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Forbidden City: Ghost of an Empire

Being forbidden just makes it all the more enticing. Forbidden City is beautiful! I just cannot get enough of ancient Chinese architecture. I love all the details. Everything was just exquisitely handcrafted for their royalty. Since I started making enough money to travel, I decided I would visit the wonders of the world. As I get to visit each place, I'm realizing what makes the place so wonderful is not just that singular monument. Its the richness of the culture, the people, the food, the environment...yes, I love to travel. Forbidden City offers a glimpse into how ridiculously extravagant those spoiled royals were. I guess its not just for the royals. If you're willing to prostitute yourself or cut your balls off, you can join the party too.

Highlights: Learning about the place & exploring the palace grounds was an awesome experience.
Cast of Characters: Mamu, Mel, our local guide Peter & myself
Logistics/ Links: I'll post our guide's contact info as soon as I find it
When: This was our first encounter with the 1B population. To make matters worse, we went on a Sunday, during school break, in the middle of summer. I would probably recommend going during spring or fall.
Location: This was in the heart of Beijing it seems. Very accessible to subway. We stayed at King's Joy hotel in the downtown area. It was a great spot! Walking distance to everything. Good hotel too. Tiananmen square is right in front of Forbidden City & so is Mao mausoleum. There's also a market a block away. Pretty cool!
Cost: This was actually a part of our tour package with Panda Adventures.I think its only like $10 for the tickets. I recommend going with a guide so you get some insight into the history & details of the place. I'll post our guide's contact info. He was very good.
Trip Report: Wandering around the palace grounds make it so easy to imagine yourself as a royal (or a concubine). Every turn just looks so picturesque and idyllic. And then you get trampled on by the stampede of people. Mel, mamu & I made sure to take pictures at every corner of the place. It was awesome!
Bitchy looking concubine. 

Non-photoshopped concubine
Whenever I think of some exotic tourist destination- this is always the last thing on my mind. And yet here is the que, every single time. Disillusioned tourist. It was worth it though.
Its soo cute- we saw so many little girls dressed up like little princesses & they pose with attitude too! She's hanging off the courtyard dragon drains. I cant believe they carved dragons for a simple thing like drainage.

Peter said they kept the names of the successor to the throne behind that signage above. I forgot why. Now that I forgot, it doesn't make sense. Hmm..

Forbidden City corridors

That's Mel taking pictures of the purity stone. This was placed smack in the middle of the concubines courtyards. To remind them of their need to be pure. Only the emperor is allowed to make love to all 8,000 concubines. They would bring a bunch of girls, line em up & see who is pretty enough to be a concubine. The girls would move in when they're old enough. They won't be allowed to go out of Forbidden city after that. Access to outsiders were not allowed at some parts of the City, only concubines & eunuchs. Eunuchs would do the chores the concubines can't like lifting & other man stuff. Why would they agree to have their balls cut off or be sex slaves? Life was hard & that was their chance to have it easy. Next post: Lies your guide tells you. Kidding.

Hall of Consummation, more like.

My blog! I'm gonna be as narcissistic as I want!

Peter led us to one side of the palace as soon as we got in. We found a nice little spot where we avoided all the crowds. It was pretty interesting hearing about the palace.

Forbidden City corridors

Emperor's throne

They locked up the interior of the sleeping/ lounging quarters. This room seems like it was untouched from when the last emperor was still living there. It was kind of eerie.

Sculptures around the palace

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