It depends on which route through the park you want to take! Most people arrive via the East Gate, where you’ll see the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity, which was the retirement home of Dowager Empress Cixi - although she still influenced politics from the rooms you’ll see, even after her son officially took the throne in 1889. Watch out for a number of peacock statues, plus dragons and phoenixes, representing the power of the Emperor, Empress, and their dynasty. Close to the hall, you’ll find the three-story Grand Theater, which can be explored if you’ve bought the all-inclusive ticket. You can also see the Hall of Joyful Longevity, and if you’re feeling brave you can take a picture of the huge Blue Iris stone outside it - the stone enthusiast who wanted to take it home with him abandoned it halfway due to bankruptcy, and there’s a superstition that even photographing it can bring ruin to the photographer. You can take a trip over the Seventeen-Arch Bridge, lined by lion statues, and climb over the steep arch of the Jade Belt Bridge, whose high arch allowed the Emperor’s dragon boat to pass underneath. Speaking of boats, you can also visit the Marble Boat, a stone replica of an original structure destroyed in 1860. Following the Long Corridor (a covered walkway) and climbing Longevity Hill, you’ll be able to visit the Baoyun Bronze Pavilion, the majestic Tower of Buddhist Incense, and the Sea of Wisdom, a green and yellow building containing over 1,000 Buddhist statues. From the top of the hill, you’ll also enjoy stunning views of the park and downtown Beijing.