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Learn the history of the Vatican City, take a daytrip to the historic castle at Český Krumlov from Prague, cruise down the Rhine past Cologne’s iconic cathedral or spend an evening watching the Can-Can girls perform at Paris’s world famous night spot, the Moulin Rouge. Make the most of your visit to Europe’s culture capitals with one of our sightseeing and activity options.
We are able to create individual train holidays just for you. You can make your own itinerary, including the cities, hotels, trains, dates and length of your choice. Just call us on +44 20 3327 0800.
See two of China's most popular destinations, the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs on one unforgettable guided day trip from Beijing. You'll visit the Badaling section of the Great Wall, one of the best preserved sections of this colossal structure, and explore the Chang Ling Tomb, the largest of the excavated Ming emperor burial sites.
First stop on your full-day tour north of Beijing is the Great Wall of China, the greatest symbol of ancient Chinese engineering and one of the world's most famous structures. Here at the Badaling section of the Great Wall you will have the opportunity to climb either the north or south face of the wall.
From Badaling it's on to the sacred Ming Tombs, burial grounds to 13 of the 16 Ming emperors. You'll explore the largest of the excavated burial sites, the Chang Ling Tomb, which is divided into three separate, impressive courtyards.
Lunch is included in your day tour to the Great Wall of China and the Ming Tombs, along with a shopping opportunity at the renowned Longdi Jade Factory.
Special Offer - Book before March 31, 2013, and save up to 12% on the recommended retail price - Book Now!
See all the classic Beijing sights on a full-day sightseeing tour covering Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven. Along the way, your busy day includes relaxing scenic bus ride, Chinese style lunch, plus an unbeatable shopping experience at the Pearl Market.
Your full-day tour starts at Tiananmen Square to explore China's more recent history, influenced by Chairman Mao and the rise of communism. From there it's on to the Forbidden City, built by Emperor Yong Le during the Ming Dynasty, and the seat of power for centuries. It has seen countless battles and reconstruction, and the architecture seen today dates from the 1700s. The Forbidden City is also known as the Imperial Palace Museum, with the history of every dynasty represented in four palatial halls.
After a delicious lunch, it's on to the Temple of Heaven, China's largest temple and altar complex. This extraordinary example of religious architecture dates back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Your final destination is the Summer Palace, the retreat of emperors for 800 years. One of Beijing's finest parks surrounds the palace, and you'll be able to explore the grounds, temples and the world's longest art gallery.
Special Offer - Book before March 31, 2013, and save up to 6% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
If your time in Beijing is short, take this full-day tour to see all the essential sights: Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China. You'll see why the capital of the People's Republic of China continues to be a historic center of power, culture and wealth today.
Your sightseeing day tour of Beijing's essential sights starts at Tiananmen Square, with an overview of China's communist history. You'll tour the grounds and see Tiananmen's vast array of halls and monuments.
From Tiananmen Square it's a short walk to the Forbidden City, also known as the Imperial Palace Museum. The history of every dynasty is represented in four palatial halls, plus antiques and treasures from China's thousands of years of history.
After a stop for lunch you will visit the Badaling section of the Great Wall, one of the best preserved sections of this 2,000-year-old architectural wonder. You will be able to climb the Great Wall and take in the panoramic views from the top.
The day tour also includes a stop at the famous Longdi Jade Factory where you can shop for beautiful bargains.
Special Offer - Book before March 31, 2013, and save up to 12% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Dining on world-famous Peking Duck is an absolute must-do in Beijing you can't say you've eaten Peking Duck until you've eaten it in Beijing, where it is made as it should be! On your evening out in Beijing you'll discover the culinary secrets in carving the duck correctly and eating it Beijing style.
Your delicious banquet will be followed by exotic entertainment from a Chinese acrobat troupe, who have perfected this elegant art form that has been performed in China for thousands of years.
Special Offer - Book before December 31, 2013, and save up to 13% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
This full-day Beijing sightseeing tour to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China provides an opportunity to experience steeper sections of the wall.The Mutianyu section is older than popular Badaling section and features outer and inner parapets, three watch towers and even an optional cable car ride!
Complete your trip to China with an unforgettable visit to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. The Great Wall of China is the greatest symbol of ancient Chinese engineering and one of the world's most famous structures.
The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China offers an alternative Great Wall experience to the popular Badaling section. This segment of China's ancient engineering marvel features an optional cable car ride, or an opportunity to climb more than 1,400 steps to the top.
The Mutianyu Great Wall is much steeper than the Badaling section, and offers a more challenging climb. This section is also older than Badaling, and features outer and inner parapets and three watchtowers.
