(another continuation of our Beijing trip March 2014. Featured image credit to Raspberry)
After our morning hike on the Great Wall, we decided to top the rest of the day off with a trip to the Forbidden City.
Okay.. spoiler alert.. I didn’t enjoy the Forbidden City at all.
My perception and actual reality clashed.
In the movies, the Forbidden City was this massive place that’s either mostly deserted or filled with imperial soldiers. It was ‘forbidden’ after all.. no one can enter unless you have an audience with the Emperor/Empress.
But.. in reality, the sheer number of local and foreign tourists were just mind-boggling.
This is Tianhedian Square just after the Gate of Supreme Harmony. Only the 2nd gate once we entered. We had to brush our way through hundreds of people outside to get to this point. And I thought to myself.. that wasn’t so bad.. look at the queue behind me.. only another hundred people or so trying to get to the Hall of Supreme Harmony.
I was wrong. There were thousands inside. Thousands..
The place was well preserved, even after multiple wars and fires. Some of the buildings were rebuilt and some were so old, it was out of bounds.
My overall thoughts.. the place was freaking huge! Worth seeing at least once.
If you took away the tourists, it’s like walking back through time.
But because I don’t like huge crowds, I didn’t enjoy myself. Especially compared to our trip to the Great Wall in the morning where there was practically no one around us.