China. A visit to the Mao Mausoleum at Tiananmen Square is one of the highlights of a stay in Beijing and should definitely be on your to-do list. Many Chinese tourists come here to honour Mao and see his embalmed corpse. The personality cult around Mao is still very much alive here in the Mausoleum. Read more about my impressions of the Mao Mausoleum in my following article.
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Tiananmen Square and the Mao Mausoleum are popular tourist destinations today. Thirty years ago, demonstrations were bloodily suppressed on this square. Today, however, nothing points to this frightening event. Many people were killed. China has still not dealt with the incidents. But now the government even intends that the square and the mausoleum should become Unesco World Heritage. Whether the criteria for the application are finally fulfilled, is to be shown until 2030.
The Visit to the Mao Mausoleum
Admission to the Mao Mausoleum is free. Instead of a ticket, however, every visitor can buy yellow carnations. A carnation costs 3 yuan. Usually the visitors buy several. After the security check they go up a wide staircase. To the right and to the left reliefs decorate the stairway to the building. Inside you first enter the anteroom, where you can put down the carnations. On both sides you then walk on a red carpet into the room where Mao's body lies behind glass. His face will be illuminated, it seems bloated. The coffin is decorated with hammer and sickle and with the Red Star. Eight uniformed soldiers make sure that no one is photographed and that they show themselves adequately reverent.
Tip: You are not allowed to take bags into the mausoleum. So we left our backpacks in the hotel. But there are also lockers. However, these are not at the Mao Mausoleum on the Tiananmen Square, but on the opposite side of the street near the checkpoint.
Mao as a souvenir
A visit to Mao Mausoleum Tiananmen Square is impressive. Amazed I walked with a stream of visitors and had difficulties to understand how much the Chinese still worship Mao. And to do justice to this worship and make a business out of it, there are six souvenir shops at the exit behind the Mao Mausoleum. As in many shops in Beijing, you can buy fridge magnets and T-shirts with Mao prints here. But at the stands behind the Mao Mausoleum you can find more of Mao: statues, fans, mirrors, pens, tea service, coffee cups, amulets, plates, bookmarks and so on. Many of the Chinese visitors buy several articles at the same time. And if you want a very personal souvenir, you can have your picture taken by professional photographers in front of the Mao Mausoleum.
Do you need a break from the big city and want to get some fresh air? Then I can warmly recommend a trip to the Great Wall of China near Jiankou. Here you can read my article about a self-guided Hiking Tour on the Great Wall of China.
Book Recommendations for China
You want to know where the journey goes? Then I can recommend these books* about China.
You can order these books at Amazon with a click on the pictures. If you buy a product via one of these affiliate links, I get a small commission and you help me to keep filling Fernweh-Motive with interesting articles. The product will not be more expensive for you.
Have you ever been to Beijing yourself and visited the Mao Mausoleum at Tiananmen Square? How did you like it? Do you have any questions about my article or any other suggestions? If so, please write me a comment!