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the Forbidden City front entrance
the Forbidden City front entrance

China Diary: 2013

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Day 3: Sunday, 26th May

Forbidden City

The forbidden city is just next to where we are staying. It is the largest palace complex in the world, and after taking all day to explore it today we have to agree.

We bought some yoghurt and fruit for breakfast and sat down by the main street to eat it. We soon got a taste for what was to come, every man and his dog wanted to stop and have their photo taken with our "beautiful" children. All the kids were very tolerant and usually happily posed for photos all day long. We felt like we were the exhibits in a zoo. Every time we stopped the photo trap was set.

scorpion on a stick anyone?

We joined the hoards of mostly Chinese tourists funneling into the forbidden city, the old home to many Chinese emperors. It was packed at first, but people soon spread out and you could easily find some quiet areas.

Highlights include the ceramic and clock displays, 9 Dragon wall, the elaborate wooden ceilings ... We got lost once. It rained a little, fortunately mostly during our lunch break.

Night market for dinner a short walk away. The smells were not that pleasant, which was not a good start. It took us a while to find something that was appealing. There were lots of things on sticks like scorpions, spiders, crickets, grubs, snake. We did not try any of these, instead we went for some prawn dumplings, something familiar. However, the taste was not familiar and we were grossly overcharged which left an even worse taste in our mouth. We had to throw them out. We had better luck with the sweets like a fruit stick, banana bread balls.

It was fun to see, but difficult to fill up on such things. 

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