As we strolled through Beijing’s Forbidden City, I caught a glimpse of two children dashing up a ramp near one of the museum rooms. Since I was headed for cooler climes anyway (museum rooms are air conditioned!), I wanted to get a closer look at what was going on. Most tourists were attired as we were — hats, sunglasses, cameras around our necks, etc.
But several people looked as if they just might be the Last Emperor who lived at the Forbidden City — complete with silken garments, rounded hats, and finery in brilliant colors. That’s when I spotted this father/son duo smiling as many of us tourists lined up to snap pictures of them.
Still, I didn’t know what was happening until I peered into a little alcove in one of the smaller halls. A young girl was selecting a complete outfit so she could pose for pictures. It reminded me of another establishment in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee (near where we live): in our part of the world, tourists dress as people from the Old West — saloon girls, barkeeps, gamblers, and the like — so they can take a tintype photo home with them.
And so it was in China. People dressed up and posed for pictures. But this was different. I looked up at the screen only to realize that the photos of dressed-up tourists were superimposed atop the iconic buildings of the Forbidden City! And the tourists were flying! Yes, they were!
It was fun for all. We were watching flying videos and taking pictures of the dressed-up people on the ground. They were smiling back at us! And collectively we were all looking up at the screens and pointing even though we had no idea what anyone was saying!
I guess the people of China are a lot like us Americans– a good time in different clothing is a good time no matter where you live!
Wanna fly over the Forbidden City? Just head to the back of the Outer Court, force yourself to don some heavy garb, and smile! Forbidden City Flying Tours will do the rest! Would you like to see one of the videos? Click here!
To read our other posts on this Viking River Cruise: Imperial Jewels of China, just go to the top of this page and click China. You’ll see what’s been added so far.
For more information:
Viking River Cruises: Imperial Jewels of China: http://www.vikingrivercruises.com/rivercruises/china-yangtze-beijing-shanghai-2013/itinerary.aspx