Visit the Forbidden City is one of the most important tourist destinations in the city of Beijing. After becoming the imperial palace for five centuries, the Forbidden City store various treasures very rare and raises curiosity of travelers to become one of the famous tourist spots in China. The Forbidden City was founded by the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Yong Le. The palace was built between 1406 and 1420, burned many times and has undergone several redevelopment, so most of the existing architecture dating from the 1700’s and thereafter. Forbidden City architecture made form a rectangle, with a length of 961 meters from south to north and 753 meters in width. City wall has a height of 10 meters and the trench outer wall has a width of 52 meters.
The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Palace is where the emperor carries out the supreme authority over the nation. Northern section, or the Inner Court was where the emperor lived with the royal family. Until 1924 when the last emperor of China was expelled from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. The entire complex is the extent of 183 hectares, so it takes a long time to walk through it, especially if you want to see the details. Moreover, the complex has 9,999 rooms in it, although not all of them can be seen. There are four gates in the Forbidden City, namely Shenwumen in the north, Wumen in the south, Donghuamen in the east, and Xinhuamen in the west. There are four corner towers in the 4 corners of the wall.
Tips for those who are planning a vacation to the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is the place that is very large, typically you’ll spend two or three hours to explore it. Plan this visit together with a visit to Tiananmen Square, Jinshan Park or Garden Beijing. Try not to visit the Forbidden City on weekends or holidays. Because on the day of travel, there are a lot of tourists like you who want to visit this complex. The crowd is very much until you have to pull over to view and take pictures. Many tour groups, mostly local tourists move with their whistles, carrying banners and wearing colored caps so that you will feel disturbed throughout the visit. It is advisable to go there in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds, enjoy the Forbidden City before crowds so you can take photos freely.
There are two entrances to the Forbidden City is the southern gate (Wumen) and the north gate (Shenwumen). South gate directly connected with Tiananmen Square. You must enter the Forbidden City from the south gate and out of the north gate, for a visit to the Forbidden City has been officially designated as a one-way journey from south to north. At each gate of both the northern and southern gates will be many tour businessman trying to sell excursions. Ignore all the bids that they impose to you, especially for a bus tour. Their offer would look very tempting but you will feel disappointed because it does not correspond to what is offered to you.
The Forbidden City is very interesting to visit, but you have to know its history well in order to value the history contained therein, use services of an official tour guide. Not recommended to use a tour guide around the entrance because they are not an official guide and less reliable in guiding your tour. If you decide to traveled alone without the company of a guide, it is advisable to hire a guide to multi-language record at the South Gate (Wumen) and return it at the north gate (Shenwumen).
Summer will be very hot, so if you come here in the summer, be prepared to take an umbrella so that your body is protected from the sun, please bring a bottle of water so as not thirsty, and the use of shoes do you find most comfortable for walking. The journey there will be very long, so you have to have a wide variety of preparations. For strollers and wheelchairs are available for free on tour guide services in the south gate and at the northern gate.
Once you have finished visiting the Forbidden City, go to the Jingshan Park and see the panoramic view of the Forbidden City from there. It is advisable to visit the street in front of the Jiangshan Park with rickshaws, exploring the road in the cool summer night. Please note that taxis are not allowed to stop either at the northern gate or at the south gate. If there are several people approaching you for a taxi service after the completion of the visit, just avoid them and call a taxi on the street, sometimes they are illegal taxi drivers.