Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
November 16, 2007
From journal Beijing’s Tian’anmen Square: The Bleeding Heart of China
by Paul Bacon
Rotherham, United Kingdom
March 8, 2006
From journal Living life to Mao
New York, New York
August 22, 2002
The Mausoleum is located in Tiananmen Square opposite the Forbidden City. If you follow the Imperial Line which dissects the Forbidden City and leads from the Emperor’s throne through Tiananmen Square, you will find that it ends up directly where Mao is resting.
Anyone is permitted to see Mao and there is a constant line of mostly Chinese and a few non-Chinese that winds around the building. I stood in a line, of what must have been 300 people, for a much shorter time (about 30 minutes) than I had expected. You are not permitted to bring any bags, purses, backpacks in with you, so be sure to leave them at home.
As you get closer to the entrance, there is an opportunity to buy flowers to place before a statue of Mao. Most Chinese were buying them and placing them at his feet after kow-towing to the statue.
After passing the statue, you enter a room where you can see the man himself. Once inside, the guards instruct you to walk silently two by two. After all that waiting the actual time spent in the chamber itself is very short, perhaps a minute or so. Mao is lying, very handsomely dressed, in the center of a glass room, protected by four very serious looking guards. You pass so quickly that it doesn’t really give you much time to get a good look. After all, this man changed the course of one of the world’s oldest civilizations and he is not there to be gawked at. The chill in the room, the intensity of the guards, and the reverence of the visitors made it a very potent minute.
It was such a strong, stern reminder of power and ideology. I was startled to leave that room only to immediately enter a gift shop where they sell copies of Mao's little red book, Mao watches, Mao key chains and other paraphernalia (they didn’t have a Tianamen Square snow globe but that was about the only thing missing!) I couldn’t help but wonder what Mao would think of all this?
From journal Beijing, yeah baby, yeah!