Beijing Magnolias

by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

May 4th, 2009

Back to Beijing, and a beautiful Spring. With the Olympics restraints on traffic and pollution still in place, the city now has more blue skies, and can be revealed for what it used to look like many years ago – big skies, especially around Tiananmen Square, which has been spared the onset of High-rise development that has appeared in the East. No building here is more than three stories high, and from Tiananmen Gate, where Mao proclaimed the “standing up” of the Chinese people in 1949, one can see again, large blue vistas which betray the cities Mongolian origins.


Just here too, planted around the Forbidden City, are magnificent Magnolia Trees, and they are truly stunning. Nothing really needs to be said, just that the fragrance as one walks underneath them is almost over-powering, and it’s one of the little, and free feel good pleasures that life in Beijing can so often bring. The blooms are out for just two weeks a year, but whenever it is spring in Beijing, I always go and walk amongst the Magnolias. Enjoy the photos!