Beijing to the 1st timer - Forbidden City
The next blistering windy morning, we hit Tiananmen Sq and the
No visitor can ever forget the grandeur of the
The FC is reputed to have 9,999 rooms (one short of 10,000 which wld hv signified heaven). We spent at least 5 to 6 hours at the FC, wasn't counting but surely we should have covered at least half?. Most tour contingents do not go into the right-side residential palace built by Qianlong for his retirement fronted by the 9-Dragon Screen, cos' an additional entrance fee is charged but it is worth the fee - place will be less crowded with tourists and u can wander at will. Most of the other rooms in the FC are either locked or have barriers placed at the main entrances, so one can only look from outself after elbowing many others to get a vantage position. But the Qianlong residential palace has one of the residential areas opened and u can actually go into the rooms and see clearly the carvings on the door mantels and paintings on the wall and ceiling. Incredible shit!
They say that a Chinese (local or overseas) will never forget his roots (or fail to be proud of his Chinese history) after he visits the FC. It is true.. I have started reading the history of Chinese dynasties (from the Qin to the Ching) and stories of imperial court intrigue is well.. intrigueing! Between hubby and me, I think we kind of bought up the English editions of the books on the subject of this imperial court history available at our little tourist bookshop back at our hotel.