Your eight-hour trip to the Mutianyu Great Wall includes a visit to a nearby cloisonné enamelware factory and a Chinese style lunch.
A privately guided tour, customized to your needs for a full day touring in Beijing. Some highlights include the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, visiting the Hutongs by pedicab, seeing the exquisite Lama Temple. But there's more, shopping in Beijing with your own personal guide for the best bargains in town, what could be better.
In Beijing, there are must-see destinations, cultural and historical landmarks. Then there are those special activities and local attractions that you've read about and put on your list to do. No tour itinerary can cover exactly what you want to see in Beijing, until now.
Let us help you create your own personalized day in Beijing using public transport with a professional guide and interpreter. If you want to visit the Forbidden City and take in a show with world famous Chinese acrobats, we can arrange it. Care to climb the steps of the Great Wall by day and have an authentic Peking Duck dinner in the evening? Well make it happen. Always wanted to tour the Hutongs by pedicab then visit the exquisite Lama Temple? Well put them both on your itinerary.
And you know about the unbelievable shopping in Beijing. Imagine having a personal guide take you where the locals shop, helping you bargain for the best prices on jewelry, handcrafts, antiques, art, fabrics or clothing. And whether you're shopping or sightseeing, well suggest the best places to eat in town. There's a world of cuisine in Beijing, plus all the traditional Chinese styles: Sichuan, Southern, Beijing style, Dim Sum and more.
Please note:This tour provides you with an English-speaking professional guide. You will be responsible for additional charges during the day such as taxis, bus fares, subway tickets, admission fees and food.
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After complimentary pickup from your hotel in Beijing, enjoy a scenic hour drive to the Ming Tombs, one of Beijing’s major historic landmarks. Visit the Chang Ling Tomb, one of the most well-preserved tombs from the Ming Dynasty. Walk through the magnificent halls to the Hall of Eminent Favors, containing a statue of the Yongle Emperor and a beautiful interior with cedar wood columns. Your private guide will share with you the history of the site, including stories about the excavations from these imperial tombs.
Enjoy a traditional Chinese lunch and visit the famous Longdi Jade Factory to see how jade is carved. Then, head to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. This towering granite wall, extending 7,381 feet (2,250 meters), was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) as a military alternative to the Great Wall of China at Badaling. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is characterized by grand military towers along the wall and is lined with green trees and flowers. Take a cable car ride to the top to get fantastic views of the Great Wall stretching into the distance.
On the way back to Beijing, stop at a local shop to view Ming Dynasty cloisonné artwork, ranging from colorful enamel bowls to intricately designed vases.
The Great Wall of China was originally built more than 2,000 years ago to ward off Hun intruders from the north. Today, the wall is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and makes a great Beijing day trip.
You'll travel by air-conditioned minivan to the less-touristy Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, located 56 miles (90 kilometers) from Beijing. This section of the Great Wall offers unparalleled views from the Ming Dynasty watchtowers. Walk at your own pace as you traverse the wall to the watchtowers, becoming immersed in the history and myths told by your local guide. Along the way, you will have great views and photo opportunities of the wall snaking through the beautiful countryside. You can choose to descend the Great Wall by toboggan or take the scenic cable car.
Scaling the Great Wall will leave you with an appetite.You’ll get the opportunity to try some Chinese specialty dishes as you enjoy a traditional lunch served in a nearby local village. To soothe your weary feet, you will end the day with a reflexology foot massage.
You'll return to Beijing in the early evening.
Special Offer - Book before December 31, 2013, and save up to 13% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Special Offer - Book now and save up to 45% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Explore Beijing's amazing history and culture on this seven-hour tour to the Lama Temple, the zoo to see China's famous pandas and the historic Summer Palace. This seven-hour tour provides a comprehensive, unhurried introduction to all there is to see in vibrant, enormous Beijing.
Your relaxed day tour begins at the Yonghe Lamasery, one of the best examples of the region's many sacred temples. Lama Temple reveals diverse architectural styles from Han, Mongolia, Manchuria and Tibet. The highlight is the impressive 60-foot (18-meter) Maitreya Buddha, carved from a single sandalwood tree. Next, it's on to the zoo to see one of the highpoints of any visit to Beijing, the frolicking pandas, China's living treasures.
After a stop for lunch, you'll visit the emperors' retreat, the historic Summer Palace. Empress Dowager Cixi renovated the estate in the 19th century, installing the artificial lake we see today. After touring the ornate palace, you'll stroll through one of Beijing's favorite parks and go on a shopping excursion to the Tianhou Silk Market.
Special Offer - Book and travel before March 31, 2013, and save up to 13% on the recommended retail price! - Book Now!
Get to know Beijing and its amazing history by visiting three of the city's most impressive historic attractions: Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. Beijing is an enormous city of nearly 15 million people, with one of the oldest cultures on earth.
Your relaxed seven-hour tour begins at Tian'anmen Square, focusing on a more recent page from China's history and the Cultural Revolution of Chairman Mao Zedong. You will tour the grounds and see Tian'anmen Tower, monument to the People's Heroes, Great Hall of the People and Chairman Mao's monument.
Then it's on to the legendary Forbidden City, known as the Imperial Palace Museum. The history of every dynasty is represented here in four palatial halls, and you'll have the most in-depth visit of the Forbidden City available on this tour.
After a substantial lunch, your final destination is the aptly named Temple of Heaven, dating from the 15th century. Built in the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Temple of Heaven was the center of prayer, traditional ceremonies and sacrificial rites. To complete your sightseeing you'll have the opportunity to enjoy traditional Chinese tea.
Special Offer - Book before December 31, 2013, and save up to 14% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Enjoy a private tour from Beijing to the Great Wall of China, an iconic Chinese structural masterpiece. Your private guide will pick you up from your hotel around 9am or 1pm, depending on option selected, and take you to the wall, where you’ll spend approximately 2 hours climbing the Juyongguan section, a famous pass through the mountains located in an 11-mile-long (18-kilometer-long) valley. As the closest section of the wall to Beijing, Juyongguan is the ideal part of the wall to climb if you’re short on time.
Positioned in a valley surrounded by mountains, Juyongguan Pass previously served as a strategic military stronghold and was the site of many battles. In the Warring States Period (476-221 BC), the emperor built fortifications in this location. During the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386-589 AD), Juyongguan Pass was linked to the Great Wall of China.
In the middle of Juyongguan Pass is a platform called Cloud Platform. Inside the platform is an arched doorway and walls covered with carvings of heavenly gods and engraved sutra scriptures. This part of the pass is surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees; enjoy the picturesque views as you climb to the top!
Visit the Lama Temple which was built in 1694, one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. Then take a rare opportunity to see a giant Panda in Beijing Zoo. Later visit a museum displaying the rise of Chinese architecture and agriculture in ancient times.
This Beijing tour starts from the famous Lama Temple, once the residence of a royal court. This vibrantly ornamented temple is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world.
Built in 1694 AD, Lama Temple houses tranquil gardens, superb sculptures and a veritable treasury of Buddhist art. Then you head to see the most important living treasure in Chin - the giant Panda in Beijing Zoo. Seizing this rare opportunity to see the endangered treasure is a great pleasure.
After a delicious Chinese lunch you will travel to an altar built in 1420 AD to memorialize the divine farmer Shennong, an emperor from thousands of years ago who taught his people the art of agriculture. Inside is a museum documenting the rise of Chinese architecture and agriculture in ancient times.
Begin your private day trip from Beijing at the Great Wall of China, the greatest symbol of Chinese engineering and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Spend the morning climbing the wall at Juyongguan, a famous pass through the mountains located in an 11-mile-long (18-kilometer-long) valley.
Surrounded by mountains, Juyongguan Pass served as a strategic military stronghold and was the site of many battles. The ancient pass was originally built in the Han Dynasty (220-206 BC) as a fortification, and later rebuilt to link it to the Great Wall of China. The circular pass is complete with supporting facilities, including a city tower, watch tower and a meeting place for the emperor. Juyongguan is surrounded by lush forests and magnificent mountains.
Enjoy lunch at a Chinese restaurant before heading to the Ming Tombs for a glimpse of ancient Chinese history and imperial culture. Enter the tombs through the Great Red Gate, covered with imperial yellow roof tiles. As you make your way down the main road called the Spirit Way, see the 36 impressive stone statutes of guardian officials and animals carved in the 15th century.
Continue your walk down the path to explore the Chang Ling Tomb. The Chang Ling Tomb is the largest and best-preserved of the Ming Tombs and is divided into three stunning courtyards.
Special Offer - By booking this tour, you are saving close to 15% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Special Offer - Book now and travel before December 31, 2013 to save 30% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Take a historical tour of Beijing’s narrow streets, known as hutongs, on a traditional rickshaw (a type of tricycle designed to carry passengers in addition to the driver). See the old Beijing that still exists for millions of people today, and visit the gardens at Prince Gong’s Mansion, Beijing’s largest and the best-preserved royal mansion of the Qing Dynasty. Then visit a local home to learn about Chinese life from a family.
Your three-hour Beijing hutongs tour by rickshaw starts at the Drum and Bell Tower.
