Beijing’s Forbidden City is so grand, it has 9,999 rooms filled with ancient artifacts for locals and tourists to see.


Credit: Jabari Bell

Credit: Jabari Bell

The Forbidden City is one of Beijing’s crown jewels – along with The Great Wall of ChinaThe Summer Palace and The Temple of Heaven. The ancient capital is a vibrant city dripping in rich history. There are plenty of gems scattered everywhere. If I had the time, I would have explored every single one of them.

The Forbidden City is a must. It would be a shame to fly half way around the world and not step foot in those gated walls. History is preserved for the present to see, but whether or not it will be there tomorrow is another story. That’s a pretty good excuse to pack your bags and travel the world, right?

The act of stepping foot in such a historical place is sometimes worth more than seeing the things that are inside. The Forbidden City has been raided in the past and many of its treasures have either been destroyed or stolen.

Rain or shine, swarms of locals and tourists spend countless hours losing themselves inside these gated walls. A large portion of it has been retouched in preparation for the Olympics. Now that the event is over, I would imagine it to be pristine.

I stayed at The Far East International Youth Hostel, nestled in one of Beijing’s many disappearing hutongs. These crowded compounds that shed light to the old school way of life where the locals carry on like it’s the 1920’s. One of the best things about this hostel, other than being located in a hutong, is that it’s conveniently located 15 – 20 minutes away from many of Beijing’s biggest tourist destinations.

Monica reflects on her travels by sharing her thoughts on A Cup of Moca. She writes about her journey as she experiences the destination to encourage others to marinate in the moment instead of just checking things off a bucket list.