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10 July 2005
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KLB - Beijing (12)



I finally made my way over to see The Forbidden City, which is across the street from Tianamen Square. The weather was a bit hot and muggy - not really a great day to go and take pictures, but here they are anyway.



Here is what you see coming out of the subway station. A nice view, except for the people. There are thousands and thousands of visitors here every day, especially in the summer.

Lying at the center of Beijing, the Forbidden City, called Gu Gong, in Chinese, was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Now known as the Palace Museum, it is to the north of Tiananmen Square. Rectangular in shape, it is the world's largest palace complex and covers 74 hectares. Surrounded by a six meter deep moat and a ten meter high wall are 9,999 buildings. The wall has a gate on each side. Opposite the Tiananmen Gate, to the north is the Gate of Devine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park.


Construction of the palace complex began in 1407, the 5th year of the Yongle reign of the third emperor of the Ming dynasty. It was completed fourteen years later in 1420. It was said that a million workers including one hundred thousand artisans were driven into the long-term hard labor.




Probably the most common picture taken in Beijing besides somewhere out on The Great Wall.



And, of course, no trip to Beijing would be complete without this inevitable shot.



Further in, me in front of another building. All the buildings start looking the same from the get-go. And to think, there are 10,000 buildings inside.






Typical scenery inside The Forbidden City. Every time I type that it makes me think I wish I came from somewhere with that kind of name. New York sounds so bland in comparison.


Later...



Went shopping and picked up all this stuff. A couple more games, an outfit for the health club, a pair of Abercrombie shorts (never heard of it but I was assured this is a famous brand in America) and some nice outfits for teaching. Never thought I'd be wearing Dockers and Armani shirts in an ESL classroom, but never thought I'd be buying such outfits for $10 each either. Everything here cost me only $50 - thanks to Jake's negotiating skills. I started getting the hang of it myself. The woman wanted 160 RMB ($20) for the Jordan shirt and shorts set but I got her down to 60 (around $7.50) which is probably what she was hoping to get anyway, but still. All you really have to do is scoff and walk away to get a better deal.



Testing out the goods. Not bad at all. The only thing that didn't fit right was the belt, which needs a couple more punches. Also, I now have 8 pair of pants that need to be shortened. Gonna take care of that today, as a matter of fact.

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