A TRIP TO CHINA’S FORBIDDEN CITY
The Forbidden city in China is also known as Gugong, meaning “former palace” or Zijincheng, was once the heart of China. It is a palace complex built in the 1400s and is now open to tourists and locals as a museum. The forbidden city location is in the Dongcheng district, Beijing, in the middle of the Imperial City of Bei`jing, China. The forbidden city served as home for the Chinese Emperors and their families and as the Chinese government’s cultural and political centre for more than 500 years. Imperial Garden, Zhongshan Park, the sacrificial Imperial Ancestral Temple, the Beihai Park, and the Jingshan Park surround the Forbidden City.
The Palace Museum has always managed the Forbidden City and has collected many arts and cultural relics based on the Ming and Qing dynasties. In 1987, it became a World Heritage Site. Millions of labourers and 100,000 artisans worked for 14 years to build what is now known as The Forbidden City in China. Now officially known as the Palace Museum, this city covers 720,000 square meters. Furthermore, the forbidden city displays the luxury in the lives of Chinese Emperors and has been an inspiration for cultural and architectural developments in Asia.
UNESCO listed it as the most extensive collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. As the ancient Emperors of China were considered sons of heaven, the Chinese believed that the palace area was holy. Hence, the ordinary people of ancient China were forbidden from entering the royal city, thereby giving it “the Forbidden City”. Moreover, the forbidden city is easily assessible, so there are no limitations to having a good time. Finally, the entrance and exit are free and there are luggage storage services.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit the Forbidden City is from Mid October to the end of November. Hence the city tends to be very crowded during the April to October season.
Another great time to visit is between March and June as the weather is charming. However, do not visit during the Chinese new year festival as the number of visitors is usually high.
- Visitors who arrive at the Beijing International Airport can get to the Forbidden City by taking the Subway, public bus or a taxi.
- Hotel accommodations are also available around the Forbidden City and cost from $24 to $65 per night.
- The entrance fee into the Forbidden City costs about $9. 75. Private Forbidden city tour tickets cost anywhere from $12 to $220 depending on what activities you’d like to engage in and the duration of the tour. The entrance fee into Jingshan Park is about $0.30.
- Furthermore, the tour companies assign a local guide to help tourists navigate the vast area and learn about the history of this man-made wonder.
- The forbidden city virtual tour is available to everyone, and all you have to do is search for it from your smartphone or your PC. This virtual tour gives the vital information a tourist will need to plan a visit to the Forbidden City.
- A visit to the Forbidden City in China is a worthwhile trip to have and tick off on your bucket list. Have fun as you visit and don’t forget to take a lot of pictures.
- There are lots of sights for tourists to see. The opening hours of the gate of the Forbidden city to visitors from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. However, the city is permanently closed on Mondays.
- For visitors who might mind it hectic and tiresome to explore the city for a whole day, 4 hours is enough time to have your fill of the city.
- The tour begins from the city’s gates, either the Meridian gate in the south, the Gate of Divine Might in the north, East Glorious gate in the East or West Glorious gate in the West. Unfortunately, the West Glorious gate is only open for staff of the museum now. Although most parts of the city are not open for tourists, visitors can tour:
The outer Court:
This is the first sight to see after the Meriden gate. You can see from the Inner Court the Gate of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Central Harmony and Hall of Preserving Harmony that is bound to leave you awed.
The inner court:
Here, visitors will see the Palace of Heavenly Purity, the Palace of Earthly Tranquility and the Hall of Celestial and Terrestrial Union. These structures host many occasions during the Ming dynasties.
Visitors will also see the wooden chime clock made in 1798. This clock has been running for more than two centuries. Visit Borobudur for an amazing sunset tour and fascinating temples.
This museum houses everyday items like clothes and utensils used by the Qing dynasty’s royal family. Visitors who wish to see how life in the Forbidden City used to be can’t skip visiting this gallery. Forbidden Treasure Gallery Collections.
Visitors with more time can also visit Jingshan Park. After an educative and entertaining tour, visitors can satisfy their hunger by visiting the restaurants outside the Forbidden City. Some of these restaurants, such as the Forbidden City Oriental Restaurant, Forbidden City Chinese Restaurant, Homely Guanxi noodles: Si Xi Rice Noodles etc., are a must-visit for an authentic Chinese culinary experience. The food menus in these restaurants include scallops, plates of seafood and mouth-watering soups, amongst others. See the list of the amazing cheap Asian countries for thrilling vacation.
WHAT TO BRING
- Visitors can bring the following;
- Bring along their passports for security checking and ticket bookings.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring sunscreen, sunshade or hat if visiting during the summer.
- Come with their food and drinks as the food sold in the museum can be pricey and limited. Visitors can also visit any of the restaurants outside.