As you travel the streets of old Beijing on a traditional rickshaw with a local guide, you will visit the magnificent gardens at Prince Gong's Mansion, Beijing's largest and the best-preserved royal residence of the Qing Dynasty. Prince Gong's Mansion is famous as one of Beijing's most scenic retreat sites, lined with rockeries, plants, pools, pavilions and corridors. Step back in time to ancient China as you relax in the garden.
Continue on a rickshaw and explore the old streets of Beijing. Get a taste of life in ancient China as you learn the communities built around the hutongs (narrow streets). These winding alleyways are hidden between the city's main streets and form the residential neighborhoods that make up old Beijing.
Your tour concludes with a visit to a local Chinese family home, where you’ll visit with the family. Meet with local people and chat with them to learn about their daily way of life. You'll have an authentic experience interacting with Chinese people.
Finish with a stop for refreshments at a local tea house. Sample different types of tea and discover each tea's distinctive taste.
In the morning, your guide will pick you up from your Beijing hotel and take you by private, air-conditioned vehicle to Tiananmen Square, a site of many significant historical and cultural events. Walk through the square with your guide to see and learn about notable monuments like Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of the People and the Chairman Mao Memorial.
Walk to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Forbidden City, a Chinese imperial palace that served as a ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government for nearly 500 years. It now houses the Palace Museum, where you will see an extensive collection of artwork and artifacts from the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty.
Then, hope back into your private transport for a quick drive to a nearby popular restaurant to enjoy an authentic Chinese lunch. Afterward, head to a nearby silk factory in your vehicle. Here, watch and learn all about the meticulous process of producing silk – one of China’s most important commodities.
Your guide will then drive you to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Temple of Heaven, the largest complex of ancient sacrificial buildings in China, occupying an area of 674 acres (273 hectares). Walk through the temple and learn about its profound influence on the region’s architecture. Here, you can join locals in traditional activities like tai chi or dancing.
Next, enjoy a quick drive to a nearby tea house to witness a Chinese tea ceremony and learn about Chinese tea culture. Taste traditional hot and cold Chinese tea, coupled with delightful snacks. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at your Beijing hotel.
At the end of the day, relax on the drive back to your Beijing hotel.
Special Offer - Book and travel before March 31, 2013, and save up to 21% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Enjoy a relaxing day trip outside of bustling Beijing. Your private guide will pick you up from your hotel in Beijing and drive you to Chuandixia Village, located 55 miles (90 km) west of Beijing. Chuandixia was founded during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) and is known for its hundreds of well-preserved homes that date from both the Ming Dynasty and Qing-Dynasty (1644-1911 AD). The historic courtyard houses are built on the side of the hill, surrounded by mountains, canyons and lush forests. Filled with pine and cypress trees, the village is a picturesque place for a walk. Climb up the stairs and walk along the stone-paved lanes to visit the houses, and amble around the terraced orchards and vegetable fields.
You can also visit the local temples and read the Maoist slogans inscribed on the walls of the houses. See the revolutionary red writings, such as “Long Live Mao Zedong” and “Proletariats of the World Unite”. Learn about the local way of life from friendly villagers, who will prepare for you a delicious homemade lunch.
Special Offer - Book and travel before December 31, 2013, and save up to 50% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Special Offer - Book and travel before December 31, 2013, and save up to 71% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
On this full-day tour of Beijing’s past and present, experience Beijing’s mix of tradition and innovation as you visit the Olympic Park and Old Beijing’s hutongs (narrow streets).
In the morning, you’ll be picked up from your hotel by your guide and transported to the Olympic Park, the site of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Admire the architectural beauty of the Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest. The Swiss and Chinese architects who designed the stadium intended it to look like a large nest with exposed steel structures. Walk inside the Bird’s Nest and see the massive interior with a capacity for 91,000 spectators!
Adjacent to the Bird’s Nest is the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube. This site hosted the swimming, diving and synchronized swimming events during the 2008 Olympics, and has since been converted into a water amusement park. Get a feel for the excitement during the Olympics as you walk around the Olympic Park.
Then, enjoy lunch at a Chinese restaurant before exploring the hutongs – Beijing’s narrow streets. Depart from the Drum and Bell Tower and drive down the alleyways by rickshaw. See the traditional courtyard homes and elderly men playing mahjong (a four-player tile game) on the streets. On your way, stop and visit the home of a Chinese family with your local guide. Interact with the local people and see the traditional Chinese way of life.
Finish off your tour with a tea tasting at a tea shop on one of the city’s many hutongs. Experience the traditional Beijing tea culture and learn about the different varieties of Chinese tea. Then, enjoy a relaxing drive back to your hotel.
