Forbidden City in Beijing
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty. It is located in the center of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government.
Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (180 acres). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Beijing Street Food
Mutianyu - Great Wall of China
Wangfujian Snack Street (night market) is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. These two blocks are lined with shops and enjoy constant streams of visitors.
Among the different food stalls lining the street, you can sample cuisine from different parts of China. If you are courageous enough, you can get some pretty exotic food.
The Great Wall of China is comprised of many different sections reconstructed over many years. Mùtiányù 慕田峪 is a section of the Great Wall of China located in Huairou County 70 km northeast of central Beijing. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is connected with Jiankou in the west and Lianhuachi in the east. As one of the best-preserved parts of the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall used to serve as the northern barrier defending the capital and the imperial tombs.
First built in the mid-6th century during the Northern Qi, Mutianyu Great Wall is older than the Badaling section of the Great Wall. In the Ming dynasty, under the supervision of General Xu Da, construction of the present wall began on the foundation of the wall of Northern Qi. In 1404, a pass was built in the wall. In 1569, the Mutianyu Great Wall was rebuilt and till today most parts of it are well preserved. The Mutianyu Great Wall has the largest construction scale and best quality among all sections of Great Wall.
Built mainly with granite, the wall is 7–8.5 metres high and the top is 4–5 metres wide. Compared with other sections of Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall possesses unique characteristics in its construction. Mutianyu has 22 watchtowers on this 2,250-metre-long stretch. Both the outer and inner parapets are crenelated with merlons, so that shots could be fired at the enemy on both sides - a feature very rare on other parts of the Great Wall.
Finally made our way to Beijing today after a rather unadventurous journey. Red eye flights always make me a bit dazed afterwards since I rarely sleep on the plane. I usually combat the boredom by watching 5 to 6 films. It sounds like torture to most people but it works great for me. It sure beats listening to crying kids and snoring adults.
Checked into a nice hutong boutique hotel in an interesting residential neighbourhood. Lots of genuine bustling local scenes. The stone right outside our room dated back from the 16th century. Things like that usually make me pause and appreciate life just a bit more. So I snapped the image above with a 2-second exposure. It looks pretty tranquil in this busy town of over 12 million.
Barcelona Hyperlapse by Rob Whitworth.