China’s Ancient Cities

There are many ancient cities in China.  The most famous of these cities is the forbidden city and is located in Beijing. This city kept the Emperor shielded and secluded from the main city and served as city within the city. It’s a giant palace that’s like an outdoor outlet mall in America.  Although the forbidden city is one large complex, it features many individual stores or palaces.

It had housing for the emperor’s family as well as for the hundreds of concubines they were well-known for.  There are meeting halls and palaces as well as elegant court yards. The city served as a ceremonial and political center for the Chinese government for almost 500 years. The Ming Dynasty gets the credit of building this architectural wonder during the 1400’s. It is an amazing accomplishment that took almost 14 years and millions of laborers to build.

It featured amazing rock carvings that seem to be carved from only one large stone as well as cisterns that tourists touch to bring them good luck.

We visited this historical site right before the Chinese New Year in 2012. It was cold and required several layers of clothing but there wasn’t mass amount of tourists visiting.

In China, there is no personal space as we have in America.  Americans have a three-foot diameter space surrounding them that they don’t want people in.  With China having 1.4 billion people living in densely populated cities, there is no personal space.  Walking with their chest in your back or rubbing shoulder with you during an hours sight seeing excursion doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese.  It does to Americans so I have always tried to see these sites during the off time.  There are still a lot of tourists, but as the Chinese say, it is not a mountain of people, sea of people.

At the forbidden city there are headphones that will translate all the sites into English or other languages, so it is not as important to have a translator with you. It can, However, take a day to see everything and to listen to the translations.  Make sure to wear warm clothes if you are going in the winter, and bring all the patience you have if you go in the summer.

There are other options to visiting ancient cities in China than the ones turned into tourist destinations.  There are many of these in the mountains of Beijing as well as in some of the other cities in China.  The following posts will guide you to some of the more unknown and less populated ancient cities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.