After walking around Tiananmen Square, my friends and I headed off to the Forbidden City. It's just across the Square. I was so excited to see this ancient walled city because the memory of my first visit is all but a blur now. One of the reasons why I wanted to go back was to remember the pieces I'd forgotten. I also wanted to listen again to the many fascinating stories that had been once true to this place.
The Forbidden City is located north of the Tiananmen Square.
Just infront of the entrance is a well-manicured garden with giant roses.
A huge portrait of Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-Tung) hangs proudly.
He is considered the leader of the Chinese Revolution and the founding father The People's Republic of China.
Giant red doors with nine golden metal studs at the Meridian Gate.
The Forbidden City, also known as the Palace Museum, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.
It is the most magnificent palace complex in all of China. Construction took 14 years to get completed.
The entire Forbidden City occupies 720,000 square meters and is believed to have about 8,700 rooms.
The Hall of Supreme Harmony is the highest building in The Forbidden City.
It was used for grand ceremonies and the Emperor's wedding. It is perhaps,
the most photographed hall/palace inside the Forbidden City.
The Forbidden City is divided into two parts: the Outer Court and the Inner Court.
The Outer Court is where all political affairs were held while the Inner Court is where the Emperor,
the Empress, concubines, and wives of past Emperors live.
The giant marble pathway which leads to The Hall of Preserving Harmony.
It is the largest stone carving in the Palace. It weighs more than 200 tons.
This, if I remember it right, was one of the Inner Courts where concubines stayed.
Concubines were well-educated women selected from the best Manchu families.
Emperors were allowed to have many wives and concubines.
They filled those big bronze cauldrons on the far left with water which they'd use in case of fire.
While we were in this area of the palace, our guide mentioned the tradition of
castrating male servants, the Eunuchs. It is said that their testicles were mummified
and buried with them when they die.
Taken at the Imperial Garden, the last stop of the Forbidden City tour.
Me, Nikko, Bambi, Edeena, and Chris.
The Imperial Garden covers about 12,000 square meters and
it used to be a private retreat for the imperial family.
There are flower beds, pavilions, and very old trees around the garden.
The Thousand-Year Pavilion is located at the west, according to chinese tradition symbolizes autumn.
The 18 important sights of the Forbidden City:
The Meridian Gate
Gate of Supreme Harmony
Hall of Supreme Harmony
Hall of Central Harmony
Hall of Preserved Harmony
Huge Stone Carving
Gate of Celestial Purity
Palace of Celestial Purity
Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union
Palace of Terrestrial Tranquility
Hall of Mental Cultivation
Six Western Palaces
Hall of Ancestral Worship
Six Eastern Palaces
Nine Dragon Screen
Palace of Tranquil Longevity
Hall of Joyful Longevity
The Imperial Garden
And I just had to take a photo of the toilet for visitors. :D
A moat was built to add security around the palace.
It is 3800 meters long and 52 meters wide.
Four corner towers were built to serve as defense facility.
. . . . .
One day is not enough to see everything inside the Forbidden CIty.
But if you do not have a day, give at least three hours for this tour.
Business Hours | Daily
8:30am - 5:00pm (April 16 - October 15)
8:30am - 4:30pm (October 16 - April 15)
- 60 RMB (April 1 - October 31)
- 40 RMB (November 1 - March 31)
- 20 RMB : students with valid ID
- Audio guides in different languages at 40RMB plus 100RMB deposit which you can get when you return the audio guide at the exit.
- Information Center (Archery Pavilion) and bag check-in counter (Meridian Gate).
- Souvenir shops and cafes. They used to have Stabucks inside but it closed in 2007.
Hotel: Days Inn Tiananmen Square with breakfast
Tour Guide + Transpo + Lunch
Airfare: Cebu Pacific
more or less $1,200/person
. . . . .
Our guide Jamie Wang speaks english
and is knowledgeable about China's history and tourist spots.
He was very helpful and nice and honest.
If you plan to visit Beijing and would need a guide,
email him at email@example.com
. . . . .
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Beijing | Tiananmen Square
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Beijing | Summer Palace
Beijing | The Olympic Venue
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Beijing | Panjiayuan Antique Market
Beijing | Beihai Park
Beijing | Qiangan Hutong Tour