This was my second trip to Beijing and as always, I was really excited. It’s one of the few cities in the world known for its old architectural structures which are full of history. On my first trip I visited the Great Wall of China ( don’t visit in winter, it was super cold🙆🏾♀️)…this time around I had set my eye on the forbidden city😍.
Why they call it the forbidden city…
I had managed to convince my lovely colleague from Uzbekistan to come along with me. We inquired with the hotel’s concierge (these people come in handy with information) about everything we needed to know and do to get there. I asked a whole lot of questions just to be sure ( I didn’t want us to get lost, sometimes it can be hard asking for directions from local Chinese, it’s either they brush you off or they don’t speak English 😅).
As a tourist, you need to carry your passport to gain entry into the Forbidden City. We took a taxi, instead of the fast metro, my colleague felt insecure cause of her passport. As a constant traveler, it’s your worst nightmare is losing your traveling documents😩.
The ride was ‘short and sweet’🎶 Beijing is a lovely city 🇨🇳. The taxi driver didn’t understand English and we didn’t understand Chinese, so he dropped us in the middle of a busy street, with a two-way traffic. We assumed we were in the right place, as the street was full of walking locals and tourists 😆.
At some point, we felt lost. All the directional signs were written in Chinese 😑. A kind security guard helped us, we didn’t understand a thing he said, but his pointing made a bit of sense and we decided to go with that😜.
We reached were we assumed was the entrance, throngs of people moving in all directions, it was all confusing, a car hooted at me ( I was walking on the wrong side of the road😊). Still no English signs, we chatted up a small group of tourists, they were lost as we were but luckily they had a Chinese speaker with them😄. We decided to stay close to them😛.
We queued up to a small open tram bus. It would drive us to the main entrance, cause the side entrance was closed plus it was too far to walk. The fare was quite cheap 2 RMB (Yuan– Chinese currency). We enjoyed the short ride, making a note to walk back. It was that short 😐.
The entrance was extremely crowded (I found out later, it was due to the summer holidays ) I felt overwhelmed and excited at the same time. I had been looking forward to this trip🙌🏾😁. We somehow lost our guides *ahem, new friends 😊…we were too busy taking pictures. Anyway at that point navigating our way a bit easier.
Many pictures later, we joined the queue to the entrance, giddy with excitement. I couldn’t wait to discover the forbidden city.
The sweet joyful cashier lady asked us for our passports and then later the ticket. We told her we hadn’t bought the ticket yet. She courteously informed us the tickets were sold out😧 and to come back the next day 😕. Our flight back was on the very same day😫. After much begging, she said she couldn’t do anything and denied us entrance 😭. I turned to my colleague and said “Now we know why they call it the forbidden city..”
Trying to cheer up, we took more pictures, some of and with locals. Enjoyed the short stroll down with a lake view and went back to the hotel😩.
The picture below made my day😊.
Keep it simple 🎈