Forbidden City open night, romance come at a price.
Wonder and romance come at a price, especially for lovers who want to celebrate tonight their undying affection for each other under the full moon at the Palace Museum in Beijing.
This will be the first time in 94 years that the Forbidden City in the Chinese capital will be open at night, and the 6,000 tickets for tonight and tomorrow night had been sold out right after it was put on the market.
For a change, the Palace Museum has come up with the great idea of opening its famous complex and treasures on Tuesday and Wednesday to visitors who want to see the ancient city in a different setting – with romantic lights, cozy atmosphere and all – to celebrate the Spring Festival, the last day of the traditional Lunar New Year celebrations and the Chinese version of Valentine’s Day.
Unfortunately, the online ticketing system crashed because too many people rushed to the website at the same time, China Daily reported.
When the website reopened, netizens were dismayed to learn that all the tickets – 1,000 tickets for each of the three sections for each night – had been sold out.
Apparently, some of the tickets found their way into the hands of scalpers, who were selling them for as much as 10,000 yuan (US$1,480) for two, according to Global Times. The not-for-sale VIP tickets had a market price of 1,500 yuan each.
The activity was unusual, considering that in China people have to use their real names to register and buy the tickets, thus making the reselling of tickets rather difficult.
But local news suggested that the ticket buyer and seller had to swap their identity cards for the occasion.
Just like Hong Kong, the mainland is notorious for ticket scalping with prices of tickets to favorite shows soaring way above their normal costs.
Fortunately, or not, our own Palace Museum is still under construction in West Kowloon so scalpers can’t possibly do business on this special night.
But, of course, that won’t prevent us from having a fun night under the full moon tonight.
Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day!