Tianamen Square

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It’s not a beautiful square, per say. But rare in the fact that it’s avoided the temptation of other great city squares to capitalise its space. There’s no rows of cafes on its edges and very few hawkers selling their wares. Nor is it surrounded by 5* hotels and stores. Instead, it’s a solemn and silent place, patrolled by rows of policemen who are overlooked by the giant portrait of Chairmen Mao on the walls of the Forbidden City.

It’s a hard place to linger. It’s full of ghosts of previous events, and you have an overwhelming feeling of being watched. It’s not as vast or welcoming as I imagined, more compact and incredibly sterile. We stayed long enough to pay respects and take some photographs, and then retreated back to the welcome of the Forbidden City and the hustle and bustle of its entrance gates.

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