Day four started off with breakfast and the bus ride to Tienemen square. Arriving was very reflective of past events and beautiful since it is the third biggest square in the world. As soon as we began to walk from the bus to the square, we were bombarded by people trying to sell us random overpriced souvenirs. I ended up caving when the guy with the fake Rolex came by. I paid 150 yuan for my fake Rolex; money well spent but sadly it is way too big for my wrist.
After buying my real fake Rolex we walked to the forbidden city. On the way, our group was bombarded by Chinese citizens who took pictures with us which is hilarious. Inside of the forbidden city was absolutely breathtaking, every piece of architecture was unbelievable. My favorite part was the corridor where only men were allowed to walk in during the Qing dynasty. It was a beautiful empty courtyard with many buildings surrounding the center. Another beautiful part was the imperial garden which was the only part in the city which had trees.
The forbidden city was amazing, but the best was yet to come. After the tour of the Forbidden City, we headed to go take a tour of HuTong, a traditional Chinese suburb. We then entered a man’s 150-year-old house where we were able to see all the culture throughout the years. This was an amazing way to see the development in Chinese culture. I also ended up bartering for two gifts right before getting back on the bus, bartering is so much fun. Next up was lunch, which was fantastic, especially the spicy cauliflower even though I could only handle a little of it.
Following lunch, we headed off to the Temple of Heaven and took a tai chi class. Tai chi was so amazing. It was the perfect mixture of calming and culturally informative which just made the experience even better. The best part of tai chi was when we finished learning the full movement set and performed the whole thing. As well as tai chi, we toured the Temple of Heaven which was super beautiful. The intricate design mixed with the fact that no nails were used in construction was honestly something to marvel at and as we approached the main part it became even better. The main part of the Temple of Heaven was a large courtyard with non-traditional colors used to show the how humble the emperor was such as green to represent earth and blue to represent the sky. The Temple of Heaven was something to awe in wonder for.
To close out the night, I decided to go out to eat with a few others at a noodle place near the hotel which was fantastic. We then went to a mall about a twenty-minute walk away. This mall was crazy, every store was either a high-end fashion store or some amazing tech store. It was super fun adventuring around although I wish the vending machines did not only take Alipay or WeChat pay. Beijing was amazing and I hope to come back again sometime!