As I have mentioned a few times, I was treated to very clear and sunny (though very cold!) days for the most part whilst in Beijing. However having 10 clear days in Beijing winter would be unheard of, so when I woke up on this particular day I was hardly surprised that it was cloudy and smoggy.
The smog was not in dangerous territory, so I ventured out for the day to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Being the core of tourism in Beijing, these locations were quite busy, but being a week day I thankfully didn’t have to spend any time waiting in line for tickets and the various security checks.
Tiananmen Square is one of those places that I had seen so many pictures of, that it was quite surreal to see it in person.
The Forbidden City was far bigger than I anticipated! The former Chinese imperial palace sprawled out over what felt like hundreds of courtyards, buildings, and gardens. I was unable to find a map to take with me, so I had to make do with taking a photo of a large map on a sign and zooming in!
The buildings were all so ornately decorated, both inside and out.
Around half way through my explorations my camera ran out of battery! Thankfully I had my phone with me, but I was kicking myself for being so unaware of it having low battery. It also gave me an additional incentive to take more in with my own eyes, rather than desperately trying to capture everything through a camera lens.
Some of my favourite palaces were in the courtyards to the side of the main buildings. I didn’t even get to see all of them because there was so many!
The imperial garden was also quite beautiful, even in winter.
It was so cold that eventually I gave up on trying to see everything! Not to mention it felt like I had walked far too many kilometres trying to explore the palace.
The rest of this day was relatively uneventful, featuring cheap shopping at Silk Street, Beijing noodles, and catching up with my friend again.