Day 06: Bye Bye Beijing
It was our last day in Beijing. The students had a chance to arrange their own adventures. Some chose to visit Art Zone 798 one last time. Others were confident enough to travel across the city to visit the glorious Summer Palace. There was shopping at the Silk Market and even a visit to the Temple of Heaven. We survived four days of smog warnings and Beijing gifted us these last two days of blue skies.
In the afternoon we met up to discuss the rise of communist China, the economic reforms, and the challenges to political power like the popular protest in Tiananmen Square. We finished our visit with a visit to Wanfujing street where modern Beijing, with its malls, brands, and Apple Store, meets old traditional alleys for tourists where you can buy barbecued corn and deep fried scorpions.
Tiananmen Square is filled with Chinese tourists who are excited to visit the heart of their nation. It is this place where all the great victory parades took place, major announcements are made, elaborate state funerals are held, and Mao’s body is preserved. The square is a testament to Chinese power and a great chance for that one Chinese tourist to sneak into our group shot!?!