The Forbidden City

History and Culture

Beijing the  capital of the People’s Republic of China, offers some unique UNESCO sites in the city.

China is the second largest inland area country in the world with the largest population on earth. It has a documented history that stretched thousands of years continueing to reveal archaeological sites that predate most of Europe.


Getting around town

Beijing has the highest population topping some 22 million people. Making hours of traffic a routine nightmare.

To try overcome traffic congestion a few years ago the city started restricting cars. Restricting certain cars to enter the city on specific days. This did not reduce the number of cars on the road. Streams of cars from the surrounding areas and an increase in car sales saw a countereffect.

A efficient transport system. Multiple ring roads and efficient subway systems intersect the city. Starting close to the city centre and moving outwards similar to the rings of a tree. This system allows most people to move from one part of the city to the other with relative ease.

Zhengyang Gate Beijing, China.

The sites and sounds

With many of the older generation speaking very little English, language can often be a challenge.  A tour guide is worth their weight in gold here. Acting as an escort and translator as you move through the complexities of this country.

“Beijing challenges the western norms and sheds some rewarding light on the eastern way of thinking.”

The Hall of Central Harmony in Forbidden City.

At the heart of the city lies the Forbidden City. The Ming and Qing dynasties were housed here with the respective emperors in this enormous palace.

Awarded The World Heritage Site in 1987, the city covers some 72 acres of prime real estate. Currently listed by UNESCO, as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

The Palace of Heavenly Purity is only accessible via hundreds and thousands of steps. The Forbidden city restoration is constantly underway. Similar to a multi-layered onion, each visit reveals more of the original palace.


 Monument to the People’s Heroes on Tian’anmen Square

Most visits to the Forbidden City go through Tian’anmen Square, where important sites relevant to the Communist Party of China can be seen. Sites like the Great Hall of the People. The National Museum of China. The Monument to the People’s Heroes, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong border the Forbidden City.

Great Wall of China

Greater experiences

No visit to Beijing, and even China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall.

A series of fortifications made of : stone, brick, rammed earth, wood, and other materials. Built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China. Built to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups.

The wall began as early as the 8th century BC, and stretches just over 21,000 km. With two areas easily accessible from the city, both offering different experiences. One thing to remember is bring your walking shoes, as steep gradients and lots of steps are in plenty supply.

Beijing duck or roast ducks hanging

Food and Accommodation

Food is central to the culture of China, and shared evening meals are a must for most of the population. For the western visitor the options abound from good quality traditional restaurants to more internationally known takeaways.

A must try in Beijing is a Peaking duck dinner. Carved in front of you thin, crispy skin serves ass a delectable treat. Traditionally eaten wrapped in small pancakes with spring onion, cucumber, and a sweet bean sauce.

Travellers can choose from a variety of top hotel brands represented here.Limited only by their budget and choice of location.

In closing

If  China were a meal, Beijing would most definitely be “lazy-Susan” the main course. Offering a wide selection of flavours, some sweet, some less so. China offers you an unforgettable experience.


Youtube – Anyu Xu

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