|Directly opposite is an imposing gateway to the Forbidden City with a Picture of Mao. All the little kids were walking around with their red flags and hawkers with therir chopstiks running away from you when police strolled by. We walked through the gate, through another gate, through another until it felt like ground hog day. The City was 1km long and 1 km wide! And so called as it was off limits to commoners for over 500 years. Built by 1 million labourers between 1406 and 1420 and home to 23 successive Ming & Qing Emporors. It is now the largest and best preserved of ancient buildings in China. There is a permanent fulltime renovation team, taking 10 years to complete, then start all over again. Least to say we were beat by the time we got to the end. It was beatiful, amazing. Half way through there was a slight thunder storm which brought out the vivid colours including a gold glint on the tiled roofs. Luckily our Mandarin came in handy and we managed to get the right bus home....