Must see places to visit in Beijing during two seasons: summer and winter
This post I have decided to return to Beijing as I think all visitors to this city must visit the Forbidden City because of its rich history and really it is amazing to see. Be warned anyone who has not visited…the queues are very long. I have included a few more photos in this post than usual, so it might take a little longer to peruse than my regular posts (sorry!!).
But it’s definitely worth visiting so try and get there early especially if you go in summer…the heat (with no shade) is relentless. My suggestion is to enter from the southern gate which is called Tian’anmen, the Gate of Heavenly Peace and is always guarded by both uniformed and plain clothes police. It’s difficult to get photos so you have to sneak them!! This entry is probably best known into the Forbidden City along Chang’an Jie (Eternal Peace Street).
It’s where the portrait of Chairman Mao hangs and you can take a leisurely walk to the northern gate without really getting lost – just walk straight!! Unless of course you want to detour to check out the wonderful side corridors and beautiful doorways.
After you depart the northern gate, then take the underpass to the entrance to Jinshang Park where you can walk up the hill to have fabulous views over the Forbidden City.
But before we go to Jinshang, lets take a look around the Forbidden City…
It is said to house 9999 rooms for twenty-four Emperors during the Ming and Qing Dynasty and is enclosed by a ten metre high defensive wall. It has a watchtower at each corner and encompasses some 178 acres!!! There is also a moat around the northern part of the city. As you can see lots of visitors in the summer; not many in the winter months.
Something I love about the Forbidden City – the rooftops and looking over them with their beautiful colours.
The northern gate is actually called the Gate of Divine Might which is just past the Imperial Garden – not really a garden but more like lots of stone with some plants…still beautiful though!
As I said once you depart the city then its up to Jinshang Park, which as I mentioned has a wonderful view over the Forbidden City (and also the Bell Tower and other parts of Beijing), but it’s not worth going if the Beijing pollution is bad because you cannot see anything…
What a difference a good weather day makes…one day my friends and I could hardly see the Forbidden City rooftops then on another occasion we could see all the trees and windows into the rooms…wonderful. And at sunset it’s very special too looking up to Jinshang Park…
And the daily sweeping of the Forbidden City to ensure us visitors don’t slip over and affords jobs for the locals..on both accounts – it’s great!!