Your Beijing history and culture adventure begins at the Capital Museum. Behold 200,000 valuable artifacts excavated in the Beijing area. The exhibits in the museum outline the history of old Beijing, from urban planning to traditional courtyard residences. The museum’s comprehensive collection of treasures includes ancient calligraphy, paintings, jade and stoneware. This extraordinary cultural institution will give you an overview of one of the world’s oldest civilizations. You can choose to browse the museum on your own or have your guide accompany you to the exhibits of interest.
Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local Chinese restaurant nearby. Then enjoy an exciting ride down the alleys of Beijing in a rickshaw and get a taste of ancient life in the capital. Arrive at Prince Gong’s Mansion, renowned for being one of the most extravagant residential compounds in Beijing. Inside the mansion, you will see several traditional courtyards and an impressive Beijing opera house. Take a respite from the busy city life and amble around the 301,389-square-foot (28,000-square-meter) garden decorated with pavilions, ponds and plants.
Special Offer - Book and travel before December 31, 2013, to save up to 47% compared to booking the tours separately - Book Now!
Special Offer - Book now and travel before March 31, 2014, and save up to 50% on the recommended retail rate. - Book Now!
Meet your guide at Deng Cao Hutong in the morning and head to a nearby food market for a 1.5-hour walking tour. Browse fresh produce and listen as your guide, a professional cooking instructor, explains the different kinds of vegetables, spices and sauces. Gather up and purchase your fresh ingredients (included) and make your way down a hutong (alleyway) to a local family’s home to begin your class.
Discover kitchen skills, like how to use woks and cleavers, and learn how to make delicious dishes that are full of flavor. Your instructor will demonstrate how to make four Chinese meat and vegetable dishes, ranging from Sichuan-inspired to Cantonese and others, and you’ll practice making three.
Dishes that you may make include kung pao chicken, steamed fish with ginger, stir-fried beef and peppers, spicy chicken salad and sweet and sour pork. When you’re finished, find a spot in the 150-year-old Qing dynasty-era courtyard to enjoy the meal you’ve just made.
Special Offer - To celebrate the launch of our new tour, book before March 31, 2013, and save up to 5% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Beijing is more than just a capital city, rich in history and impressive in scale. It also offers you a fascinating insight to the whole country of China, embracing both its historical past and emerging future. On this full day, small group tour of Beijing, you’ll see some of its top sights and get a feel for the city’s personality.
Join in the fun at Temple of Heaven Park, where locals go to meet friends, enjoy their hobbies or relax and take in the natural beauty of the park. If time permits take a tour of the Temple of Heaven (at additional expense)(, where emperors would make sacrificial offerings and pay homage to the gods. Press your ear against the wall of echoes and hear the whispers returning.
Next, enjoy a traditional Chinese lunch of noodles or dumplings before you hop on the subway to Tiananmen Square. Walk across the dramatic spaces to the Forbidden City with its towering gates and formidable walls. See rare treasures and curiosities that give insight into palace life.
Then take a stroll in the imperial gardens before going to Jingshan Park, where you can admire the best of Ming Dynasty architecture, including its stunning views of the Forbidden City and the ancient heart of Beijing.
Day 1: Beijing -- Jiankou – Mutianyu -- Gubeikou (L, D)
Meet your guide in central Beijing and hop in an air-conditioned vehicle for a 2.5-hour drive to Jiankou, where you'll begin your 6-mile (10-km) hike along original sections of the Great Wall.
As you hike up hill for the first hour, admire sweeping vistas and notice the elaborate stonework and roofs of structures and statues. You’ll also meander through dense jungles and bushes. Jiankou is one of the least-restored sections, whose unique features include a mountain shaped like an arrow, fronted by a collapsed ridge.
Throughout your hike, you’ll be provided with water and snacks. At midday, take a rest break to enjoy a picnic lunch, which your guide will provide for you.
When you reach Mutianyu, a beautifully restored section which has undergone much construction, drive to Gubeikou for an overnight stay at a local farmer's guesthouse. Walk around the village with your guide and learn how it played important role in the Ming Dynasty to defend the capital. Then, relax and mingle with the farmers as you enjoy a home-cooked Chinese meal.
Overnight: Farmer's guesthouse in Gubeikou village
Day 2: Gubeiko -- Jinshanling (B, L, D)
Enjoy a typical farmer’s breakfast and then start your leisurely 6-mile (10-km) hike. Your guide will teach you the history of Gubeikou, like how it was once key strategic military target in ancient times; protecting this area was vital for keeping Beijing safe from the Mongolian nomads.
