So this weekend I ventured off to Tiananmen Square but my legs did not agree with me. After an hour and a half on the light rail i finally got there. A combination of sore legs and the heavy smog over the weekend just zapped me. I wandered around and made my way to the square after the usual security searches. There are several museums, monuments and cultural icons surrounding the square. Most notably is the gate leading towards the Forbidden City which has a portrait of Chairman Mao above the entrance. As you get closer to the temple there are military guards and assistants every 5-10 feet to enforce the no photographs and other rules. I wandered around the square and Forbidden City area for a while before heading out to make the rail way trek back to the hotel.
On the way back i stopped at the Oriental Plaza Mall which was a very upscale shopping mall near the downtown hub. They had all the designer stores you would find in New York along with Dairy Queen and other western chains. I had heard that there was a large gap in the economy between lower class and upper class incomes without much of a middle income. The mall was definitely upper class and fun to look around but i wasn’t interested in buying Tommy Hilfiger jeans or Timberlands. After making my way back to the Longze station i stopped by the local mall on the bus ride back. This was a nice stop as i was able to go through the grocery store and pick up some things and wander around a few more department stores. All in all It was a rest weekend from overdoing it at the weekend before. Only 2 more weekends left in China before flying home so we’ll see where it goes from there!