Note: This post is written by Suanne. Ben’s comments are in quotes.
After lunch at the Goubouli, we visited the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall. It is located near the Tiananmen Square. This is a place where you can see Beijing’s past, its present day and its future plans.
I thought this would be a great place to bring Suanne for orientating her to the layout of Beijing. This is a lesser known attraction in Beijing. For those of you who likes to find out more about Beijing as a city, this is a great place to start with.
Entrance to the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall is RMB30 (CAD$5) per person.
Things that I remembered which we did not take a photo or unable to capture with a camera is there is a glass floor on the third floor which covers half of the entire hall where an aerial photographs of the city is exhibited with sounds and light shows. There is also a huge electronic book that supposed to turn the page at the wave of the hand but we can’t seem to get work. I also remembered seeing a section of other stadiums used in the Olympics besides the famous Bird Nest and Water Cube.
There is a 3D model of the Forbidden City. Ben reminded me of the gates that I had just passed through this morning like the Wu Men, Duanmen, Tiananmen and Zhengyangmen.
Having been to the Forbidden City several times already, I am quite familiar with the layout. Only about half of the Forbidden City is opened to the public, did you know that? What I hope to see some day is they open up the entire Forbidden City and I would certainly love to walk along the walls. I bet the view will be great from there.
There is a huge bronze relief lining the stairway between the second and the third floors which showcase Beijing in 1949. The city’s focal point is the the gilded Forbidden City on the impressive ten-meter high and nine-meter wide relief.
The most impressive is the exhibition which features miniature model of the entire Beijing metropolitan area.
Yeah, quite jaw dropping. They apparently keep this model up to date even though Beijing is building at a frenetic pace. See the areas outside of the models? Well, it is actual satelite photos extension of whole Beijing. Yeah, you can even walk to the end of the hall where the Summer Palace is.
The orange patch of buildings is the Forbidden City and the lake beside it is Zhongnan Hai which is the the central Chinese government operate from.
The bird eyes view gives you a sense of the incredible size of the metropolis.
Here is a close up view of the 3D buildings in the model.
The apartment where we stayed is right in the center of the picture above. See? Just walking distance to the Forbidden City.
The above odd shape building with a hole in the center is Beijing’s CCTV building.
We watched a 4D movie here too for RMB10 extra (about CAD$1.70). It is a bird’s eye view of the city in a virtual ride like those you find in Disneyland. It gives you the sense of flying over the city. It was exciting but the show is very short; just a few minutes.