The Forbidden City is one of Beijing’s crown jewels – along with The Great Wall, The Summer Palace and The Temple of Heaven. The ancient capital is a vibrant city rich in history. There are plenty of gems scattered everywhere. If I had the time, I would have explored every single one of them. But I didn’t. I only had 5 days so I had to make the best of it.
It was hard to cram everything into 5 days. It was even harder deciding what to cram in. The Forbidden City was a must. Why? Because it just is. It would be a shame to fly half way around the world and not step foot into those gated walls. History is preserved for the present to see. But whether or not it will be there tomorrow is another story. I somewhat regret not taking a trip out to Kashgar to visit the Old City. The Chinese government has decided to destroy 85% of the town. It’s reason? To protect an ancient city, China moves to raze it. But I digress.
Back to The Forbidden City. Rain or shine swarms of locals and tourists spend countless hours losing themselves inside these gated walls. A large portion of it has been retouched in preparation for the Olympics. Now that the event is over, I would imagine it to be pristine. Words are vague when it comes to describing The Forbidden City. I’m not going to attempt in fear of boring you to death. You’ll just have to wait for photos every Friday. I’m sure you’d prefer that anyway.
But if you are visiting Beijing and are looking for a more authentic stay, I highly recommend The Far East International Youth Hostel. I wrote a review of it at Layyourheadhere.com, a new site where travel accommodation are selected for travelers by travelers. Here’s an excerpt:
Hutongs in Beijing are slowly becoming a thing of the past. But there are nooks and crannies that shed light to the old school way of life. If you’re looking for insights on the lives of the locals, you will find it in the daily interactions of the people living in hutongs.
The Far East International Youth Hostel is the perfect place to integrate into the local customs and lifestyle. Their accommodations are geared towards budget travelers. To score additional discounts, you can…
Click here to read the full review.