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Forbidden City, Beijing

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Forbidden City- Where you can feel the China's great imperial palace

Forbidden City, a must see sightseeing place when travel to Beijing, never failed to tickle visitors’ fancy for Chinese great imperial palace and ancient culture. Located at the very centre of Beijing, Forbidden City is the largest and best preserved set of ancient buildings. It has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and enjoys great admirations from visitors both from home and abroad. I recommend you firstly to leaf through history of Forbidden City, as you will have a clearer picture what each building are for.

The Forbidden City is divided into two main parts: The Outer Court and the Inner Palace. The Outer Court consists of three main buildings where the emperors attended grand ceremonies and conducted state affairs. The Inner Palace is where emperors conducted his daily affairs, alongside his living quarters and those of empress and concubines.

The best season to visit Forbidden City is in autumn and winter, as you will find the sky is high and grandeur of these imperial buildings are more solemnly presented in front of your eyes. If you don’t want to be packed with other visitors, I suggest you visiting in winter, as few people visiting there and majesty of snow-capped buildings serenely take your mind back to the ancient past. [more ]

The Forbidden City - The Palace Museum

Also known locally as the Palace Museum (your entrance ticket will state this) the Forbidden City is certainly the top tourist attraction in Beijing. As such it is very popular especiially with the Chinese themselves and consequently it is always busy. However, the entire complex is vast so it does not necessarily ever feel too crowded especially if you go in winter like I did. In fact I went on Christmas Day!

The Forbidden City is so called because when it was occupied by the Emperor it was fobidden for anybody to enter and it was forbidden for the Emperor to ever leave. The only people who could come and go were the Emperor's many aides and helpers but only for exceptional reasons. In fact it is said that fires were often started deliberately in the Forbidden City so that aides could leave in order to get repair estimates and buy supplies.

The admission price is a bargain at just 40 RMB and gives you acess to the entire huge complex although there are some exhibitions within it that charge extra. You can easily spend a whole day inside if you want to see everything and it can be fairly exhausting. Don't worry though as there are cafes and rest areas dotted throughout the palace complex.

One thing to beware of is the hordes of "art students" who approach all westerners before they queue for their tickets. They are very charming and most speak some English but their only pupose in life is to lure you to an overpriced art store.

As you enter (or leave) don't forget to look up at the giant portrait of Mao above the arch. [more ]

The Forbidden City, Beijing

A must do on anyone’s list of Chinese tourist attractions, the Forbidden City is an amazing place. It’s enormous, the world's largest palace complex, so you really need a whole day to do it justice. It is a bit frustrating as there are so many other tourists (mainly Chinese) jostling and pushing you out the way to see things, but you should get those elbows out and make sure you see everything you want.

I normally like to explore things on my own and don’t like guided tours, but due to the size and the complexity of the place I would certainly recommend the audio guide. It’s voiced by Roger Moore and is quite funny in places and it makes sure that you don’t miss anything. If you’ve got time get off the main tourist routes to find little tea houses and gardens where you can escape the hoards and enjoy the atmosphere. [more ]

Forbidden City

Located in the center of Beijing, China just north of Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City is one of the most famous museums in the world. It was completed in its original form in 1420, and it served as the center of the Chinese government for nearly five hundred years, during the Ming and Qing dynasties. One of the most important tourist draws to mainland China, it is both magnificent to see, and awesome in scale. In 1987 UNESCO listed the Forbidden City as a World Cultural Heritage Site, and it is definitely a unique cultural experience. When visiting the Forbidden City be sure and wear a comfortable pair of shoes, because it covers an area of about 178 acres! In total the museum consists of more than 980 buildings, with over 8700 rooms. For this reason, it truly is a city. The city is divided into sections, each representing a part of the palace history. The buildings are filled with art and artifacts from the last five hundred years of China’s rich history.
Some hints about visiting the Forbidden City: most signs, though not all, are in English, Chinese and Japanese. Audio guides are available from the main gates going into the city for an additional fee. Consider visiting during the week when there are less tourists and the museum will be less crowded. For the elderly and those with disabilities, plan ahead, the Forbidden City is not built to ADA standards, although they do offer wheelchairs and strollers free of charge. Visitors should use caution when purchasing tours for other sites during their visit. Sellers are not always authorized salespeople. For those traveling on a budget, Beijing tours are available starting around $250. [more ]

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