The Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City are two of the most important attractions in Beijing, so they were predictably packed with fellow tourists.
The Forbidden was, at one time, home to around 3,000 of the emperor’s concubines. Obviously I had to know if he really slept with all of them, but unfortunately our guide had no idea.
The main palaces appeared very stark and almost lonely set against the bright blue back drop. One of the emperors, I forget which dynasty, had cut down all of the trees in the main courtyards- he was afraid that they could be hiding places for assassins. There was some greenery though, in the north part of the palace.