Thursday, February 25, 2010

China Escape Forbidden City Part 2

Last week I started our China weekly series with the Forbidden City, click here to see. Today we continue our journey into the buildings.

The buildings are actually museums that housed collections of Ming and Qing dynasties. Some buildings were closed for renovations but several others were open.

A couple of tips: Some exhibits cost extra, 10 RMB per person per exhibit. (RMB is short for ren ming bi which means Chinese currency in Mandarin.) This is about $1.50 Canadian which is a very small amount but time is of the essence. We were disappointed with the clock museum but felt the jewellery exhibit was okay. Most exhibits are included with the admission fee of 60 RMB and these, I think are the better ones.

It was challenging to photograph indoors with the dim light, but I adjusted the ISO and used flash in some areas, so check your pictures before moving on.

There are also lots of visitors at this major attraction, timing and angle are things I considered as I do not want crowded photos.

Lastly we wondered if we needed an English speaking guide, but I was told by a recent visitor there are signs in English throughout the palace ground. So with the complimentary map we received from the ticket office, also in English, we guided ourselves.

Okay, now the pictures... Shown below is the Emperor under the shade of the umbrella as he is followed by his officials.
On the wall: the assembly of officials on palace grounds. As I glanced at this picture I remembered the saying with great power comes great responsibility, I do not wish to have such power.
A fine example of ceramics, look at the intricate details and the colors skillfully applied.
Some china were displayed in smaller buildings like this one, this one is behind cleaner glass.
Some windows were covered up with decorative paper.
I began to notice the hand painted decorations on the beams of the buildings.
The imperial roof decorations.
We ended up in the Imperial garden which is located at the very back of the Forbidden City.
The garden has a calming atmosphere about it, even the air feels cooler. This is the busiest part of the Forbidden City. Nearby are souvenir shops which we ignored as we did not want to miss out on other parts.
A bold display of dahlias surrounded by cypress, which are popular trees in classical gardens.
The walkways are lined with decorative details made of little colored stones, this one depicts melons.
One of the numerous doorways we went through to head back to the entrance. I like the weathered look of the peeling paint.
I am impressed with the tile work that lined this doorway.
I noticed the hinge decoration on each door is different, some have simpler designs, others are golden in color. This one with the dark colored metal is more intricate.
Even the door handle depicts different creatures, some has dragons, I think this is a lion. He looks particularly mischievous.
The Nine Dragons Screen which we saw pictures of when we were planning our China trip. At this point I was overwhelmed with visual delight and realized how far China had grown in her arts. But what I am more deeply impressed with is the 600 years the Forbidden City had seen with more to come.

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