Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City (Beijing, China)

The Forbidden City, just past Tiananmen Square, is where the emperor resided in Beijing. Only the emperor was allowed to enter certain parts of the complex, while others the empress, concubines, court officials, and eunuchs could utilize. The regular population of Beijing was forbidden from entering the grounds, thus the name. It takes up a huge section of land–its perimeter is over 2 miles long, encompasses 9,999 rooms, and has approximately 800 buildings. Like a lot of places in China reserved exclusively for the use of the emperor and his family, it gives you a pretty good idea why the Chinese eventually revolted against these traditions and excesses.

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I would like to say that for as far back as I can remember, I have wanted to travel, that it’s always been in my blood. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I found the thought of leaving the country daunting, but...


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