The Forbidden City is not so forbidden any longer...based on the thousands and thousands of people there visiting it! I love the huge city, however it's a hard sight to visit because of all of the people, the massive space to cover (178 Acres), and the lack of trees! I was absolutely exhausted after our 3 hours there. It consists of 90 palaces and courtyards, 980 buildings and 8,704 rooms. And I had to work really hard to find a few hidden spots to take pictures with very few people in them. And of course it was those quiet areas that were my favorite.
My advice for avoiding the crowds is to head to the Palace Museum. You can see ancient treasures of the dynasty - or you can simply enjoy the quiet gardens and less people!
Sherry Ott traveled to China courtesy of the China National Tourist Office (www.cnto.org) and Wendy Wu Tours (www.wendywutours.com/china/USTOATravelTogether) as part of AFAR’s partnership with The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) (www.ustoa.com), whose members provide travelers with unparalleled access, insider knowledge, and peace-of-mind to destinations across the globe. For more info on Sherry’s journey, visit the USTOA blog (http://ustoa.com/blog).