A fascinating country bursting with over a billion people, China, is a country I need to explore further having only spent a handful of days in Beijing after hopping off the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Three to five days in the capital is needed to include a trip out to the Great Wall.
China is vast and there is much to see but I cannot give honest information until I return to explore further.
Beijing to Xian: approx. two hours
Beijing to Shanghai: approx. two hours
This city square was built in 1417 for the ceremonies in honour of the Emperor and Empress. Today it is known for its infamous history, the massacre in 1989 and the world famous ‘Tank Man’ photograph.
A must-see in the capital, this complex of 980 buildings was the Imperial Palace from the Ming Dynasty of 1420 to the Qing dynasty in 1912.
This UNESCO Heritage site is a masterpiece of Chinese history and architecture, the entrance numbers have been recently limited to 80,000 daily visitors. You will need to spend at least half a day here and it is naturally busier on weekends.
I visited with a tour connected to my Trans-Siberian Railway trip and therefore didn’t have to navigate the system online. After some research, it seems you must purchase tickets to the Forbidden City complex and Palace Museum online. However the website is in Chinese and the English version is not ready, so the only feasible option is to purchase through a tour company.
It also seems that you can only purchase individual tickets with a Chinese bank account and phone number, although this may change once the English website is launched.
I would recommend buying an audio guide, if a guide is not provided on the tour you purchase.
The entrance is via the Meridian Gate on the southern side and the exit is the Gate of Divine Prowess in the North.
Don’t miss the Palace Museum, this world renowned museum boasts priceless paintings, timepieces, an extensive jade collection and many artefacts from the Imperial Dynasties.
Snaking 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometres) across China’s deserts, mountains and sweeping plateaus, the current wall was built during the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century, although sections of the walls were built as early as 7th century BC.
MY BEST ADVICE…
The show I saw was created for tourists but it was incredible and the tricks and choreography had my heart racing!
Click here to read this article about the new daily limit of 80,000 allowed in the Palace Museum and how to purchase tickets.