Admire gorgeous views of the expansive ridges and plains and then take a detour, eventually arriving at the Jinshanling section to continue exploring. Jinshanling is the best-preserved section of the wall, featuring amazing watchtowers, some with their original features.
After your hike, return to the Gubeikou village to rest and enjoy dinner.
Overnight: Farmer's guesthouse in Gubeikou village
Day 2: Gubeikou – Jinshanling -- Simatai West (B, L)
After breakfast, drive 20 minutes to Jinshanling to begin your 3-mile (5-km) hike. This early in the morning, there are few other tourists on the wall, so you can take several postcard-worthy photographs.
Hike for three hours with your guide, making a detour at Kylin Tower to head to Simatai West, an extremely photogenic original section of the wall that offers some of the best hiking around. It is UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, whose many towers and steep gradients offer constantly changing perspectives and wide, open views.
After your hike, relax on the ride back to Beijing. When you arrive, enjoy a hotpot lunch and then rejuvenate with a traditional reflexology foot massage. You'll also receive a certificate of completion to commemorate your Great Wall hike. Your tour will end here.
You'll be picked up from your Beijing hotel in the morning and taken on a 1.5-hour drive to the Great Wall at Badaling, where you will stop at a village to enjoy a home-cooked lunch in a local’s home, a Chinese-style brick house, typical in rural China.
Special Offer - Introductory offer! Book now and save up to 7% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Special Offer - To celebrate the launch of our new tour, book before March 31, 2013, and save up to 11% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in Beijing and bring you to the historic Tongrentang pharmacy. Founded in 1669 by a senior physician of the Qing Dynasty royal court, Tongrentang pharmacy is famous for its long legacy and is also recognized as the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicine in China.
Your English-speaking guide will provide you with an overview of the many health benefits associated with a traditional Chinese foot massage. Once you arrive at Tongrentang pharmacy, meet your Chinese foot massage practitioner. Soak your weary feet in a tub of hot water and unwind after a long day of walking. Your massage practitioner will press and rub between each of the joints to open the body's chi and stimulate certain acupressure points to loosen tight muscles.
You'll feel relaxed and refreshed after your massage and experience the many benefits of a traditional Chinese foot massage.
Special Offer - Book now and travel before December 31, 2013, and save up to 79% on the recommended retail price - Book Now!
Special Offer - Introductory offer! Book before December 31, 2013, and save up to 71% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
Take a day trip from Beijing to the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China, located approximately 45 miles (70 km) northwest of Beijing. Badaling is the most popular and well-preserved section of the 2,000-year-old architectural marvel. Badaling was built for defense and has 19 towers throughout its length of 12,273 feet (3,741 meters). The towers are placed on the peaks of the mountain tops, with the highest peak reaching 3,000 feet (915 meters) above sea level. Climb either the north or south face of the wall, and soak in the panoramic views of the Great Wall snaking off into the distance over the green hills.
Enjoy a Chinese lunch before continuing your day trip to the Longqingxia Ravine (also called the Dragon’s Rejoice Ravine), a beautiful ravine on the Gucheng River. An iconic landscape of the Longqingxia Ravine is the Jiguanshan (Rooster Crown Mountain). The mountain is a solitary peak surrounded by water on all three sides and resembles a rooster lying down. Rent a boat to get up close to the ravine covered by lush vegetation.
Finish your day at the famous Longdi Jade Factory, where you can see Chinese artisans carve beautiful jade handicrafts and purchase souvenirs to take home.
Begin at the Beijing Confucius Temple, a quiet complex filled with Confucian symbolism. You'll learn about Confucius, his students, and his philosophies. Next, take a walk to a gentrified neighborhood of Beijing and look at the classical homes where feng shui (an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics) directs the placement of buildings and fosters social interaction. On your neighborhood walk, meet a group of Daoist Masters who also serve as fortune tellers. Stop for a cup of tea or visit a calligraphy shop to learn about the significance of this art to Chinese culture.
Next, visit the Lama Temple, the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet. Here, your expert docent will tell you about the arrival of Buddhism in China and its role in religious life over the past two millennia. Learn about the main principles of Buddhism and how it has intertwined with the other major Chinese religions.
Finish your walking tour at the Ming Dynasty-constructed Altar of the Earth. See elderly Beijing people practice tai chi in the morning and discover the primary concept of chi (energy of life) in Daoism.
This tour will give you a thorough understanding of the history and influence of Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism on China and its people.
Meet your guide in the lobby of the Sunworld Dynasty Hotel in the evening to begin your easy 3- to 4-mile (5- to 6-km) walk. Follow your guide past ancient St Joseph's Church and stroll to the Wangfujing Snack Street night market.
