I’d managed to arrive in Beijing at the height of the school holiday season, so in addition to doing battle with the commuters there were also a billion tourists. I emerged from an hour of compression to
A live communist and a dead one
The Forbidden City is also known as the Palace Museum. Be prepared to share it with several thousand groups of tourists. The entry ticket is Y60, but there’s a lot of palace for your money – allow at least half a day.
The entry gate
Main square (note the smog)
They have a good selection of pottery in their collection. Here is some incised ware
Ancient Tupperware serving dish
The famous Tang dynasty vases
They have a few sun dials but they don't work because of the smog!
It just keeps going, and going, and going.
One of the thrones. I didn't actually see this because the crowd was so thick - I held my camera around a corner.
Detail from the dragon wall. I had to wait about 10min not to have people posing in front of it.
They also have collections of gold, jewellery, jade and other treasures. Here is a random royal cup.
Detail from one of the ceilings
The Chinese zodiac
The Imperial Garden
Gnarled old trees of which they are so fond here
There are many smaller areas that look like this.
The throne from which Cixi controlled the boy emperor by whispering through the curtain
Ornamental female bronze lion with a cub
But my favourite was this room due to the inscription above the throne.