Visitors to the Forbidden City can now not only enjoy the thousands of rooms contained within the mammoth attraction but also escape the crowds with a walk around its perimeter, according to China Daily.
The move is part of an ongoing push by the Palace Museum to open unseen sections of the ancient walled city to the public, as well as a way to reduce overcrowding during the busiest periods.
As such, nearly three-quarters of the 3,400-plus meter wall, touted as the best-preserved of any of China’s royal complexes, can now be scaled by tourists looking to get a higher vantage point over the palace.
Those parts now open include the southern, eastern, and northern sections of the wall, including the section from the Meridian Gate (Wumen Gate) at the southern end of the city to the southwest corner tower. We assume the western wall remains shut as it would give unwanted views to Zhongnanhai, Xi Jinping’s official residence and the modern control center for the Chinese Communist Party.
Currently, 65 percent of the royal complex is now open to the public, with more to as well as a concerted effort to demolish those structures now deemed unseemly to be housed in the UNESCO world heritage site and one of China’s best-known tourist attractions.
Completed in 1426 by the Yongle Emperor, the Forbidden City served as the home of Chinese emperors as well as the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government for almost 500 years. Nowadays it is visited by nearly 16 million people annually, a reason as to why you might want to plan your visit before you head out into the see of people.
Want to avoid the crowds? See these beautiful pictures of the Forbidden City without even leaving your chair.