But what about the bathroom? The Forbidden City: Day 4 in Beijing

We spent our last full day in Beijing exploring the Forbidden City. Epic in its sweeping palaces, intricate in its tiny decorative details, this ancient home of China’s emperors is a must-see in Beijing for a reason.

While Chinese nationals have to book tickets in advance, there is a dedicated window for the few foreign tourists that visit each day to buy tickets in person. Pro-tips: 1) arrive early in the morning, as the ticket window closes as early as 3:30pm in the winter months; 2) bring your passport because the ticket office links your entrance your passport number; 3) bring lunch or snacks as the food options were nearly non-existent… unless you enjoy eating pot noodles, sweet Chinese sausages on sticks, and instant coffee with artificial milk and sweetener. After queuing for two hours, making our way back through Tiananmen Square, and getting our tickets, we finally entered the incredible City and spent a joyful four hours exploring it until our feet and legs gave out.

Though the grandeur of the imperial palaces stunned us, we particularly enjoyed seeing the buildings up close to catch tiny, beautiful details hidden in the walls, doors, and rooves. Did the emperor, the empress, the palace staff, and the concubines stop to wonder at these delicate treasures too? Based on my cursory knowledge from watching the drama/period soap opera Empresses in the Palace, life in the Forbidden City was terrifying, dramatic, strictly managed through traditions and rituals, and deeply boring. There was likely lots of staring longingly into koi ponds while sitting under parasols or writing calligraphy while listening to zithers or walking slowly around in platform wooden shoes while discussing poetry. Perhaps they too enjoyed finding all the little nuances in the architecture while contemplating sabotage and poisonings.

I only ended up watching a couple episodes of the show, since it reminded me too much of the Hand Maid’s Tale but with pretty dresses and based on real history. And where did they go the bathroom? I always wonder this question when visiting old castles, palaces, forbidden cities, etcetera. The answer is usually horrifying.

I will let the pictures of the imperial palace, now a museum, speak for themselves and encourage you to visit in person as soon as you can:

28515213_10105727932853474_6480904107793256270_o

 

28698906_10105727932564054_1445328946644830362_o

28424532_10105727933043094_6629700203090818049_o

28514622_10105727933297584_8599587320982238285_o

28616501_10105727939664824_9021307592621062399_o

28617100_10105727939794564_6194964212429366574_o

28424872_10105727940108934_6583416792010394430_o

28618698_10105727940183784_2893488086199711807_o

28616633_10105727940228694_8310433384188280511_o

28424562_10105727950493124_2649608377377351800_o (1)

28616309_10105727950548014_1922002640232695302_o

28828035_10105727950632844_2909118314503424707_o

28698587_10105727950782544_5563991485118595544_o

2 thoughts on “But what about the bathroom? The Forbidden City: Day 4 in Beijing

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: