Show Your World – Forbidden City

Follow us on our visit to the Forbidden City in Bejing, China. You can also join Show Your World link up and I will share your post on my blog and social media!We spent 3 months working in Beijing in 2008. We really wanted to see as much as possible in and around the city, but our project timescale was pretty tight, so we had to work weekends most of the time as well. Then came the October holidays, when all the companies have days off, so we tried to squeeze in as much sightseeing as possible into those few days. The problem was, most of Chinese inland tourists also had the same idea, meaning that all the major places of interest were packed (same happened during our visits to the Summer Palace and the Great Wall of China).

The Forbidden City is majestic and enormous. It’s a series of palaces, living quarters for concubines, servants, vast squares, meticulously planned gardens. If you want to take it all in, set aside the whole day for this visit. Just to give you a bit of a scale reference – the moat around the Forbidden city is 52 meters wide, the outer walls are 10 meters high and 8 meters wide at the base, it originally housed 9,999 rooms.

We entered the palace grounds from the gates on Tiananmen Square. The scale of it all, size of the gate doors, grand square opening up to you after you enter – this is truly breathtaking and a must see in Beijing. You continue walking across the square, coming to yet another palace, through it and into another square and so on and so forth. The succession of palaces, all decorated with intricate wooden and metal details, all served their purpose – a palace where an emperor would meet guests, a pavilion, where he would eat, a pavilion where he dressed up and a separate pavilion where he would sleep with his wife after the wedding. The list of various single-purpose buildings is astonishing.

After you pass emperors grounds, you enter the back side of the grounds, which housed 10,000 emperor’s concubines. His favourites had beautiful houses, impressive in their own right, with inner gardens and large living quarters. All others lived in houses, reminding dormitories. Most of those ladies have never even seen an emperor – he hardly had time for all of them. The outer perimeter of the Forbidden City is occupied with all kinds of service buildings.

The side of the Forbidden City, which is opposite to the entrance on TIananmen Square, is a beautifully landscaped garden with water springs, shadowed alleys, rocky grottoes and pavilions. When you cross it, you get to another huge entrance gate. This gate was used for welcoming concubines, the most beautiful girls from every province, into the palace. They only entered once and never left again, spending their whole lives within these grounds, hoping to get noticed.

If I got you interested enough in this amazing landmark, you can read up more facts on Wikipedia, or better still – plan a visit ;)

Don’t forget that you can link up your own story about your favourite place to this post and I will share it on my blog and social media!

Main guidelines:

– tell us about an interesting place – it can be somewhere in your home country or a destination that you visited
– instead of just giving us facts about this location, use your words to show it to us as well – the way it looks, sounds, smells, conveying its atmosphere; photos are always welcome!
– add your link by adding a ping back in your article or, alternatively, in the comments
– add a link to this post on your blog and use this badge:

ShowYourWorld linkup party on!

Visiting other participating blogs and leaving comments on them with #ShowYourWorld is highly appreciated, as well as sharing news about this link up on your blog and social media!

Show Your World is a monthly event – I will publish my own story every 1st Friday of a month and everybody’s welcome to link up to this post. I would collect these links and post a round up on the 3rd Friday of a month, sharing all the links and short descriptions of submitted stories. I will also share the links and images on my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest (make sure you follow TinyExpats, so you will notice, when I do it!).

I am also sending out notifications on Twitter on the day I post the prompt post, to which you can link, so if you want to receive such a notification – please, leave your username in the comments.

Make sure that you add ShowYourWorld tag to your entries, so that others can easily find you ;)


  1. Marvelous idea/initiative! We will be contributing. Thanks also for the lovely post of the Forbidden City. Kate was there years ago and was entranced. You are so right about the scale of the place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It wasn’t that crowded when we visited the Forbidden City and Summer Palace – but it was absolutely freezing. I was wrapped up in a number of layers but I was still the coldest I’ve ever been! It was still fascinating though, and the Summer Palace was incredibly beautiful with everything frozen and frosty.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] If your travel plans take you to Southern California, take half a day to experience this special corner of California beach culture.  If your preferred travel focus is for low-frills accommodations with tremendous ambiance, then read this post all the way to the bottom to find out how to book a stay in Crystal Cove.  We loved this place so much that we are submitting it as well to the “show your world” initiative hosted by our friends at Tiny […]


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