Today, we visited the Forbidden City in Beijing. We started by driving to Tiananmen Square, and getting a good view of the front gate. When we get out, the first thing I realized is that there are thousands of people everywhere. While we walked through Tiananmen Square, we saw two large platforms with a beautiful design on it. It had many trees and flowers and a miniature replica of the Great Wall of China. On one of the stands it said 1945 and on the other it said 2015. We learned, that the Chinese government paraded their military around Tiananmen Square as a 70 year memorial of the end of WWII.
Then, we walked into the Forbidden City where the Emperor lived. When we walked through the front gate, we passed under the famous picture of the Emperor Mao Zedong. On one side of Mao’s photo, it said: Long live the people of the republic of China. On the right it read: Long live reunion of the people of the world.
When we walked in, we headed over to a ticket counter so we could go up on top of the main gate. When we got in line to go up, there were so many people in line that we got shoved a couple of times. There were people everywhere! When we finally got up to the top, we had an amazing view of all of Tiananmen Square. After looking at all of Tiananmen Square, we walked back down from the lookout point, we walked deeper into the city to get tickets for visiting the whole Forbidden City.
After we got tickets, we walked by the building where the Emperor’s throne is. There is no Emperor anymore, because the communists took over the government in a revolution about 100 years ago. When we tried to get up to the front, we were shoved a ton. We decided that I would push people out of the way so Mom could take a picture. Luckily, we made it to the front, with a bit of grunt work. After escaping the throne room and the mobs of pushing Chinese tourists everywhere, we learned why the city was red and gold. We learned that red in China is considered lucky and yellow or gold is the color of the imperial family.
At one point, we all felt super overwhelmed with all of the tourists pushing and shoving everywhere. We had only gone through 6 of the rooms, and we learned that there were 638 rooms in the whole place. We also learned that there were five gates to enter the city. The middle gate was for the Emperor. The next ones on either side were for Military officials and people with a high status. The outer two were for servants. Also, if you went through the wrong gate, you got whipped. Ouch!
Most of the tourist visiting the Forbidden City were Chinese. There were very few foreigners there. A bunch of times, a Chinese tourist would come up to us and take a picture or ask Brooke and me to pose in pictures with their family, wife or kids. This is probably because there are rarely any Americans or white people there. It felt weird and it made us a bit uncomfortable.
After walking through a couple more courtyards, we came to the garden. The first thing we saw was a large grouping of rocks and wood and waterfalls all in a small little platform. We saw many more amazing displays of nature. There were these huge trees that created a canopy over our heads that didn’t let any sunlight in. It was all a beautiful display of nature square in the middle of a huge city.
After viewing the garden, we headed to the exit of the city. Although, we weren’t technically leaving the city because we were going to walk up to a spot where you could see all of the forbidden city. We had to go up a ton of steps to get to the top, but it was definitely worth it. We could see all of the golden roofs of the forbidden city, and we could see a ton of Beijing. We could even see our hotel!
We had an awesome and interesting day visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.