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Preparations shutter Forbidden City, other major tourist spots

Su Zhou
Updated: Aug 21,2015 10:06 AM     China Daily

Decorations are being placed in the Tian’anmen Rostrum on Aug 17.[Photo/Xinhua]

Scenic spots around Tian’anmen Square and Chang’an Avenue, including a tourist favorite, the Forbidden City, will be closed during preparations for the Sept 3 military parade.

Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, will be closed for 13 days, from Aug 22 through Sept 3, according to National Tourism Administration on Aug 19.

The military parade was scheduled as part of a series of events to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

It will be the first national-level parade celebrating the war victory.

As the parade draws near, Beijing has adopted strict limitations on transportation, industrial production, logistics, school openings and access to tourist sites.

Tourists are urged to reschedule their trips to Beijing to avoid the military parade.

“The parade will mainly affect scenic spots, including the Palace Museum, National Museum of China, the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, the Tian’anmen Rostrum and the National Center for the Performing Arts,” said Xu Xiaolei, publicity officer of China CYTS Tours Holding Co, a major travel service provider in China.

“Other popular spots in suburbs will be OK. These areas would still have the risk of overcrowding,” Xu said.

The Tian’anmen Rostrum, the main gate of the royal palace of both the Ming and Qing dynasties, has been closed since Aug 1 and will not be reopen to the public until Sept 7.

The entirety of Tian’anmen Square and the famous commercial pedestrian street Wangfujing will be barred to visitors both this weekend and next.

Qianmen, another well-known commercial pedestrian street, also faces entry restrictions on Sept 2 and 3.

Seven parks-Chaoyang Park, Longtan Park, Honglingjin Park, Lotus Pond Park, Yaowahu Park, Taoranting Park and Yuyuantan Park-will be closed during the rehearsal and the parade.

Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch, a tourist bus company, said it is still waiting for an official notice and will prepare a detailed, adjusted travel route for tourists.

“The visit to the Great Wall and surrounding scenic spots will not be affected,” an employee said, urging those who can reschedule their Beijing trip to wait till after Sept 3.

Xu said his tour company sent reminders about potential disruptions to its overseas clients a month ago. The company can only use half of its tourism buses because of restrictions.

“However, it is not that serious. From late August to early September, it is not the peak season for inbound tourists and domestic travelers,” Xu said. “Besides, we have informed them about the potential inconvenience caused by the parade. So, many clients would adjust their plans based on that.”

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