Your guide will then escort you to the Forbidden city which once again demonstrates why many believe Beijing is home to some of the most intriguing landmarks in the world. Designed as a monument to the 24 emperors who dictated from its halls for close to 500 years, this emblematic beacon of Chinese culture is a can't miss stop during your time in this historic city. While
entering the palaces through the Meridian Gate you will feel the eyes of past emperors observing you from above where many looked up to for their approval.
Finish your day with the exploration of the Hou Hai neighborhood which represents one of the most satisfying ways to explore daily life in Beijing. Life along Hou Hai lake has fended off the upwards growth of urban living and provides the perfect opportunity to see "classic" China with endless passageways and restaurants to delve into. The highlight of this neighborhood are the Hutongs which have become synonymous with Beijing living and are formed by the intermixing of alleyways, courtyards and houses. Hop in a rickshaw to cover all the stops in a traditional fashion as you give your feet a break. Here you will grab some lunch with a variety of options from local traditions like an 1,000 year old egg to global favorites. Your time here will end with a walk up the Drum and Bell Towers, once considered the northern limits of the city, for a spectacular view of Hou Hai's intricate design. Your guide and driver will accompany you to your hotel while anserwing any questions you may have on your next day of touring.
Located in the Haidan district about 9 miles north of Beijing city you will find the majestic Summer Palace. Known as the best preserved Royal Park in China the Royal Palace has become the epicenter of Chinese horticulture and cultural insight. The park occupies over 700 acres and is made up of primarily Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. With over 3,000 man made structures the mixture of human works and nature paint the perfect picture. You will not find a higher standard of an urban getaway anywhere else in the world.
At the Temple of Heaven you will be able to explore where past emperors would make sacrifices and pray to heaven on the behalf of the country. Constructed between the years of 1402 and 1420 this historic temple became a World Heritage Site in 1998 while being chronicled as "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design which simply and graphically illustrates a cosmogony of great importance for the evolution of one of the world’s great civilizations." With philsophical principles in mind the Temple of Heaven is broken up into three portions; The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, The Imperial Vault of Heaven and The Circular Mound Altar. With a square representing the earth and a circle representing heaven you will be amazed by the symbolism scattered about the grounds.
The Lama Temple represents the most renowned Buddhist temple outside of Tibet and lays out a path from south to north or "earth to heaven." The decorative five main halls each provide a compelling story that eventually mesh into one following your tour. Make sure to check out the prayer wheel which sends your prayer on a coiled paper to heaven with a simple spin. Many consider this location to have the most impressive architecture amongst temples in Beijing.
Departures: 08:00 AM, 09:00 AM, 10:00 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: - Stops for lunch are incorporated into each day.
- Lunch is not included in the price. Expect it to cost about 30 USD per person. In Asia it is customary that you pay for your guide's lunch as well.
- Please wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Admission to Forbidden City is 14 USD per person.
- Admission to the Temple of Heaven is 6 USD per person.
- Admission to the Summer Palace is 7 USD and includes cruise on Kunming Lake.
- If you choose to get a Hutong tour via Pedi-cab it includes 1 or 2 activites with a visit to a local family. The price is 20 USD per person and includes tip.
- Entrance to the Tiananmen Gate tower is USD 3 per person. Entrance to the National theatre for performing arts is 6 USD.