After a very early start out of Xi'an we arrived at Beijing. Our main attraction this day was the Forbidden City. God was said to have a palace of 10,000 rooms so the Forbidden City, the Emperor's palace, had 9,999. The palace had different rooms for the Emperor, Empresses and Concubines. Concubines did not have the connotation they had today. They were considered wives but their marriage was due to political reasons. The Forbidden City was used by the Last Emperor up through 1924.
The building's were ordered by importance by the number of these animals on the peaks of the buildings. Ten was the maximum and denoted that the building had to do with the Emperor.
Everything was so ornate.
The Forbidden city is over 800 acres and it took just 14 years to build. Over 1.2 million people worked on its construction and in 2020 it will celebrate its 600th birthday!
Outside of the Forbidden City is Tien' namen Square. It is the largerst city square in the world. Mao's tomb is located in a building within the square as well as many local museums.
The city's bell tower.
After a bit of rest, Darren and I adventured out on our own towards the night market. We braved the metro that cost us each 35 cents to ride. When people compare Southwest Airlines to hearding cattle, they have never been on an Asian metro for sure! The guy who got on after Darren kept getting his backside slammed in the door as it repeatedly tried to close on him.
The night market was full of street food vendors. We were not brave and did not eat any of the following items which included scorpions, beetles, sea horses and even friend baby chicks. Gross!