One of the best sites in Beijing is the Great Hall of the People. It is never included in Group Tours because it is used by the Government so often and is the Assembly Hall of their Congress. It is used for State Dinners and the reception of Foreign Diplomats and High Government Representatives. Built in the 1950’s by the Russians for the Chinese Government, it has the largest Auditorium seating over 10,000 people with the largest stage in China. There is a reception Hall decorated in the style of each Province of the country. Although you can not go into these, the doors are open and large windows allow you to peek into them. When it is open to the public, you can also have lunch in the large banquet hall. Located on the west side of Tiananmen Square in the central area it is truly a site not to be missed. Next to the Great Hall on the south side of Tiananmen Square is Mao’s Tomb which also has an erratic schedule of openings. On the East side is the History Museum and across the street on the North side is the wonderful Forbidden City which is usually included in all tours of Beijing. Another must is taking a walk through the Beijing Hotel only a few blocks east as it is part of the history of Beijing too. For more sights of interest keep reading my blog.