What To Expect
Important things happen in Beijing. You can feel this everywhere in the city of nearly 20 million people. Your guide, a leading architecture expert, will start the day by leading you through the South Gate of the Forbidden City. You'll stand before the Meridian Gate, and take in the wonders of the monumental Imperial grounds. His explanations will reveal the intricate meanings of the design and gardens, and bring the perfectly preserved Imperial gold and blood-red of the ancient city to life.
Peek behind the "red curtain" into the unknown mechanisms of rule of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party and how its princelings' rule mirrors that of the Chinese Emperors. We also make sense of the global shift toward Beijing as the new center of power.
Keep in mind that Beijing is a city of architecture, with Soviet masterpieces designed to intimidate and modern wonders of glass and chrome. It is a cityscape of superlatives and grand scale. The Forbidden City, for instance, which served as the Imperial Palace for Ming and Qing Dynasty Emperors (once strictly out of bounds to the general Chinese public), houses up to 800 buildings and some 9000 chambers!
Find out about 'the week that changed the world' with Nixon and Kissinger's visit to China with Mao, the secret discussions, the split with the Soviet Union, and the world it created. Learn as well about the jaw-dropping plans for the future of Beijing's urban development and the simultaneous transformation and conservation of old Beijing.
Next, we'll take in the perspective from the China World Summit Wing, with its unrivaled views over the historic city center and Beijing's traditional neighborhoods or hutongs. These represent an organic development, a window in time and a human scale, with tiny alleys that separate traditional courtyard homes. The Summit Wing is a remarkable space in the upper floors of the 330-meter tall China World Tower. The resident hotel bars provide us an opportunity for a refreshing drink before experiencing the 'every day' over lunch (at your own expense) in one of the capital's best microbreweries.
Then, we'll also explain Beijing's other 'Great Wall' - the 'Under Ground city.' Covering an area of 85 square kilometers under Beijing this subterranean complex at one time had about 90 entrances hidden in shops along the main streets. Mao ordered its construction during the 1970s in anticipation of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
You'll also learn about the incredible personality of China's Empress Dowager Tzu-hsi who wielded power as head of the Qing Dynasty for half a century, the fate of the last Emperor, the brutality of Japanese occupation and more.
Pick-up from inner city hotels in Beijing
Transport by air-conditioned coach
Forbidden City visit
Entrance to museum and heritage buildings
Tour insurance cover
Meals and drinks
Optional activity costs
The following information will be required upon booking:
Full Name in Passport
Date of Birth
Passport Number and Nationality
Passport Expiry Date
Pick-up times may vary due to traffic and hotel location.
Children below 2 years old are free of charge, provided they do not occupy a seat.
Tours run rain or shine, unless conditions prove to be too adverse.
Please dress appropriately. Comfortable shoes are advisable.
Gloves are available to borrow on cold days, and rain ponchos are for sale should you need one.
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.