During my latest trip to China Mike and I took an afternoon to walk through the grounds of China's Imperial Palace. Though both of us have seen temples, palaces and ruins before, the company made the adventure so much more memorable. We were not in a rush, we had no where we had to be, we weren't on a tourist trip - it was more like going for a stroll in the park.
With a stop at the Forbidden Cities own Starbucks (think what you will of this...) we meandered through gates, up stairs and across courtyards while taking in the not-to-polluted air (the next day had a visibility of less than zero so were were lucky).
We had a chance encounter with some HZ friends and made new acquaitances with some foreigners visiting from NY. Unfortunately, we were frustrated at the lack of respect shown by whomever decided to let their child defecate on the palace stairs. However, all-in-all, the small adventure was grand.
Here is a site where you yourself can take a 360degree interactive tour of one of the courtyards in the palace - enjoy. http://www.thebeijingguide.com/forbidden_city/forbidden_city_virtual_tour.html