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Day Eight: Beijing Forbidden City

Posted on Friday, September 30th, 2005

Dave!After getting my second chance at The Great Wall... I was so happy that I didn't care if I saw anything else today. But I had a driver on the clock, so we headed back into Beijing proper so I could resume my tour of famous places at The Forbidden City...

Forbidden City Entrance

A stunningly beautiful portrait of Chairman Mao welcomes you into the city. I'm afraid that a photograph can't do it justice... the colors are quite remarkable, almost luminescent, and the rendering itself is just amazing. I have no idea who the artist is, but they did an incredible job...


You can ascend the gate for a small fee and look back out at Tiananmen Square. Since tomorrow is "National Day," the most important of Chinese holidays, the square is already abuzz with activity. Tomorrow it will be overflowing in celebration...

Tiananmen Square

After you walk through the city for a while, there are two things that strike you. The first is the overwhelming attention to detail in every facet of The Forbidden City. Even a simple roof column support is beautiful to the extreme...

Roof Column

The second thing about The Forbidden City that moves you is how OPEN it is. There is huge amounts of open space between structures. The entire city begs to be shot in widescreen...

Forbidden City

Forbidden City

Forbidden City

But it's the quiet spaces I like best...

Forbidden City

And, of course, The Forbidden City would not be complete without a f#@%ing Starbucks from those barbarians in the West contaminating Chinese culture...

Forbidden Starbucks

I shot nearly 70 photos within the walls of The Forbidden City... everything seemed so awe-inspiring and amazing at the time. But now that I am looking through them, I'm surprised at how much that the various sections look the same. Still, it's an amazing experience to walk through the city walls and envision what it must have been like back when The Emperor was truly The Son of Heaven, and ruled all of China from this very place.

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink


  1. Belinda says:

    This is absolutely awe-inspring. Thanks for sharing your view of a place I’ve always wanted to go. I’m done with the sporadic visit–I’m bloglining you NOW.

  2. SJ says:

    Is this the Starbucks where the register receipts say “Forbidden Starbucks”?

  3. Dave2 says:

    Hmmm… I hope that “bloglining” is a good thing? 🙂

    I’m not sure about the Starbucks receipt, because I didn’t buy anything (I don’t drink coffee)… but Larry B. says it is, which is actually kind of cool. If they would have had a “Forbidden Starbucks” T-Shirt, I probably would have bought it.

  4. Larry B says:

    Yep – that’s the “Forbidden Starbucks” alright.

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