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Top 10 Beijing by Andrew Humphreys

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Tian’an Men Square and the Forbidden City

The geographical, spiritual, and historical heart of Beijing, Tian’an Men Square and the Forbidden City together represent a yin and yang arrangement; one is a mind-bogglingly vast, empty, rectangular public space, the other is an even more massive, rectangular walled private enclosure. One represents modern China, complete with its Socialist monuments, refrigerated Great Leader and resonances of recent political upheaval, while the other is a silent repository of ancient imperial glories. There is enough to see around the square and in the Forbidden City to make it worth setting aside a whole day for each. One day will present a vivid impression of China as it was, and the other an equally striking ...

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