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Badaling Great Wall of China
Beijing Duck at QuanJuDe - 1
Beijing Duck at QuanJuDe - 2
Beijing Forbidden City - 1
Beijing Forbidden City - 2
Beijing Forbidden City - 3
Beijing Hutong Tour
Beihai Park Tour
Ming Tombs Lunch
Ming Tombs Tour - 1
Ming Tombs Tour - 2
Ming Dynasty Wax Muesum
Summer Palace Beijing - 1
Summer Palace Beijing - 2
Temple of Heaven Tour - 1
Temple of Heaven Tour - 2
Tiananmen Square China

Diecai Hill - Folded Brocade
Elephant Trunk Hill
Fubo Hill Tour
Guilin To Yangshuo Li River Cruise
Guilin Travel & Arrival
Li River Cruise - 1
Li River Cruise - 2
Liu Sa Jie Park
Ocean Aquarium Tour
Reed Flute Cave Tour
Seven Star Park
Solitary Beauty Peak & Princes City
Xiongsen Bear & Tiger Zoo - 1
Xiongsen Bear & Tiger Zoo - 2
Yangshuo Big Banyan Tree
Yangshuo Ju Long Tan Cave

Haikou Evergreen Park
Haikou Hairui Tomb Tour
Haikou One Day Tour
Haikou Wugong Temple
Sanya City Impressions

Dragon Tower Tour
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
Ice and Snow World
Impressions of Harbin City
Saint Sophia Church
Siberian Tiger Park Tour
Songhuajiang Gondola Ride
Stalin Park & Flood Prevention
Sun Island Snow Sculpture Festival

Banpo Village
Bell Tower Tour
Big Wild Goose Pagoda Tour
Drum Tower Tour
Forest of Stone Steles Museum - 1
Forest of Stone Steles Museum - 2
Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang
Shaanxi Province History Museum - 1
Shaanxi Province History Museum - 2
Shaanxi Province History Museum - 3
Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Tang Dynasty Cultural Park - 1
Tang Dynasty Cultural Park - 2
Terra Cotta Warrior & Solder - 1
Terra Cotta Warrior & Solder - 2
Terra Cotta Warrior & Solder - 3
Xian City Wall

Yunnan Dali China
Yunnan LiJiang Old Town
Yunnan Shilin Stone Forest

Suzhou Gardens
Tibet Potala Palace
Tibet Travel in China


Beijing Forbidden City - II

Forbidden Palace Tour, Continued...

After the 3 halls, you come up to the stairs going down the 7 meter high terrace, and here you will see the stone dragon marble carving. It's a 16 meter long ramp carved with 9 dragons playing with pearls. These are considered some of the finest carvings in China today. To protect the marble dragon ramp, it is blocked off, and the visitors must use the side stairs.

 Beijing Forbidden Palace
9 Dragon Marble Carving Ramp at Forbidden City.

Six Western Palaces of Forbidden City

Down the ramp I went, and continued my Forbidden Palace Tour on the west side. At this point, I entered the rear section of the forbidden palace which houses the Western Six Palaces. These palaces were the living quarters for the emperor and the emperess, and the six western palaces are:

  1. Palace of Everlasting Life (Yongshougong)
  2. Palace of Universal Happiness (Xianfugong)
  3. Palace for Gathering Elegance (Chuxiugong)
  4. Palace of the Queen Consort (Yikungong)
  5. Palace of Eternal Spring (Changchungong)
  6. Palace of Eternal Longevity (Shouangong)

Before you enter the 6 western palaces, you first come up to Yang Xing Dian (Hall of Mental Cultivation), which was the living quarters for the emperor, and also where he attended to much of his empire's politics.

Yang Xin Dian
Entrance to the Yang Xin Dian (Hall of Mental Cultivation).

Hall of Mental Cultivation was constructed in 1537, and it is divided into two front and rear halls. Eight emperors of the Qing Dynasty, starting with Emperor Yongzheng, lived here. There is a throne for the emperor in the front hall, where he handled state affairs, and met officials. The rear hall is where the emperor slept.

Emperor's Bed
Photo of the bed in the rear hall of the Emperor's Hall.

Visitors are not allowed to enter the halls mentioned here, and must view from outside through glass windows - hence the quality of the above photo isn't that great, and you can see the glass reflection. This was taken of the bed inside the rear hall where the emperor slept.

Forbidden City's Imperial Garden

After finished touring the six western palaces, I came to the Imperial Garden of the Forbidden City, which was constructed in 1417 and covers 12,000 square meters. There is a pavilion at each of the four corners of the imperial garden symbolizing the four seasons. The east corner pavilion is the most famous named The Pavilion of Myriad Springs, and it is the symbol for spring.

One of the famous sites in the Imperial Garden is Dui Xiu Shan (Hill of Accumulated Elegance). It's an artificial hill made of rocks that's about 10 meters high, and on top of the hill is Yu Jing Ting (Pavillion of Imperial Scenery).

Dui Xiu Shan Imperial Garden
Photo of Dui Xiu Shan in the Imperial Garden.

As the Imperial Garden is located north (rear) of the Forbidden City, you can elect to exit through the rear gates, or continue on East to tour the Eastern palaces. I do recommend continuing east, since you'll get to see the famous Nine Dragon Wall Screen.

Forbidden City Corridors
A long corridor going down the East Path in the Forbidden City.

Nine Dragon Screen Wall

Following the path as shown in the picture above, I came up to the Nine Dragon Screen Wall section. The Nine Dragon Wall Screen was constructed from 1771 to 1776. There are nine dragons carved on the wall that is 29.4 meters wide. A golden dragon is in the center and eight dragons in blue, white, purple, and yellow are placed on both sides. The center dragon was the symbol of the emperor.

Nine Dragon Wall Screen
Nine Dragon Wall Screen at the Forbidden City.

Continue to next part.

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