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Monday, August 9, 2010

Forbidden City - Gates And Halls : The Imperial Palace

“Nak masuk ikut mana ni?” I looked at one small side entrance to the Art & Cultural show, while another one, the main entrance that everyone is queuing at.

“Try tengok sini dulu.” We walked into the gate of Art & Cultural show, but there was no way to get into the Forbidden City.
“Hi, err…I art student…I take you around…I show you the cultural show…free, free…” a young girl spoke in poor English, approached us.

AHAH! This is the scam that we read in the internet. Someone will approach you as the Art & Cultural student, asking you to follow him/her while he/she shows you around the Forbidden City, which later, he/she will ask for money!

I purposely spoke Russian-English to test her.
“Is that way leads to the Forbidden City?” pointing to the side entrance where we came out just now.

She giggled and wiped her forehead.
“Hehe…errr…sorry…don’t understand…ok, I bring you?” tried to change topic.
“Camni nak bawak kita berjalan, tak yah la…” I smiled at her. “It’s ok, thanks…we walk…” showing sign language like two walking fingers, right to her face.

Suddenly, two fountains appeared right behind us and I started to take pictures. One young soldier came to me and stopped me for doing so. I was shocked and confused. He thought I took his friend’s picture ke?! Puhleaseeeee! I got to know that he was kidding because right after he walked off from me, he got this devil smile on his face, and laughed with other young troops in front of him! Cinabeng tul!

We then walked towards the Tian’anmen Gate, a.k.a Gate of Heavenly Peace, and stood in line with other thousands of visitors. We had to squeeze ourselves in, you know! We went into one archway, which the rostrum that I mentioned earlier, on the above. Locals were sitting on the floor with their kids and family. Tired maybe. (Hey, it just the beginning of the Emperor’s trail la, move, move!)
About 100 meters away, there was an Upright Gate, a.k.a Duanmen Gate. We had to pass through another wide, red, archway, a smaller version of Tian’anmen Gate. The open space was almost occupied by visitor. We walked another 100 meters and saw thousands of people, QUEUING in front of the Meridien Gate!
“Where’s the ticket office?” I asked. “There…” hubby pointed to the left and right of the gate.

The Meridien Gate, a.k.a Wumen Gate, the main gate to the Imperial Palace, is SUPER huge and wide. We were about to get into the Forbidden City!!!


We had to queue…behind thousands of people…under this hot weather?!

We looked left and right. The right line up was shorter than the left one. We quickly ran to the line and lined up. Suddenly, three tour guides came next to us and spoke Mandarin.
“Je shen itchun…” she pointed to the line that we lined up.
“Huh? Diorang ni potong queue ke hape?!”

She kept on saying the same thing. We ignored those tour guides and kept queuing.

Just 20 people away and 15 minutes of queuing, we saw one small board next to the officer, stated “GROUP ONLY”.
“YA ALLAHHHHHHH! NEXT TIME, PUT THE BOARD HIGHER LAAAAA! STUPID!” We were soooooooo f**king mad! And that was what the tour guides trying to inform us. Can’t they speak ENGLISH??? GROUP is a simple f**king word!
We quickly ran to the back and lined up again. This time, we followed other tourist. After almost 20 minutes, we got our ticket and we arrogantly walked away and flipping the tickets to those who still in queue! Haha!
Again, we passed through an archway but this time, it was bigger than before. The archway was a bit cooler than outside temperature. Once we reached the other side, we saw one huge open space! WOW! We knew that this was only the beginning of the city. Before us, there were billions of people (see how exaggerate, haha!)
We walked onto the Golden Water River Bridges, where during old days, water ran through this canal to serve the purpose of fire protection and decoration. 50 meters away, there was the biggest gate in the palace, The Gate of Supreme Harmony. A large numbers of incense burners arrayed around the stairs. Locals to tourist ratio was like 500:1. Super crazy huh?
With humidity and sweatiness, we stopped for a while and sat under the roof, around those locals who drank ice waters and ate fruits. We took out bin-bin rice biscuits and ate. The fruit that locals ate looked delicious…we guessed, they were peaches.
We then stood up and looked around. More and more people approaching from the big gate. We had to make a move. There was a big plan view of the Imperial Palace. Layers of golden bolts were mounted on the big doors, where locals kept on touching when they passed by. No idea why. Sat in front of the stairs, two green lion statues, guarding the palace.
The moment we entered the doors,
Billions of locals in fancy clothes and hundreds of tourist with colorful umbrellas were loitering in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the largest hall in Forbidden City, and the largest wooden hall in China. With Chinese art and decorations, this hall was really awe-aspiring.
Since there was an emperor’s divan where he was enthroned during old days, we were not allowed to go in. Without wasted any time, we continued our journey and reached the Hall of Complete Harmony that served as antechamber.
Ok, for your information, our pathway was only in a straight line, passing only those main big buildings. If you are PHYSICALLY POWERFUL, you can swiftly go to the left and right of the big buildings, as there are MANY more small buildings to explore, for instances, storerooms, the place where emperor’s bathed, workshop, libraries, museums, gardens, you name it you got it, and the most amazing Nine-Dragon Wall. (As for us, kirim salam je lah…)

Ok, let’s continue.

