August 7, 2008

Bronze Guardian Lion inside the Forbidden City, Beijing

Location: Forbidden City, Beijing, China (39° 54′ 53″ N, 116° 23′ 26″ E)
Date: 7 May 1999; 11.50am
Camera: (analogue) Canon 500N with negatives and scanned

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming to Qing dynasty, spanning a period of over 500 years. It served as the home of the Emperor and his household, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government. After the Great Wall of China and Tiananmen Square, it is perhaps the most recognisable symbol and name of China's heritage.

It has now being renamed as the Palace Museum and underwent a massive renovation over the last few years. It was still awe-inspiring and majestic place to visit in 1999; I believed it remains just as magnificent today. I found that one of the best way to enjoy and understand the history and significance of the palace is to hire one of those audio guide device or better still (if you can afford it) get a guide to explain to you.

With the Olympics starting tomorrow, this place will no doubt be swamped by tourists, many visiting China for the first time.

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