Owen Daniel

Marketing Consultant; Events Manager;

Journalist & Author; Web Developer & SEO Specialist

The Forbidden Tiananmen

Forbidden Palace

Despite living in Egypt for six years and travelling through India for months, I somehow managed to avoid both the pyramids and the Taj Mahal. I was determined China was going to be different; I was going to see that bloody wall and palace at any cost.Teachers at Forbidden City

I headed up to the capital with four funky colleagues and met up with Rolley and Nicki at our cosy hostel. It was ideally located just a short walk away from both Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

Following the masses, we stumbled into the grounds of the Forbidden City. Once home to powerful emperors, it’s now one of the most visited sites in the world. It has 20,000 square meters of walled buildings previously sealed off for 500 odd years... it’s hard to imagine all the blood, sweat and tears that went into building this historic landmark all those years ago.

The highlight for me was the beautiful imperial gardens area. Elegant and serene, it was a pleasure taking our time milling around the plants, trees and unique buildings on offer.Imperial Gardens

Outside the palace, the street-sellers were intense. We managed to avoid the on-coming scrum after eventually buying some things we didn’t really want or need – but, it should be noted, at super-cheap prices.

Moseying back towards the main entrance, right opposite Tiananmen Square, again we were touching the place before we were sure we had arrived. I expected something more, I think we all did; it’s not as big as I’d imagined it to have been. I expected to be wowed and it was, disappointingly, much more like an ‘oh’ than a wow.

Unfortunately we missed the daily changing of the flags ceremony they perform at sunrise and sunset. Instead, we dashed off to get fed, and in theory, get an early night.

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