Friday, May 21, 2010

Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square

A trip to Beijing would not be complete without a visit to some of it's world famous temples and parks.

Unfortunately our time in the capital coincided with the 'golden week' holiday period, the 2nd biggest holiday in China behind their New Years. This meant crowds, queuing and the inevitable wait to take a step forward. Not to be put off by this we embraced our Chinese side and ventured out with the crowds.

Top on our list was the Forbidden City and Tiananmen square. The Forbidden City was the home to China's emperors and their families for thousands of years. It got its name because it was off limits to commoners for over 500years and was literally a city inside a city.
Today it is probably one of china's top 3 attractions and EVERYONE on holiday went there at the exact time we did. We thought Hong Kong and Tokyo were crowded but they were nothing compared to this!

It was probably a combination of the huge crowds, intense heat, slow moving mobs of people and the gross amount of rubbish that left us feeling a little bit disappointed. Overall it was an impressive place but it certainly didn't live up to our expectations.

Chairman Mao would be proud of this mean looking security guard. I think it was illegal to take his pic but I was pretty sneaky about it.

Inside the Forbidden City

We got lost in these alleyway/mazes

Take my hat off to the people who designed it and built it..impressive!

Swim? The whole City actually has a HUGE moat around the outside of it. This is just a stagnant stream.

Where's Megan? (Note; she is not wearing red and white stripes). Japanese people would have 2 neat and respectable lines with people controlling the flow. Chinese just push like a rugby scrum and hope for the best.

Roof tops. Can you spot the Ninja Assassin?

Posing it up. And no we are not wearing matching clothes!

Spectacular view from the top of a hill in the park across the road. Actually the best part of the whole experience. The place is just to big to take it in. This spot does the trick though!