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"UNESCO: The Forbidden City" Forbidden City - The Palace Museum Tip by cal6060

  The Forbidden City, Beijing
by cal6060
  • The Forbidden City, Beijing - Beijing
      The Forbidden City, Beijing
    by cal6060
  • The Forbidden City, Beijing - Beijing
      The Forbidden City, Beijing
    by cal6060
  • The Forbidden City, Beijing - Beijing
      The Forbidden City, Beijing
    by cal6060
  • The Forbidden City, Beijing - Beijing
      The Forbidden City, Beijing
    by cal6060
  • The Forbidden City, Beijing - Beijing
      The Forbidden City, Beijing
    by cal6060

The Forbidden City is called "The Palace Museum" now, cause it is no longer a Forbidden City as everyone can visit the Palace now with admission charge. It is located in the central of Beijing, which was the imperial palace of Ming and Qing dynasties. This palace was to constructed in 1407, and completed in 1420. There were 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties living here with nearly 500 years old history. Emperor Yongle was the first emperor who lived here. Among others, Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty and Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty made many changes of the Palace complex. In 1911 revolution, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen broke out and overthrew the Qing Dynasty, ending 2,000 years of Chinese feudal monarchy. In 1925, it became a museum named "The Palace Museum" till today. It was declared as UNESCO site in 1987.

I visited the Forbidden City on 7th Oct 2011. I managed to queue for the ticket at 8am on the last day of National Holiday. During the National Holiday, it was too crowded to queue for the ticket, and definitely not a right time to visit. The TV news announced that The Palace Museum has the most visitors among all the attractions in China during National Holiday. The reason is because this is the "Must" place to visit for the Chinese once in their lifetime.

Before I went, I studied what to expect and how long would it take to see it all. Well, the answer is I don't think anyone can see it all in one day because it was so huge, hall after hall with small alleys with red brick walls. If you go with a tour guide, you will most likely miss out a lot of halls and palaces on the east and west, cause they might only show you the important palaces from Meridian Gate (South) to Gate of Divine Prowess (North).

There was a lady gave us some introduction of the museum, and selling us a map with guide book (Y5) while we were in the queue. The map and the guide book were very useful, especially the map gave me the sequence number, so I could avoid wasting time going back to wrong directions. The map and the guide are in bilingual, Chinese and English. So, if you see someone selling maps in your queue, take a look at it!! The map's sequence to visit the palaces as the following:

Outer Court:
1) Meridian Gate (Wumen Gate) - In my review
2) Hall of Martial Valor (Wuyin Hall) - In my review
3) Gate of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Gate) - In my review
4) Hall of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Hall) - In my review
5) Hall of Central Harmony (Zhonghe Hall) - In my review
6) Hall of Preserving Harmony (Baohe Hall)- In my review

Inner Court:
7) Gate of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing Gate) - In my review
8) Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qianqing Palace)- In my review
9) Hall of Union (Jiaotai Hall) - In my review
10) Palace of Earthly Tranquility (Kunning Palace) -In my review
11) Gate of Earthly Tranquility (Kunning Gate)
12) Imperial Garden - In my review
13) Hall of Imperial Peace (Qinan Hall)- In my review

West Palaces:
14) Palace of Gathered Elegance (Chuxiu Palace) - In my review.
15) Palace of Universal Happiness (Xianfu Palace)
16) Palace of External Spring (Changchun Palace) - In my review.
17) Palace of Blessings to Mother Earth (Yikun Palace) -In my review.
18) Palace of Eternal Longevity (Yongshou Palace)
19) Hall of Great Supremacy (Taiji Hall) -In my review.
20) Hall of Mental Cultivation (Yangxin Hall) - In my review.

East Palaces:
21) Hall for Abstinence (Zhai Palace)
22) Hall of Benevolence (Jingren Palace) - In my review.
23) Hall of Celestial Favor (Chengqian Palace)
24) Hall of Quintessence (Zhongcui Palace) - In my review.
25) Hall of Justice (Jingyang Palace) -In my review.
26) Hall of Eternal Harmony (Yonghe Palace)
27) Hall of Prolonged Happiness (Yangxi Palace)
28) Hall of Ancestral Worship (Fengxian Hall)

Far East Palaces:
29) Nine-Dragon Screen- In my review.
30) Gate of Peace and Longevity (Ningshou Gate)
31) Hall of the Norms of Government (Huangji Hall)- In my review.
32) Palace of Peace and Longevity (Ningshou Palace)- In my review.
Garden of the Palace of Peace and Longevity (Ning Shou Gong Garden)-In my review.
- Pavilion of Bestowing Wine
- Studio of Ancient Glory
Pavilion of Cheerful Melodies. -In my review.
33) Hall of Character Cultivation (Yang Xing Dian)-In my review.
34) Hall of Joyful Longevity (Leshou Hall) -In my review.
35) Hall of Harmony (Yihe House)- In my review.
36) The Well of Concubine Zhen (Zhenfei Well)- In my review.
37) Gate of Divine Prowess (Shenwu Gate)- In my review.

I left Forbidden City at 4pm, and managed to glance through important halls and gardens. I did not have time to see most of the museums' displays. Good luck!!!

In Chinese:
Forbidden City- 紫禁城 (Zi Jin Cheng)
Palace Museum- 故宫博物院 (Gu Gong Bo Wu Yuan)

Opening Hours:
April 1- Oct 31 (8:30-17:00)
Nov 1- March 31 (8:30-16:30)

April 1- Oct 31 (Y60)
Nov 1- March 31 (Y40)

Address: North of Tiananmen Square
Directions: Tian'anmen East Station & Tian'anmen West Station (Line 1)
Phone: 010-85007422, 85007421

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 2, 2012
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