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Sights and sounds of Beijing

Summer Palace Tour
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Summer Palace Tour

Lair of the Dragon Lady

The Summer Palace is one of the largest and best-preserved imperial gardens in the world. In the 18th century, Emperor Qianlong enlarged and embellished it, only to abandon it a few years later. The grounds today are stunning, as is the lovely Kunming Lake, which occupies more than three quarters of the total area. Enjoy a boat ride before walking the Long Corridor, a 728-metre (well over 2000-foot) hall featuring 8000 paintings collected by the Emperor during his travels around the country.

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Tiannamen Square & Forbidden City Tour
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Tiannamen Square & Forbidden City Tour

Heart of the City

You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the centre of Beijing. This morning, you will walk through the expanse of Tiananmen Square, where you will pass Chairman Tiananmen Square
Prepare to be overwhelmed by the sheer size of one of the world’s largest public squares, measuring in at 440,000 square meters (over 109 acres). As you walk from the southernmost part of the square all the way down its length, you will pass several monuments, including the mausoleum that houses Chairman Mao’s remains. The northern gate of the square features a portrait of the PRC’s founding father, and is also the gate through which you will enter the Forbidden City.
The Forbidden City
Enter the Forbidden City and walk in the steps of emperors. The Forbidden City was completed in 1420, and was home to 24 emperors, the last of which left Beijing in 1924. The entire imperial complex is reputed to have 9999 rooms, which at its peak housed up to 10,000 people, including the imperial family, 3000 eunuchs, as well as maids and concubines. Discover for yourself why the 170 acres were forbidden to common people as you stroll through what is arguably the best-preserved example of classical Chinese architecture in the world.
Transfer back to the hotel

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Hutongs by Rickshaw
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Hutongs by Rickshaw

Rickshaw ride through history

The word “hutong” refers to the narrow network of lanes created by closely built quadrangular homes. Once the primary architectural feature of China’s capital city, hutongs now make up only a small fraction of Beijing, having been replaced by high-rise buildings in recent years. Recapture the feeling of Beijing’s past from the wooden seat of a traditional rickshaw, and visit a local family’s courtyard home along the way.
Tea Ceremony
Learn about the many and varied types of Chinese tea and the equally varied ways to drink them in this tea appreciation class. You will sample several types of tea in a local teahouse and see that there is indeed a different tea for every occasion.

fr £56pp

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Classic Private Beijing Tour
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Classic Private Beijing Tour

Sights not to be missed

Take a morning walk in the footsteps of emperors in the Forbidden City and stroll through Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world. On the north side of the square is the Tiananmen Gate, which overlooks the square, and it was from the balcony of this gate, on October 1, 1949 that chairman Mao proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China.

From a huge portrait on the south side of the gate, Mao gazes onto Tiananmen Square, and behind the Tiananmen Gate, inaccessible to commoners for more than 500 years, lies the iconic Forbidden City.
After walking through you the Forbidden City you will have lunch at a local Chinese restaurant before an afternoon visiting the hutongs of Beijing in the back of a rickshaw. You will be transferred by car to your hotel at the end of the tour.

fr £134pp

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Beijing Cooking Class
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Beijing Cooking Class

China on a plate

In the morning you are picked up from your hotel in Beijing and driven to a local cooking school. During a fascinating day you will learn to cook three different dishes and understand the secrets of excellent Chinese culinary skills under the guidance of a respected chef. Then enjoy the fruits of your labour for lunch before returning to your hotel.

There are lots of things to do and famous sights to see while staying in China's capital city. Must visits include imposing Tiananmen Square, the incredible Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the beautiful parks and gardens, museums, giant pandas in the zoo and, of course, a trip outside the city to walk along the Great Wall of China . . . but it's also good to learn a bit about the local cuisine.

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Beijing Martial Arts - Kung Fu Show
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Beijing Martial Arts - Kung Fu Show

Top of the Chops!

Your visit to China's capital city wouldn't be complete without making this evening visit to the Beijing Red Theatre for a unique and spectacular Legend of Kung Fu show. Combining kung fu, dance and acrobatics with vibrant costumes, set designs and special effects, this colourful show is a remarkable display of Chinese modern and traditional art and not to be missed.

There is so much to see and do when visiting Beijing from the old to the new. Must see icons include the fabulous Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace and the city zoo with its cuddly giant pandas. Also make at least one visit out to the Great Wall of China and see this wonder of the ancient world. But whatever you do in Beijing, this evening of kung fu makes a great end to any day.

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Beijing Zoo Tour
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Beijing Zoo Tour

Perfect place for pandas

On this morning tour you are taken to visit Beijing Zoo, the biggest zoo in China with the largest collection of animals. The highlight for most people is the hall of the giant panda, China’s national treasure and symbol. These cuddly creatures get somewhat pampered in this zoo and during your memorable visit you will see them feeding, at rest and playing.

