My main point of appreciation when going to places like the Forbidden City is how in the world they managed to build something this vast (and I am not kidding – the place is HUGE) this intricate, this beautiful, considering this was all crude work with nothing of the technology and equipment we have right now. That alone makes me stand in awe at what would have been the “normal tourist attraction”.
The walk alone to the area was very picturesque, and it gave off this whole ancient, relaxing vibe with the ageing walls, swaying willow trees, and the somehow clear lake that beautifully reflected the line of trees on its surface. Walking through all of these, I for the first time understood how the ancient Chinese poets could be so inspired by walking around alone.
We were with a tourist guide during all of our trips around Beijing, and while my usual first instinct is to ignore their yapping and just explore by myself. This time, however, I was glad I decided to listen – did you know how this patina came to be? This HUGE bronze pot was all coated with pure gold, but when the British invaded, along with all the other places and relics they destroyed, they wanted this pot as well. But it was just TOO huge, they couldn’t move the thing. So they did the next best thing they could think of – they scraped off as much gold as they could. :(
One more thing: if you want a good workout, GO TO THE FORBIDDEN CITY. Haha! Seriously. I watched a National Geographic documentary on it once, and it described from aerial view how it was actually a whole expanse of five circles or something. (Just look it up.) Amazing stuff!!