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Published: April 14th 2012
Our first full day in China, we decided to head to the Forbidden City. Our hotel was right on Donganmen street about 3 blocks from the Forbidden City. We did this by ourselves, without a tour.
Beijing in the winter time is very cold and windy. Luckily I read up on the weather before we got there. A good winter jacket, lined boots, hats, scarf, gloves, and thermal underwear are a must if you go to Beijing in the winter time.
From Dongamen you can either enter from the main entrance (south) or the rear entrance (north). We decided to take a left and go to the main entrance. Even though it was a bitterly cold day, the sun was shining. The walk to the main entrance is very serene and peaceful. On side the main walled city on the other a moat that reflects the sunshine. People have small stalls waiting to send you something, but not pushy.
The Forbidden City is the main attraction of Beijing. It is a massive series of building also known as the "walled city". One of my friends told me that there are massive lines to get into this place, so
we were nervous we might have to wait a long time. We decided to take our chance anyway.
To our pleasant surprise there was no line! We paid our tickets and rented an electronic guide to go through the city.
As soon as you enter in the wall, you can start to appreciate the vastness of the palace. The courtyard is a huge open space, you can almost picture how many servants and staff there was here. The main building is a beautiful red building you can get to by climbing a few stairs. The eguide was very, very helpful. It can guide you through all of the buildings so you can explore at your own leisure.
We ended up spending a good portion of the day here. If you saw the movie the Last Emperor you can imagine the child emperor living in this walled city completely cut off from the outside world. It is a magical experience.
A few things if you go in the winter. The majority of the Forbidden City (like most tourist spots in Beijing) is open air. This means it is cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
So if you go in the winter, bundle up!!!
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