Basically when visiting a city one cannot just skip all the highlights. Therefore, we visited the Forbidden City in Beijing with a guide. I thought this was well worth the visit.
The Forbidden City was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasty. It served as the home of the emperors but it was also the political and ceremonial centre of the Chinese government.
The Forbidden City is basically huge and I would really recommend you to visit it with a guide. The guide will explain everything perfectly and gives you a great overview of it. The Forbidden City is actually quite huge, so put your walking shoes on.
I was surprised by the number of visitors there were in the Forbidden City on the day of our visit. When went in October which is also a period of holidays for the Chinese, as we found out later. So we queued for about 1 hour in the heat. Don’t forget your bottle of water.
Did you know that the Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987? The complex consists of 980 building and covers 72 hectares. As I said, put on your walking shoes.
During our tour on the Forbidden City grounds I noticed some Chinese girls staring at me. Once they saw that I saw them they all ran up to me and started taking pictures with me. My guide said not to be afraid because they meant no harm. According to our guide, it is a sign of status if they can post a picture on WeChat with “white” people. I was quite in shock but smiled for 2 minutes and then ran away as fast as I could.
Near the end of the visit you will arrive in a more serene part of the Forbidden City where there are more gardens, trees and flowers. I actually loved this part of the visit. What can I say, I’m a sucker for gardens, trees and parks. Jeez, I feel like an old woman! After this visit I just needed one thing: FOOD!
To end this perfect day I would suggest a rather nice Hot Pot dinner which I absolutely loved. One side of the pan contains fish in really spicy sauce and the other side of the pan contains hot water, or milk or whatever floats your boat. In that second part you heat up all kind of meat, dumplings, vegetables, mushrooms etc. DELICIOUS!
Sorry for the lack of good quality pictures, these were all taken with my iPhone.
Thank you so much for reading.