There is so much to see and do when visiting Beijing from the old to the new. Must see icons include the fabulous Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the magnificent Summer Palace. Also make at least one visit out to the Great Wall of China and see this wonder of the ancient world. But whatever you do in Beijing, this visit to the zoo, where you can also get up close to the tigers, is not to be missed.

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Great Wall of China & 798 Art District
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Great Wall of China & 798 Art District

Golden day on the Wall

On this brilliant tour you walk the stunningly beautiful, and much less visited, Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, which includes a cable car ride up and down the wall. Located in Huairou County, about 45 miles from Beijing, the incredible Great Wall is one of the wonders of the world, and is a must visit during any stay in Beijing.

Stand on top of one of the ancient watchtowers taking in the vast scale and sheer beauty of the Wall as it snakes its way across the tops of impossibly steep mountain ridges. Enjoy lunch at a Chinese restaurant then return to the city, and stop to visit the 798 Art District, a complex of modern art, restaurants and bars in a converted factory. It's a modern contrast to the ancient wall of China. You will transfer back to your hotel after this visit.


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Great Wall, Tianammen and Forbidden City
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Great Wall, Tianammen and Forbidden City

Three in one

There are certain tours you must take while staying in Beijing and this is one of them. Make an early start in the morning for this full-day tour. First you drive for around two hours to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, a relatively quieter area compared to that of Badaling. There you will have ample opportunity to explore the Wall and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

After lunch drive back to the city to visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Built on Mao Zedong’s orders, Tiananmen Square is said to hold a capacity crowd of more than one million people and is the world's largest square. Afterwards cross the road into the Forbidden City, the sacred centre of the Chinese empire for 500 years, home to both Ming and Qing dynasties.

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Hutong and Tea Ceremony Tour
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Hutong and Tea Ceremony Tour

It's your cup of tea!

An essential highlight of Beijing is a tour of the Hutong area. Mostly built during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, they are the narrow network of lanes created by closely built quadrangular homes. These traditional courtyard houses are hidden behind high walls and not visible from the street. The only clue to their presence are wooden gates with ornate carvings intended to bring good fortune to the owner.

Take a 20-minute richshaw ride through the narrow alleyways before visiting the traditional family home for tea and a fascinating insight into Chinese life. During the tea ceremony you learn about the many and varied types of Chinese tea and the equally varied ways to drink it. You sample several types of tea in a local teahouse and discover the different brews for each occasion.

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Old Beijing
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Old Beijing

Tea with Confucius

The Lama Temple, built in 1694, is an impressive compound once the home of Prince Yong who would later become Emperor Yongzheng. Upon his ascension to the throne the buildings were converted into a temple dedicated to Tibetan Buddhist study and today it remains one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world.

One of the pavilions within the temple houses a huge Buddha sculpture carved from a single trunk of white sandalwood. Also visit the Confucius Temple where people paid homage to Confucius during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty. Then enjoy a tea ceremony at a local teahouse and learn about the many and varied types of Chinese tea and the equally varied ways to drink it.

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Peking Duck Dinner
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Peking Duck Dinner

Have a peek at the menu

There are so many things to do and famous sights to see while staying in China's capital city Beijing. Must visits include imposing Tiananmen Square, the incredible Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the beautiful parks and gardens, museums, giant pandas in the zoo and, of course, a trip outside the city to walk along the Great Wall of China.

But you can't do any of these excursions on an empty stomach, and this is where this traditional excursion comes into its own. You will be collected from your hotel and driven to one of Beijing's famous Peking Duck restaurants. Here you enjoy a delicious dinner sampling the famous dish in all its forms. After this memorable meal you are driven back to your hotel.

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Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Pandas
13

Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Pandas

Pandas and palaces

China’s most famous animal gets somewhat pampered in the Giant Panda hall at Beijing Zoo. In the morning you have a memorable visit to the zoo to see these wonderful creatures at rest and play. Then stop at one of the largest and best-preserved imperial gardens in the world -The Summer Palace - one of the finest landmarks in Beijing.

It has long been a royal garden and was enlarged and embellished by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century then later abandoned before being rebuilt in 1888. The lovely Kunming Lake occupies three quarters of the area and you have a boat ride before walking the Long Corridor. After lunch at a local restaurant visit the stunning Temple of Heaven before returning to your hotel.

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The Great Wall at Mutianyu
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The Great Wall at Mutianyu

Hit the Wall

No visit to Beijing is complete without a trip out of the city to the Great Wall of China. On this tour you are collected from your hotel for the trip north. The Great Wall at Mutianyu is a relatively quieter section compared to that of Badaling and once there you have ample time to explore the Wall and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside before returning to your hotel in the afternoon.

There is so much to see and do when visiting Beijing from the old to the new. Must see icons include the fabulous Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the magnificent Summer Palace. Also visit the zoo where you can see those cuddly Giant Pandas and tigers. But whatever you do in China's capital city, at least one trip to the Wall is always a real must.

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