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Video: Inside Beijing's Forbidden City (and the mistake I made there)

A video glimpse inside Beijing's Forbidden City

The Forbidden City – China’s imperial palace through five centuries and 24 rulers – stands in the middle of Beijing. As this video shows, it’s full of remarkable details – and, most days, a seething mass of foreign and domestic tourists.

So give yourself plenty of time. The site (which last housed a sitting emperor about 100 years ago) covers 180 acres, including dozens of gates, bridges, courtyards and rooms with endlessly intriguing name (like the Hall of Mental Cultivation). The complex has served as a museum since 1925.   I shot the video in July 2013.

“A Minute Away” is a video series in which nothing much happens -- except you see the world, and hear it, and get a respite from workaday life. We’ve covered Machu Picchu, Red Square, the Yucatan, the Alamo, an Alaska float plane and the reading room of the New York Public Library, among other place. We add a new minute just about every week. So if you’d prefer a full hour away, we've got more than enough here for you…

 

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