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The 50 Things You Must Do in Asia

By Hanya Yanagihara - 2013-07-23T16:27:10Z

Photograph by Andrew Rowat

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Visit the Forbidden City: China

To best experience the Forbidden City, the enormous walled fifteenth-­century structure at Beijing's heart, later in the day is actually better. Skip the museum within the complex's grounds and head to the North Gate, going backward toward the main entrance at Tiananmen. This is where every emperor—and his family and staff—lived from 1420, when the 7.8-million-square-foot, 980-building compound was finished, until 1912, when the Qing dynasty went out with a whimper. 

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