The fourth day was filled with exploring Beijing and it’s traditional attractions. Some of the group left the hotel very early in the morning and participated in a flag rising seremony that was held in the Tiananmen Square at sunrise. The event was packed with tens of thousands of Chinese people, we being one of the few tourist groups there. Selfiesticks dominated the crowd, as the seemingly endless hordes of people honored the sunrise and took pictures of the flag (and of us).
The joy of ceremony at the Tiananmen Square
After breakfast at the hotel, the original idea was to visit the Forbidden city that served as the home of many emperors from the 1400s. Due to an unfortunate communication error, the tickets were sold out already over a week ago. So instead, the rest of the group visited the Tiananmen Square and climbed to the top of the hill in the Jingshan Park. It also happens to be the highest peak in Beijing! The place provided a great view to the Forbidden city and the full Beijing skyline as well. Luckily, the visibility was pretty good as the sky was clear of pollution.
A pavilion at the top of the Jingshan Park
In the early evening we enjoyed a traditional hot pot dinner, where you prepare the food yourself by cooking it in a boiling and spicy soup. Most faces turned red as the hotness of the soup was surprisingly high even for the most hardcore enjoyers of chili among us. The food has consistently been great throughout our trip, and Chinese kitchen has managed to deliver new flavors to our enjoyment day after day. The downside of this is that the Chinese restaurants of Finland might lose some glow afterwards. After the dinner we went early to rest to prepare for the trip to the Great Wall of China early in the next morning.