This bustling area of food stalls and restaurants is a great place to get elbow-to-elbow with diners feasting on a wide array of exotic snacks such as starfish, seahorse, scorpion and lamb kababs, flat bread, steaming bowls of málà tàng (spicy noodle soup) and zhájiàngmiàn (noodles in fried bean sauce). If you wish, your guide can provide recommendations on what to try (own expense).
Continue walking along the Imperial City park to see locals exercising, dancing and playing badminton at the park. Then, walk down Nanluoguxiang Hutong, a famous local alley filled with hundreds of small shops. Approach Ming dynasty-era Bell Tower and Drum Tower, built 600 years ago, and learn about the structures from your guide.
Finally, walk through bustling Yandaixiejie Hutong on your way to Houhai lake, surrounded by several bars, coffee houses and nightclubs. Admire the beautiful evening scenery and the relaxing atmosphere here, where you tour ends.
Day 1: Beijing -- Jiankou – Mutianyu -- Gubeikou (L, D)
Meet your guide in central Beijing and hop in an air-conditioned vehicle for a 2.5-hour drive to Jiankou, where you'll begin your moderate 6-mile (10-km) hike along original sections of the Great Wall.
As you hike up hill for the first hour, admire sweeping vistas and notice the elaborate stonework and roofs of structures and statues. You’ll also meander through dense jungles and bushes.
Throughout your hike, you’ll be provided with water and snacks. At midday, take a rest break to enjoy a picnic lunch, which your guide will provide for you.
Reach the restored Mutianyu section, where you’ll then drive to Gubeikou for an overnight stay at a local farmer's guesthouse. Walk around the village with your guide and learn how it played important role in the Ming Dynasty to defend the capital.
Then, discover the quaint rural lifestyle of local farmers as you relax and mingle with the farmers over an authentic, home-cooked Chinese meal.
Overnight: Farmer's guesthouse in Gubeikou village
Day 2: Gubeikou – Jinshanling -- Simatai West – Beijing (B, L)
After a typical farmer’s breakfast, drive 20 minutes to Jinshanling to begin your 3-mile (5-km) hike at 8am. At this time, few other tourists are at the wall, so you can take postcard-worthy photographs.
Hike for three hours with your guide, making a detour at Kylin Tower to head to Simatai West, an extremely photogenic, untamed section of the wall that offers some of the best hiking around. Its numerous towers and steep gradients offer constantly changing perspectives and wide, open views.
After your hike, relax on the ride back to Beijing. When you arrive, enjoy a hotpot lunch and then rejuvenate with a traditional reflexology foot massage. Your tour will end here, and you'll receive a certificate of completion to commemorate your amazing Great Wall hike.
Get to know Beijing on a bike. This small group bike tour has a maximum of 12 participants, which allows you a more personalized experience as you bike around Beijing. Meet at the centrally located Sunworld Hotel before transferring to the bike shop, where you will be given a full safety briefing and fitted with your bike and helmet.
Cycle your way through the winding streets of Beijing for a glimpse into the ancient heart of the city and a simpler way of life. You'll bike through the hutongs, unchanged over time, but rapidly being squeezed out of the city through development, Experience centuries of daily life as you bike through Beijing's ancient laneways.
Visit a fresh produce market and become acquainted with the local herbs and ingredients before sitting down to lunch in a neighborhood courtyard. Put your new knowledge to the test and lend a hand in preparing a traditional lunch or just watch how its done.
After lunch, you can relax with some green tea and how to play mahjong with your new neighborhood friends.
In the early morning, you’ll be picked up from your Beijing hotel and taken to the city’s ancient city wall ruins to see the preserved Desheng Gate, Dongbian Gate and Yongding Gate.
Next, visit 15th-century Temple of Agriculture, where you’ll discover the artistic beauty of ancient temple architecture while walking through Jufu Hall and Qing Cheng Palace.
Proceed to Xishiku Church, one of the largest and most ornate Catholic churches in Beijing featuring both Western and Chinese architecture. Then, enjoy free time to wander through Qianmen Commercial Center, a 500-year-old commercial street, and browse the various vendors selling time-honored brands and goods like tea, watches and shoes.
At midday, indulge in a Mongolian hot pot lunch, a favorite in Beijing, at a local restaurant.
Following lunch, you’ll ride a traditional rickshaw down a hutong. Discover the simple lifestyle of Beijing residents as you navigate a narrow street or alley to Bell Tower and Drum Tower; with the help of your English-speaking guide, interact with the locals you pass.
On Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street, one of the oldest hutongs in Beijing located in the Xicheng District, your guide will organize a fun game for you and your group to play. During the scavenger hunt, explore around to find intricacies and little-known facts about this fascinating area. At the end of the hunt, you'll receive a surprise gift to remember your experience.
After your full-day tour, you’ll be taken back to your hotel around 6pm.
Special Offer - Introductory offer! Book before March 31, 2013, and save up to 6% compared to booking the tours separately - Book Now!
Pickup from a central Beijing location in the morning will take you to the Simatai West section of the Great Wall, where you’ll begin your moderate 3-hour hike.
Follow your expert guide to Jinshanling to experience both original and restored sections of the wall. Catch scenic views of watch towers snaking along the mountain. Some of these 2-story and 3-story towers have flat roofs, others are rounded and others are pitched with upturned eaves.
You’ll hike for 7 miles (12 km) on mostly paved ground, and there are a few stretches of unrestored pathways with stairs and steep gradients. Refuel as much as you like with your provided bottled water.
Be sure to bring your camera! Throughout your hike, you’ll be awarded with amazing views of steep gradients rising and dipping into the distance, giving you a constantly changing perspective.
After the hike, head to a local farmer's restaurant to have lunch. Meet and chat with the farmers over a home-cooked Chinese meal and learn the surrounding community development.
End your tour with drop-off at your original departure point in Beijing. To remember your amazing hike, you'll receive a certificate of completion!
On your first day, you'll have free time to explore Beijing on your own. The next day, visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Summer Palace, and watch an exciting Chinese Kung Fu Show.
Your third day will take you to the majestic Great Wall, a Ming Dynasty-era tomb and Beijing Olympic Green. Leave Beijing behind and head to Xi’an the next day for a fun rickshaw ride and a tour of a local market.
On your fifth day, explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Terracotta Warriors, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the historic Muslim Quarter. Top your night off with an optional Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show!
Then, embark on a 2-day Yangtze River cruise, where you’ll travel through dramatic gorges and beneath limestone cliffs. Dock to explore a necropolis and the scenic Three Gorges Dam.
In Shanghai, visit a Buddhist temple, tour a 16th-century private garden, wander through a bazaar and explore the former French Concession district, a colonial area flaunting a distinctive European flair.
Throughout your trip, your knowledgeable guide will provide illuminating and interesting commentary about the sites you visit. Daily meals and accommodation in 4-and 5-star hotels are included, as well as ground transportation by comfortable coach and domestic flights. For meals that are not included, your guide will happily recommend great places for you to eat.
For details on each day of the tour, see the Itinerary section below.
After pickup from your Beijing hotel, you’ll be ready to begin your 3-day hiking adventure. Discover the Gubeikou, Jinshanling and Simatai sections of the wall – all lesser-traveled parts away from tourists that feature structural elements in their original form.
Enjoy adventurous and sometimes challenging hikes led by an expert English-speaking guide, who’ll provide assistance, support and interesting commentary about the wall throughout your journey. On your first day, you’ll receive an introductory briefing regarding the terrain and safety requirements.
You'll hike between 4 and 10 miles (6 and 16 km) every day and ascend between 1,640 and 2,625 feet (500 and 800 meters), and there will always be a support vehicle and driver nearby for assistance.
You'll stay at a hotel and then in a village guesthouse, both near the wall. Daily meals are included: picnic lunches include sandwiches, fruit, cookies and nuts, and breakfasts and dinners will be cooked at your campsite or in a local farmer’s home. You'll also have hot tea or coffee every morning and water throughout your trip.
For a detailed schedule, see the Itinerary section below.
Choose from two tour options: enjoy round-trip transport between Beijing and Xi'an by air or take the train to Xi'an and fly back to Beijing. Both tour options include hotel pickup and drop-off in Beijing, and feature the same itinerary but in different orders.
In the afternoon, meet your instructor at Li Shi Hutong and head to a nearby market, where you’ll spend 1.5 hours exploring, learning about the region’s food culture and picking up fresh ingredients for your cooking class.
Next, walk down a hutong and arrive at a local family’s home. Your instructor, an expert chef, will teach you various kitchen skills and tips and techniques on how to create perfect dim sum.
Depending on the daily menu, you’ll make two yummy dishes, some of which may include soup dumplings, wontons, egg tarts, barbequed pork buns, sweet sesame rolls, dandan noodles or stir-fried noodles.
When you’re finished, find a spot in the 150-year-old Qing dynasty-era courtyard to enjoy the meal you’ve just made!
To see the map of your tour, click on the View Additional Info button below.
Special Offer - Introductory offer! Book before March 31, 2013, and save up to 5% on the recommended retail rate - Book Now!
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