For our last day in Beijing, we headed back over to Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City area., but this time we came prepared with our passports so we could buy tickets! #justcallusboyscouts #alwaysprepared
After walking through Tian'anmen square again, we headed for the front gates of the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is the largest palace complex in the world #funfact And it's referred to as the Forbidden City since it was off limits for 500 years and home to two dynasties of imperial rule until the Republic overthrew the last Qing emperor #gettingeducated #thanksloneyplanet
Today the Forbidden City is also referred to as the Palace Museum. We bought an automatically activated audio tour for our exploration through this legendary site.
We walked across a massive courtyard and came upon the Gate of Supreme Harmony which is the front gate to the outer court, constructed during the Ming dynasty in 1420 #old The courtyard can apparently hold an audience of 100,000 people #damngina
After walking through we came to the heart of the Forbidden City - the Three Great Halls. The first is raised on a three-tier marble terrace and referred to as The Hall of Supreme Harmony and is the largest and most important structure in the Forbidden City. It was used for ceremonies like the emperor's birthday #partylikeits1422 This hall is also home to the Dragon Throne, where the emperor would sit. Apparently officials would have to touch the floor nine times with their foreheads (called kowtowing) in the emperor's presence #legit #happybirthdaymremperor
The number of dragons on the building of the roof also symbolize how important the building is. Here's a hint - this building had the most dragons on it ;) This same practice is used in Okinawa, since the Ryukyu culture was heavily influenced by China
From here, we took a detour. I wanted to see the Nine Dragon Screen - this is one of only three left in China meant to protect the Hall of Imperial Supremacy from evil spirits. We also visited the Clock Exhibition Hall which contains A LOT of elaborate clocks that were gifts to Qing emperors from around the world.
Next we headed to some smaller halls - Palace of Heavenly Purity, Hall of Union, and Palace of Earthly Tranquility. These halls are where the emperor resided and these buildings were very important in terms of real power which in China traditionally lies at the back door #insertjokehere Needless to say - a lot of halls, palaces and buildings in the Forbidden City but amazing seeing and walking around so much history
We headed out to the imperial gardens which is 7000 sq meters. Pretty cool to see.
Now one thing we also experienced in China: everyone that was friendly to us and spoke English -> more than likely trying to scam you. :( This made Nate and I not very friendly to people around us - which if you know us at all - isn't our style. So again, walking out of the Forbidden City we had lots of people come up to us trying to speak English (and scam us) which made us reply back in Espanol or Japanese or 'No speakah the Englash'. I hope our blonde hair and blue eyes didn't give it away ;)
Lucky for us, our hotel was in walking distance, so we walked back to our hotel and grabbed a late lunch on the way. Nate enjoyed some Chinese beer, and for me, some Hong Kong Milk Tea (which was delicious!) as a recommendation from our waiter. We also ate a little rice hot pot with veggies and meat on top.
The rest of the night, we had a quiet night in since we had to get up at 5am to catch our flight to Xi'an - Terra Cotta Warriors here we come!
Follow in our Footsteps:
4 Jingshan Front St, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi, China
Price: Nov-Mar ¥40, Apr-Oct ¥60, Clock Exhibition Hall ¥10, Hall of Jewellery ¥10, audio guide ¥40
Hours: 8.30am-5pm Apr-Oct, to 4.30pm Nov-Mar, last entry 1hr prior to closing, closed Mon Sep-Jun
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!