Around these outer and inner courts, we noticed that there were big metal buckets that were used to put off fire during old days. But looking at the total buckets with the size of the Forbidden City, I had the same query like what Rose Dawson questioned in Titanic. Not enough lah! Plus, they were darn HEAVY and HUGE! How to carry them? Nonsense. Oh, passing a pail at a time maybe.
We continued our journey walking on the sea of flagstones and reached Hall of Preserving Harmony. Owh god! Don’t ask! I didn’t bother to remember all the hall names! Just google it, ok! Here's the link of Forbidden City map. When there was a hall, there was always a gate. Easy!
Walking, walking, and walking. With umbrella on and off, showered with sweat, locals everywhere, what a mental picture.

As far as I can remember, we stopped at the Gate of Heavenly Purity. Contemplated to carry on or turn back. From far (seriously far), we blurry saw the big bell-shaped of Beihai Park that we wanted to visit. If we carry on, we don’t know how far it would be. If we turn back, we know how far we need to endure and kill me, I don’t want to go through that again. But knowing how far is better, than not knowing how far it is, right? So we chose to skip around 6-7 gates and halls in front of us, and forget the very last gate, Gate of Divine Prowess.
ARGH! Fine! No more divine-divine, no more gate-gate, we had enough! Our both feet cannot take it anymore! We had enough with this marathon, triathlon, whatever thon-thon in the world! We were both dehydrating! Hungry! Hallucinating! Everything!
“Jom laaaaaaaaaaa…tak larattttttttttt…” I almost crashed my head on the wall. Served me right, wanted to conquer the whole city haaaaaaa! Like I care! Park my car 10 meters away from the shopping mall entrance pun I don’t want!

We got ourselves ice-creams, TWICE! Owh god, the peach flavor was FAR better than white syrup’s. We sat at the edge of the side terrace and enjoyed it…while watching a small boy peeing on the emperor’s courtyard. Kahkah! He aimed exactly at where his mum was standing! That’s how he paid his respect to Forbidden City.
We turned back and this time, we took the left sideway of the Forbidden City. We walked on the corridor as quickly as we can to avoid tiredness. I don’t know, fewer loads, less burden. Kan? Anything to minimize the load weight on your heels.
We did stop few times to take pictures with the famous two gold lions that hold earth and baby, each at one side of the hall. Also, the red carved doors and traditional decoration under the rooftops. So antique. To get some A/C chilliness, we went into a small museum that kept all emperors’ artifacts, like his dining table, jades, clothes, and such. Ah…sejuk skit!
“Dah jom balik hotel dulu. TAK LARAT!” hubby proposed.
“Then bila nyer nak gi Beihai Park tu??? Takkan tak pegi??? Rugi la...” I opposed.
“Ala...I TAK LARAT LA!” hubby contested with panda face.
And so we walked out from the Tian’anmen Gate, saw Mr. Mao again. Bye-bye Mr. Mao.
Then, we walked to the subway station. We bought ourselves two bottles of ice cold water and took a train back to the hotel, from Tian’anmen East at Line 1, interchange at Dongdan, and stopped at Dengshikou at Line 5.
With tiredness that we had at the Forbidden City, PLUS the long walking in subway lines, we both laid on the bed and dozed out.

NEVER EVER assume that WALKING DISTANCE in China is REALLY A walking distance. It could be a WHEEL distance.

The first thing that I said once woke up,


jfook said...

I haven't been to China yet. Sad.

Biqque said...

it's ok jfook, later2 u can go...

meanwhile, read my blog to experience China :)

Lily Riani said...

end to end straight line is 2km. hahahhahah

Biqque said...

gile arh! kat umah, nak jalan gi dapur pun pemalas!

tini said...

ko ada pegang tak paint merah kat stu? errr paint tuh dicampur ngan darah babi tau.. huhu

Biqque said...

cat merah yg mana tini??? aku takde la pegang...tapi...tapi...kalo pintu kayu tu aku ada la sandar weh...cisssssss!

sape bgtau ko weh?

Biqque said...

"The next step will involve mixing the powder of bricks with the blood of pigs, applying this mixture to the part of the wooden walls to be painted upon, and then burying a thin layer of flax cloth into it."

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa camne nih?

dibitz said...

samak la weh... hahaha...
tapi tanya org2 yang lagi tahu... maybe takyah ke apa... who knows...

Biqque said...

tu la, sbb kering ngan kering patu dah lama benda tu kan...and i tatau pun pasal tu, consider tak per la kot...tatau nak tanya sape la...

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