July 29th. It’s a sunny day after a few days of rain and it made the NSLI-Y group all feel good. At 9:00 am, the group headed out to the National Museum of China on the eastern side of Tiananmen Square. The museum was established in 2003 after the merge of the Museum of the Chinese Revolution in the northern wing and the National Museum of Chinese History in the southern wing. The museum underwent renovation from March 2007 to the end of 2010 and reopened in March 2011. It now has a total floor space of nearly 200,000 square meters for exhibitions and displays and is the home of more than one million artifacts and antiques in forty-eight galleries, of which the the bronzes, porcelains, paintings and calligraphy, and sculptures are the most magnificent. The interior of the museum is spacious and modern. After two hours, students were still having fun.
After lunch, the group visited Beijing National Stadium, nicknamed as the Bird’s Nest, the stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Students have seen the Bird’s Nest on Television for many times. Now they stood in front of the stadium and could still feel the atmosphere of the games four years ago.
At 4:00 pm in the afternoon, the group arrived at the Summer Palace for the last stop of the day. The Summer Palace is the largest and most well-reserved royal gardens in China. It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water. It is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List for its master Chinese landscape garden design. The Summer Palace was first built in 1750 and was demolished and rebuilt several times in the past. The most beautiful scene in the garden is Kunming Lake and the long corridors surrounding the lake. It just felt relaxing sitting on the benches of the corridors and watching people boating in the lake.