The places here are very large and require lots and lots of walking. We visited Tiananmen Square. There were soldiers and police everywhere marching and standing at attention. We saw a few other tour groups including a nice group of students from New Zealand.
QUICK FACT - The Square is the largest in the world and when the Chinese celebrate their version of the 4th of July in October the Square holds over 1 million people!
Next we visited the Forbidden City. It took over a 1 million workers three years to construct a private residence for the Emperor and his wife. Our guide said that in ancient times the marriage ceremony was so large and expensive it would be the equivalent of 500 million dollars today.
QUICK FACT - it took 60,000 artist three years to decorate the Forbidden City. Below are two photos from the City
After this we went to the Temple of Heaven the largest park in Beijing where people gather to sing, dance, play cards and do Tai Chi. Below James our Tour Guide gives us a tour of the part of the park.
We went to a shopping center and had a great time haggling. Here is a picture of the group in front of the hotel and with our Tour Guide James and the Tour Operator Carl. They were both great and friendly and helped the students with prices when we went shopping for gifts.
Then we were off to the airport. Our flight left late and after a 45 minute bus ride we arrived at the hotel at 1:30 AM. We are off to breakfast and then school.
All the students are really tired and will wait until tomorrow or the next day to leave a message. Most of them probably didn't get to sleep until 2 AM.
Tomorrow - The School