the forbidden city

Beijing Travel Blog

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well, there are two things you can't skip when in beijing, even if you are as unattracted by the city as i am: the forbidden city and the great wall

today it was time for the forbidden city

located 20min walk from my hostel and smack in the middle of town (and anyway, it's the center of the chinese empire... metaphorically of course)

as always in beijing the city itself is a huge walking adventure... everything is well spread out which is why everyone advises to spend a full day there - i managed 3 hours before i got bored (including a small lunch break)

at the moment is a huge construction site - olympic games to blame again.. they really try to polish up there city... a good thing, but how about focussing on important things like the terrible lack of infrastructure, the attitude of your population towards foreign guests and building all your new bling bling stuff in time? i don't believe in it, at all

anyway, tons of tourists (foreign and especially chinese) at the city but even though it's the most important sight in the city, it's confusing as hell where to buy the ticket as there are tons of small ticket shops for minor things in the pre-forbidden city area and the correct tickets are labeled "palace museum" ... how obvious, isn't it. dear chinese, you just don't get it, do you?

tons of hawkers there as well and i've heard of some evil scams ("practicing english requests" in teahouses that sell tea for 200 yuan and stuff like that... )

the city itself is quite nice and monumental, especially the chinese garden at the north side is fantastic... i would love to show some pics but they will stay offline for some while :)

and guess who has the coffee shop license in the forbidden city? some traditional chinese shop? almost, bloody starbucks, overcharging as always - how disturbing is that? btw, all the international chains like mcdonalds or kfc (the latter especially popular here) are charging normal prices on chinese pricelevel, only starbucks thinks they have to charge the price of a dinner & drink for a coffee all around the world... quite arrogant (but they are still filled up to the last seat, especially in hong kong)

after all the walking (a street block in beijing is probably between 1 and 2 km... you learn to read your maps differently quite fast) i fell into my bed only to get woken up again and again by some loud dorm partners... i won't tell the nationality but it's stereotypical... as i said in my lessons learned, same nation travellers, same behaviour... :)

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photo by: Deats