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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 39.9165, 116.391
For anyone travelling to Beijing, I would advise you not to come on a Chinese holiday. The place is heaving with people as it is Chinese New Year. I think Spring would probably be better as a cold wind is coming off the Gobi desert and the chill factor is quite something. However we are here now so off we go to the Forbidden Palace and push our way through the crowds. The complex is huge and must say most of the buildings look much the same as each other and it is difficult to orientate. We went in through the main gate which is square on the outside representing earth but is rounded at the top on the inside representing heaven. We couldnt actually get into any of the buildings but could peer in through the windows once we had fought our way to the front that is.At least being taller than most Chinese makes it easier. They must get loads of western visitors to this capital city and yet we still get stared at.Lots of the kids were dressed up as little emperors and looked really cute. Once we wended our way through various areas we came
out the back entrance. The Emperors garden was the nicest bit I think. There are many huge cauldrons full of water as fires have been frequent in the past owing to the whole complex being mostly of wood. I liked the gargoyles in the shape of dragons and the large lions flanking the main building.
We were glad not to be driving in this city as the traffic is unbelievable but our bus driver plowed on relentlessly! After the Forbidden City we went to Tian an Men square. Surprisingly you have to go through security to actually get onto the middle portion of the square which is huge and surrounded by imposing government buildings, Mau's mausoleum and the National museum. We only stayed half an hour by which time we were all frozen and ready to get back on the bus but we had seen enough.
We are now esconced in the China World hotel, a very nice big place. However the Wi Fi does not allow Facebook access so this blog can only be emailed out.
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