After our epic fail on Saturday (we got lost trying to find our tour’s meeting spot so we missed the tour completely) we successfully made out tour on Sunday. We visited the Temple of Heaven, Tiannamen Square, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.
All linked to ancient Chinese Emperors, these places were exactly what I had envisioned when I thought of ancient China. The temples had brilliant hand-carved details and colours visible from kilometres away – let’s just say these imperial residences made Versailles look insignificant and dare I say, common?
The day was actually a beautiful, sunny day with essentially no humidity. This apparently never happens so we were very grateful. I totally get the sun umbrella now. That sun gets damn hot and there is very little shade. I bought my very own fancy sunbrella and it saved my life!
We started in Tiannamen Square, the third largest city square in the world. It leads to the Tiannamen Gate which opens up into the Forbidden City.
The Forbidden City was insanely cool. The Forbidden City was the Chinese Imperial Palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. Located in the centre of Beijing, it now acts as a Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.
It was as if the Forbidden City’s grounds went on forever. Every time I thought it couldn’t get any bigger, we’d walk through another gate into yet another massive courtyard. The Emperor definitely knew how to live in luxury. I’ve been taking notes for when I build Temple-a-la-Ashton.
The Summer Palace is where the Emperor would go for vacation. And let me tell you, he did not skimp on this one either. The Palace is again a massive estate surrounding a man-made lake and beautiful greenery. It is also home to the longest painted corridor in the world. Absolutely beautiful.
Anyways, we had a hoot exploring some of Beijing’s famous landmarks. Sunday was also the first day we had people ask to take photos with us – pretty exciting haha.
Ashton Says: Dear future husband, I would like a bright, colourful temple with a lake and mountain view. That is all. Love Ashton.