. A glimpse into the world of the Forbidden City .

Day 2

Having watched so many shows depicting the lifestyles of the Chinese Imperial family, I was thus anticipating for the opportunity to finally take a peep into the world’s largest surviving palace complex that stood against the test of time. Home to 24 emperors over a span of close to 500 years,  the Forbidden City is a truly spectacular palace that is not only steeped in history but also magnificent in its highly elaborated architecture. I could only imagine how splendid the palace complex truly was back in its heyday! Yet, despite its vastness and sheer grandness, lies a highly complicated history and manipulative world … Court life was extremely routine and everyone living within the compound had to adhere to the strict laws, beliefs and practices. There was also intense struggle and competition amongst concubines, eunuchs and even the servants as all were vying for the much desired power and attention from the Emperor. Those who entered through the gates of the Imperial Palace had probably not had another chance to leave as no one could officially leave the city without the Emperor’s permission, hence giving rise to the name “Forbidden City”.

Reputed to have 9999.5 rooms (though later reports claim that there are only over 8700 rooms left. Nonetheless, that’s still a massive amount!), you can expect to reserve at least a couple of days to cover every inch of the palace. Unfortunately, due to the rush nature of our tour, we only managed to spend a pathetic 2-3 hrs covering the most significant parts of the Forbidden City – Hall of Supreme Harmony, Hall of Preserving Harmony, Palace of Earthly Tranquility, Palace of Heavenly Purity and the Imperial Gardens. You might be wondering … Why 9999.5 rooms and what in the world is a 0.5 room? Out of curiosity, I conducted an online search and found out that the last 0.5 room is simply nothing more than a room containing a staircase that was built solely for aesthetic purposes. The number 10,000 signifies Infinity back in Ancient China and since Infinity was linked to Heaven, the largest number that could possibly be used by people then was 9999.5. As quoted from this site, “The approach to ten indicated by 9 reinforces the image of imperial straining to ward the perfection of heaven while maintaining a small margin of reverence for the Heavenly.” Very fascinating indeed.

The Palace is surrounded by a 3800m long, 52 m wide moat.

The various Halls & its glory

“Jumping in the Air” Picture #2

Tiananmen Square

Covering an area of over 44 hectares, the Tiananmen Square is currently the world’s largest city square where thousands of people gather each day. It is also home to the Tiananmen Gate that connects to the Forbidden City, Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, Great Hall of the People and Monument to the People’s Heroes.


9 responses to “. A glimpse into the world of the Forbidden City .

  1. Nice! wow! actually, do you think there are hidden treasures in the palace? i think there are…

    • Hey 🙂

      It’s truly magnificent, too bad that we only had so little time to explore this majestic palace. 🙂 hidden treasures? Haha, do you think that the meticulous & patriotic Chinese would actually not attempt to comb every inch of that complex to dig out any hidden gems? :p

      By the way, I can’t make it for the June Cambodia trip. Might try for the Laos trip in September if my manager allows me to take leave. Nevertheless, I’m still planning to head back to Kolap4 sometime this year… maybe July or August with a friend!

  2. AWESOME photos! Your jump shots remind of me and my friends doing the jump shot infront of taiwan’s 中正紀念堂. Ended up many tourists looked at us as if we’re some nuts jumping non stop there. HAHAHAHA!

    • Hahaha! I know.. we didn’t attract as much attention because all the tourists were equally busy snapping shots but our older colleagues looked bewildered! Haha.

      jump all that we can since we’re still young! :p

  3. oh, i thought you were aiming for the one in december?

    if i was the emperor, i probably hide some gold bars in some walls just for the thrill of it…


    • oh, i wanted to go in Sept but it’s a trip to Laos instead. Nevertheless, my manager kinda gave me the “go ahead” for Sept trip so I might just be going for that.

      Haha. Yea, the Emperors then were so rich that they can probably do anything they want with gold. Like how some rich people these days have gold toilet bowls/tap. :p

  4. you’re making me feel like going to Beijing…………… 😦

    • Hi babe!

      Beijing is really a great place to visit as it has lots of historic landmarks and sites though I’m not a huge fan of the locals. Haha. Save $ and travel. Live to travel! :p

  5. hahaha like everyone else, your Beijing posts make me wanna visit that place again!

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