Waking early on Sunday morning provided the opportunity to make the trek down to Tiananmen East. Wandering past the crowds that were already congregating in the square and smiling at the parades of visitors all wearing the same baseball caps dutifully following their flag bearers, we made our way to the Beijing Urban Planning Museum at the south end of the square. This nondescript building is fortunately not on the regular tour route and after a nominal 30 RMB entry fee we entered to find it deserted.
While the museum contains exhibits on city history, urban planning strategies, tap water management, and transit expansion, the highlight is the scale model of a large part of the city. Surrounded by floor panels containing satellite imagery, the model contains much of the city within the fourth ring road. Impressive!