On the Eastern side of Tian’anmen Square is the National Museum
As you walk up the steps of this amazing museum there are these wonderful statues of people in a queue..they look just so special.
The parachute jumpers are great too…
We had to queue for a little while as we arrived just before 10am and it was already boiling hot with no shade – there were probably 100 people or more lined up before us. We assumed the museum opened at 10am but its opening hours are 9am-5pm and closed on a Monday. We lined up to buy our tickets, then lined up to show our photo identification and then lined up to go throughout security before entering the incredibly large doors to the museum. But this is all worth it as once inside you will find a most magnificent building. When I went it had only been open a short time as it was closed for refurbishment and expansion for about three years.
The museum has more than forty halls, and there are several permanent exhibitions. Two I visited were ‘Ancient China’ and ‘The Road to Rejuvenation’. The ‘Road to Rejuvenation’ reflects the Opium War of 1840 onward. It also displays protests of people who had suffered, and attempt at rejuvenation (hence its name).
The other permanent exhibition of ‘Ancient China’ is on display over ten galleries. I never made it to all ten as the museum is so big that it would take more than one day to view everything. However the ten galleries give a complete picture of Chinese history from the prehistoric times to the late Qing Dynasty so I guess if you walked quickly you might make it through!!
There are many other displays and special exhibitions and also international exchange exhibitions. The museum has amassed five thousand years of Chinese art and cultural heritage so as I said that would be hard to see over one day.
It truly is a magnificent place to visit and well worth any time your have during a visit to Beijing. I will be definitely returning during my holiday to China in March – can’t wait!!