Forbidden City - Beijing

The Forbidden City – Beijing

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Forbidden City - BeijingIt’s bloody huge. It’s really huge. Did I tell you it’s huge. If you manage to not get lost in the palace, figuring out your way between thousands of rooms, kudos to you. There are 9999.5 rooms in the Forbidden city, all of which are not open to visitors.

Forbidden City - BeijingThe Forbidden palace is on every China Traveler’s agenda after The Great Wall. I’ve read a couple of books on Empress Dowager Tzu Hsi who was the last Empress of China. Since then I’ve been fascinated by this place.

Forbidden City - BeijingWe went in early and we expected the ticket counters to have long queues but seemed like almost everyone was either with a tour guide or had purchased tickets beforehand. We went in but not before buying an electronic guide which not only looked very pretty and snazzy but was very helpful.

Forbidden City - BeijingThe first thing we noticed was the crowd, there were so many people inside. I started thinking about our vacation pictures with herds of people in it. But you can’t really complain when you’re part of the same crowd now, can you? But you go further and the palace splits into 3 sections, that’s when the crowds start fizzling out.

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The electronic guide did a good job of explaining the significance of each structure. All the rooms and halls have beautiful, poetic names (Hall of Supreme Harmony, The Hall of Central Peace, Palace of Earthly Tranquility, Palace of Heavenly Purity, Palace of Earthly Tranquility, Hall of Mental Cultivation ) and distinct purposes.

Forbidden City - Beijing

China had such a rich, fascinating and vibrant history that I feel one cannot appreciate any site fully if you don’t know the history.

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Srilanka

These pictures are from 4 years back when we spent 20 days in Srilanka, still very fresh in our mind…

New Years Eve: Singapore fireworks 2013

Welcome to our first travel post. But before we start, here’s wishing you a very very happy new year…May you have a prosperous and fruitful 2013.

We were in Singapore during New Year’s eve for the first time (in spite of living here for 3 years), so we decided to see the Singapore fireworks at Marina Bay. We celebrated our last New Year in Hong kong watching the fireworks and it was a wonderful experience as more than 15,000 visitors gathered around the tower which was lit up to invite 2012. The fireworks were part of the building and everyone seemed to have loved it. Here are a couple of pictures…
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People always draw comparisons between Singapore and Hong kong, both are emerging economies of South Asia, both are similar in size and foreigner intake. Both have a chinese orientation and both want to make a mark on the world with infrastructure and tourism. So our expectations from Singapore fireworks were set by the experience we had in Hong kong.

Plan was to leave from home at 9:00 PM and try to reach Marina Boulevard by 10:00 pm. But the Mrs was not ready even by 9:35, so we ended up taking a cab. On the way we saw signs which said that private vehicles were not allowed around the marina bay area and hence we were dropped off at marina bay sands itself. The instructions we found on the internet were very confusing and when the cab couldn’t drop us at a specific point, all we could do was follow the herd. As a result of which we were not aware of any concert arranged.  With us being dropped off right at MBS, we missed the entire concert and were directly at the fireworks viewing deck. So in other words we were waiting for the fireworks 2 hours in advance with nothing else to do.

Crowd was sitting at premium locations and we had no choice but to stand behind, with the crowds building behind us. Expected crowd was 25,000 and with our HKG experience, we had really high hopes, but the actual fireworks did not commence until 12:00.. so basically we were left bored with no entertainment but to look at others. The government in HKG had made sure people had things to do when they waited during the countdown, like intermittent light shows or other things like small fireworks. But here, there was nothing, the count down was basically a painful wait.

The actual fireworks lasted for only 8 mins, and it was over before we were even started enjoying it. It was good but Mrs thought it was nothing spectacular. I guess we count the whole experience rather than just the fireworks. Here are a few pics.

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We didn’t manage to take many descent shots as it was very crowded. Nonetheless, we had fun. Strolled around Boat Quay for some time and took the last train home.

Introduction….

We are a young couple and feel extremely privileged to have travelled to the places that we have. We currently live in Singapore which gives us easy access to travel to neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, China and Indonesia among many others. We love to travel even if it’s within Singapore.

We hope to pen down our travel experience in this blog and we hope you enjoy reading it.