with the Wu Men in the background. Am I right, honey?

Nope. I know it is confusing because there are so many Men’s. The word Men in Chinese is gate.

In between Tiananmen and Wumen is called the Duanmen. So what you see above is Duanmen. Anyway, this is one of the many layers of fortifications to the Forbidden City in the days when Beijing is ringed by many layers of walls.


This is the view of Tiananmen Square from Tiananmen or the Gate of Heavenly Peace. Tiananmen was the entrance …to the Imperial City within which the Forbidden City was located. So, to get to the Forbidden City, you have to pass through Tiananmen, then Duanmen (a smaller gate) and then Wu Men.  Honey, please correct me if I’m wrong.

That is correct. Never mind the name of the gates. From this point where the picture was taken on top of Tiananmen, this is where Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Security is extremely tight here on Tiananmen (the gate, not the square). There are a lot of military and plain clothes policemen every ten meters.


I just realized that I don’t have a photo of the Tiananmen. All the photos were taken from above the gate. Behind me is the Tiananmen Square.

The granite monument in the background is the Monument to the People’s Heroes.It is decorated with episodes from the China’s revolutionary history and calligraphy from Communist veterans Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai.


The above building is the China National Museum. It was huge and entrance is free. The wide street with the elaborated lamp posts is Chang’an Avenue.

Isn’t that China National Museum huge? I am always amazed at the size of this building. Actually a lot of the national class buildings in Beijing is constructed in a grand scale.


Look at the crowds. It is wise to go as early as possible or there will be a line-up everywhere you go.

Red caps … hehehe … tourists from tour buses! Stay away from them. 🙂


Here I am. Standing on the world’s largest square, Tiannnmen Square. We noticed that the visitors here are mostly locals who probably come from all over China to visit the capital. There are not many foreign tourists.


I did not enter the Mao’s Mausoleum. There was a line up already. Mao’s casket is raised from it’s refrigerated chamber for viewing every mornings and afternoons.

Oh, the above is not Mao’s Mausoleum. Is the the front of Tiananmen.


We saw some soldiers marched passed. Ben asked if I dare to walk by the soldiers side for a picture but I’m too chicken to do it.

The military personnel in and around Beijing are all so young looking. It seems like all of them are fresh out school.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lily

    Hi Suanne,

    Did you get that sense of awe when you were standing in the middle of Tiananmen and taking it all in? I did the first time I was there. Not so much in subsequent visits, but it did take my breath away on my first visit. I also remembered our tour guide asking us not to wear yellow colour pieces of outer clothing as it would call attention to ourselves in case the security people thought we were Falun Gong followers. This was about ten years ago.


    1. Suanne

      Hi Lily, yes, it’s mere size certainly awes anyone the first time they see it. We were not aware that wearing yellow ties with Falun Gong though. I thought yellow is the imperial colour.

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