This is a public service announcement: in a matter of months, you and any out-of-town guests lugging around oversized camera lenses and overpriced 'I love BJ' t-shirts
will have to buy tickets for the Palace Museum
Presumably in a move to eliminate some of the mega-queues and mega-stress at Beijing's most beloved tourist attraction, the powers that be are planning to move all ticket sales online by October
this year. There's not currently a bilingual website, an app or any other digital doodah in place that allows entry to be purchased in advance if you can't read Chinese, although those who can read hanzi
have been able
to bypass the scrum at the entry point by using the museum's website
A mosh pit could break out and we wouldn't be particularly surprised. Image: Flickr/canterbury
Once the new system is in place, visitors won't be able to use one of the ticket booths to make their purchase; however, in what is a lifeline for hapless mums worldwide, there will apparently be service kiosks in place to lend a helping hand to the internet-phobic, mobile-phone-less and confused.
The Forbidden City is one of the world's most visited tourist attractions, with an estimated 16 million ice-cream munching, selfie-stick waving proles breaching its once prohibited sanctum yearly. We guess having to muddle through an online interface is a definite improvement on the lengths that commoners would have had to go through to gain access to the palace as little as just over a century ago, which were limited to castration or having to screw an emperor along with hundreds of other concubines and then possibly get shoved down a well
Disney's Mulan: sadly not a historic record.