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Sights and sounds of Beijing

1 Summer Palace Tour
Summer Palace Tour

Lair of the Dragon Lady fr £53pp

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 2,000-foot hall featuring 8,000 paintings.


These stunning works of art were collected by the Emperor during his travels around the country and you have time to appreciate them on this great tour, during which you will hear all about the Lair of the Dragon Lady. There are so many amazing places to visit and sights to see when visiting the Chinese capital Beijing, and this Summer Palace tour should certainly be on your list.

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1 Summer Palace Tour

Summer Palace Tour

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

Heart of the City fr £55pp

You are collected from your hotel and taken to the centre of Beijing. This morning, you will walk through the expanse of Tiananmen Square, one of the world's largest public squares, where you 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 enter the Forbidden City.

Once in the Forbidden City you walk in the steps of emperors. It 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 9,999 rooms, which at its peak housed up to 10,000 people. 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.


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2 Tiannamen Square & Forbidden City Tour

Tiannamen Square & Forbidden City Tour

3 Hutong and Tea Ceremony Tour
Hutong and Tea Ceremony Tour

It's your cup of tea! fr £57pp

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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3 Hutong and Tea Ceremony Tour

Hutong and Tea Ceremony Tour

4 Classic Private Beijing Tour
Classic Private Beijing Tour

SIGHTS NOT TO BE MISSED fr £119pp

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.

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4 Classic Private Beijing Tour

Classic Private Beijing Tour

5 Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Pandas
Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Pandas

Pandas and palaces fr £123pp

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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5 Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Pandas

Summer Palace and Beijing Zoo Pandas

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

Golden day on the Wall fr £144pp

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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6 Great Wall of China & 798 Art District

Great Wall of China & 798 Art District

7 Hutongs by Rickshaw
Hutongs by 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.

On this fun journey you also learn about the many and varied types of Chinese tea and the equally varied ways to drink them while stopping your rickshaw ride to attend a tea appreciation class. You will sample several types of tea in a local teahouse and see that there is indeed a different brew for every occasion. This tour makes for a great day out while staying in Beijing.

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7 Hutongs by Rickshaw

Hutongs by Rickshaw

8 Old Beijing
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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8 Old Beijing

Old Beijing

9 Peking Duck Dinner
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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9 Peking Duck Dinner

Peking Duck Dinner