|(Tour Code: PTBJVIPFDIP)
The Forbidden City was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived and carried out their administrations. It lies at the center of Beijing. Rectangular in shape, the Forbidden City is the world’s largest palace complex, covering 74 hectares. It is said that it has 9,999 rooms because the pronunciation of the number “9″ means “forever” in Chinese.
Our VIP Clients will have the opportunity to enter these mysterious palaces and experience what is NOT OPEN to the public.
|The Tour Schedule:
After breakfast, our guide will meet you in the lobby and transfer you to the Forbidden City. In addition to visiting the public venues in the Forbidden City, you will also visit the Palace of Double Glory and Shu Fang Zhai, both of which are NOT OPEN to the public. This tour will take about eight hours, with three hours inside the Forbidden City, a one-hour hour lunch, and a visit to the famous Summer Palace.
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 is the Gate of Divine Might (Shenwumen), which faces Jingshan Park. The distance between these two gates is 960 meters, while the distance between the gates in the east and west walls is 750 meters. There are unique and delicately structured towers on each of the four corners of the curtain wall. These towers afford views over both the palace and the city outside. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court, was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or the Inner Court, was where he lived with his royal family. Until 1924, when the last emperor of China was driven from the Inner Court, fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty had reigned here. Having been the imperial palace for some five centuries, it houses numerous rare treasures and curiosities. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is now one of the most popular tourist attractions world-wide. Since yellow is the symbol of the royal family, it is the dominant color in the Forbidden City. Roofs are built with yellow-glazed tiles; decorations in the palace are painted yellow; even the bricks on the ground are made yellow by a special process. However, there is one exception: Wenyuange, the royal library, has a black roof, since it was believed black represented water and could extinguish fire.
The Forbidden City is open to tourists from home and abroad. The splendid, painted decorations on these royal architectural wonders, and the grand halls with their surprisingly magnificent treasures, are certainly enough to inspire any “modern civilian.”
| Palace of Double Glory (Chonghua Gong) 重华宫
(Venue not currently available)
The Chonghua Gong (Palace of Double Glory) is located in the western route of the inner court and was built by the Yongzheng Emperor for his heir-designate (the Qianlong Emperor) in 1727. After Qianlong ascended the throne, he met friends and ministers privately in Chonghua Gong, even though he actually stopped living there. Every New Year’s Day, the emperor had the ministers in Chonghua Gong write poems and present a tea banquet. The furniture and buildings’ arrangement has remained unchanged since the Qianlong period. Since travelers can rarely visit here, the only sounds in the courtyard are the quiet echoes of times long since passed.
|Shu Fang Zhai (漱芳斋)
NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Shu Fang Zhai Palace is close to Chonghua Palace. Constructed from the basis of a former price residence, the lodge consists of a courtyard and an I-shaped building. It is characterized by two stages. The larger one is located in the courtyard and is the largest one-story stage in the Imperial Palace. The smaller one is west of the rear hall of the building and was mainly used to perform highlights of operas during imperial family banquets. All the furniture inside Shu Fang Zhai are original relics from the Qing Dynasty. Shu Fang Zhai was also used as a study by the most famous emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Qianlong. Around New Year’s Day, the emperor would accept congratulations from officials and invite them to the large stage to watch operas. From the first to the tenth day of the first lunar month during the Qianlong period (1736-1795), the emperor would choose an auspicious day to treat a small group of officials here with the tea of three purities: fingered citron, plum blossoms, and line nuts. Since 1925, the very year when the Palace Museum (Forbidden City Museum) was established, Shu Fang Zhai was used as the VIP reception chamber for heads of state and dignitaries.
The Summer Palace landscape, dominated mainly by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, covers an area of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is under water. Its 70,000 square meters of building space features a variety of palaces, gardens and other ancient-style architectural structures. The Summer Palace is a monument to classical Chinese architecture, in terms of both garden design and construction. Borrowing scenes from surrounding landscapes, it radiates not only the grandeur of an imperial garden, but also the beauty of nature in a seamless combination that best illustrates the guiding principle of traditional Chinese garden design: “The works of men should match the works of Heaven.”