Beijing Day 5

I arrived early at Mao’s mausoleum (8.45) but the queue already had a million people in it, so I went to the Capital Museum.  The tickets are free but you have to queue up, unless you reserve one here.  It’s quite a modern museum, with several floors.  When I went the first level had an exhibition about Tiananmen.

In 1900. Note the ruins to the right.

 

The photo for 1989. What did I expect?

The other floors have the usual Chinese obsession with pottery, calligraphy and jade.  Not much about the actions of men except one floor about Beijing.  It has quite a nifty world timeline around the outside wall as a context for local events.  However it stops in 1949.

 

A . . . vessel

 

Kitchen gods

 

A pillow!

 

Porcelain. Note the different opacities.

 

Grenades from the Ming dynasty

From here I went to the Military Museum.  The queue was long (20min) but worth it.  It’s free to enter – just present your passport.  If you go here expect to deal with crowds, and like all Chinese museums the glass is covered with noseprints.

Chinese satellite (no, it's not Sputnik, and the design is TOTALLY original)

 

TANKS

 

No, it's not a Humvee, it's a COMPLETELY Chinese design

 

Mortars anyone?

 

It's only coincidence that this looks like a Mitsubishi Pajero!

 

BEST MUSEUM EVER!

 

RPD machine gun in the AA role

 

MG42

 

AK variants

 

MiGs

 

Swords!

 

One gallery was full of statues, where you could have a photo with your favourite marshall

 

Ancient firearms

The galleries about WW2 and the Civil War were quite good, but made it look like China defeated japan by itself in WW2, with no help from anyone else.

Propaganda weapons from the Civil War

US equipment captured from the KMT

The keys to Beiping, captured in the Civil War

One gallery was about the modern forces, but was only in Chinese.

A weight put on the barrel of a recruit's rifle, used for current training

Ultra-modern cold weather kit

Chinese nukes

Type-21 weapons

One gallery was entirely gifts presented to China from exchanges and visits.  The best one was:

Gold MP-5 presented by Jordan

Outside there are a whole swag of vehicles and aircraft, of which the most interesting is:

U-2 spy plane shot down in 1967.

I came back to Tiananmen in time to see the sunset (ha!) ceremony.  It’s very popular.  However I was extremely disappointed – no audible commands, no music, and the flag went on the ground!

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