Tapping into a rich seam of antiquity, ponder the legends and myths of the Forbidden City in Beijing.
The best-preserved imperial palace in China and the largest ancient palatial structure in the world, it is made up of some 980 buildings and 8,704 rooms. It ceased being the political centre of China in 1912 with the abdication of Puyi, last Emperor of China. Walk across Tiananmen Square, passing by Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum, and learn about several significant events in Chinese history that have occurred in the square, including the fateful protests that occurred in 1989.
Rediscover a sense of wonder at the gargantuan Great Wall, snaking some 6,700 kilometres from east to west across hills, deserts, plains and mountains. This enduring symbol of Chinese ingenuity was built to protect China against marauding invaders from the north and is believed to be the longest man-made structure on earth. Although the present wall dates mainly from the Ming dynasty, some 20 states and dynasties were involved in its inexplicable construction over a 2,000 year period. The most accessible part of the wall is best visited at the Mutianyu or Badaling sections, just beyond Beijing.
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