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“Only bring what fits in your pockets”

Chairman Mao Memorial Hall (Maozhuxi Jiniantang)
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Private Tour: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and Great Wall
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5-Hour Small Group Walking Tour: Beijing Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City
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Coach Tour of Tian'anmen Square Forbidden City and Badaling Great Wall
Ranked #70 of 1,616 things to do in Beijing
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Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: The remains of one of China’s most famous rulers, Chairman Mao, rest in this simple mausoleum, which features 44 granite columns and glazed yellow trim.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

First time I tried to visit Chairman Mao, we arrived at 7 am on a Tuesday in October, and the line was already forming fast. After we arrived, however, we realized that the bag check place is next to the line, but completely separate, and you must check your bag before you get in line. I had downsized my bag a lot, but anything more than no bag at all is too much. The bag check wasn't going to open until 8 or so, so we just gave up and went home that day. Second time 2 days later, I put my passport, cash, subway card, phone, etc in my pockets. We got in line around 7 am and at 8:20 arrived at the entrance. Once the line started moving around 8, it moved pretty quickly. Someone was glancing at ID cards (passport in my case) but scrutiny of documents wasn't strict. We went through the metal detector, phones were being allowed even with camera functions but I didn't dare try to take a picture.

Before seeing Mao, there is an anteroom inside the memorial hall with a painting where everyone lays their flowers (sold outside the memorial hall, 3RMB per stem). Some people were holding the flowers between their hands and praying like they do with incense (zuo baibai) at Buddhist temples before setting them down.

When you enter the viewing room, Mao is a long way away in his glass coffin, maybe 10 meters. The weirdest thing is the spotlight on his face. His body is in shadow, and only his face is brightly light with a strong yellow-white spotlight. He looked for all the world like a Disney hologram of a ghost or angel, surely not the effect the Chinese Communist Party was aiming for.

When I went (mid-week) I was the only foreigner I saw the whole time. The government owned no haggling on prices souvenir shop at the exit was great, there were lots of Mao souvenirs I'd never seen anywhere else. I got a very chic Mao wrist watch with rhinestone accents ;-)

Thank Ysolde_voyages
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 - 154 of 325 reviews

Reviewed October 19, 2012

It is free and one of the things you have to do but make sure you do not take a bag or a camera. Otherwise, you will have to cross the street, check them and then come back through security. Don't be afraid of the long line ups. It moves extremely quickly as you are not allowed to linger while seeing the leader..

Thank eddie s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Although the line went clear around the building before entering it moves very fast. I recommend waiting 30-60 minutes before getting in line because it will be much shorter line. Strollers and backpacks are not allowed, so we had to pay for storage across the street next to the National Museum (very nice place to visit). Its strange to see the body of Mao lying in state with a well lighted spot on his face. It was interesting to look across all the visitors and see that they came from all walks of life, often obviously from the countryside or in groups of school age children. There are optional flowers to purchase as you walk in that can be placed in a hallway outside the viewing room. Upon exiting you face one of the old gates to ancient Beijing City from where you can walk into the very developed shopping area that is nicely modernized (if you like outdoor shopping malls). Much more interesting street shopping areas lie to the south and west of this area. Great walking around here.

Thank pressonjh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

Not so worth it. Hugenormous queue have to get there before 6 or 7am to actually see the body. Besides they close very early

Thank HuXiaolong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2012 via mobile

It was really something to see the remains of chairman Mao embalmed with his face lit up like either a jack-o-lantern or a Christmas ornament. I actually bought an ornament for my tree in the gift shop right afterwards. The only downsides were waiting on the long line for a hour and in the hot, humid, smoggy Beijing weather.

Thank Mantle22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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