Ben and I have visited Tiananmen and the Forbidden City several times now; however, we have yet to visit the south part of Tiananmen. After having a day where the AQI was above 400, we took advantage of the sunshine and the 20 AQI day. We headed to Qianmen (also known as Zhengyangmen). It’s now a national marker.
We were used to taking the subway either to Tiananmen East or West. This time, we took the line running parallel south to those stops and went to Qianmen. Once we got off, we headed towards the A exit. We actually had to walk up the steps, around the sidewalk, and then back down so we could go through the security checkpoint (it really didn’t take long, it was just that we could see where we wanted to go-we were right next to it, but had to take the long way around).
After we got through security, we made it to the square. We were in the square on the opposite side of the road as Tiananmen. It was neat being on the other side, since we only had viewed it from across the street.
We bought tickets (20 Kuai/person) to enter the Zhengyangmen Bridge.
It was such a nice day that you could actually see the mountains in the distance! There’s also a few levels of a museum at the top. It was interesting reading the history, like how the bridge burned down from a fire and was rebuilt.
After viewing the bridge, we walked around the Mao Zedong memorial. There were tons of people leaving when we first got there but then no one was leaving. I guess they only let so many people go there in a day.
Shopping on the Pedestrian Street
We then crossed the street (we had to go through the subway security to get to the other side of the street by using the other subway exit-B) to the pedestrian street. The pedestrian street is also known as the ancient street. It was an interesting mix of old stores and new (like H&M and Zara). There were also side streets leading into the Hutongs with more shops. As you walked down the pedestrian street, on the right there was the shopping and on the left was the food street.
This was a cute area and one where I would definitely come back. The crowds here weren’t as bad as in other places. If you check out the Forbidden City, consider making a stop to the south of it!
TOTE: There’s always more to explore.