The photos of Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City don’t do justice to the vastness of the spaces, and the grandeur of the architecture. Both places are loaded with tourists, mostly Chinese tourists, who found us an exotic feature of their tour. Take your time to study the map and read up on the history. We found that most hired guides want to hurry you through the Forbidden City in a few hours. Instead, we opted for the audio guide, which worked only marginally, setting our own pace. Although mid-September, it was still hot and humid. Enjoy the shade when you find it, and stop for a drink or an ice cream. Many of the buildings are closed, but doors are open to peer inside, with barricades across the openings, and a scrum at each opening to get into position to shoot a quick photo or selfie.