Confucianism to Buddhism: History of Chinese Thought - Small Group Walking Seminar

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What To Expect

Enjoy this group orientation tour through the major Daoist, Confucian and Buddhist temples in Beijing.


  • Conducted with a seminar approach (no lectures!) to offer a narrative participatory experience

  • Learn from "docents" who are scholars or specialists with MAs, Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees in their fields of study

  • Guaranteed Small Group Tour with a maximum of 6 guests for an intimate, hands-on, conversational experience


Tours in Beijing
Departs From:
Meeting Point:
Costa Coffee
3 hours
Tuesday and Friday at 10:00 AM
Product Code:
Voucher info:
Paper voucher printout not required for this activity. You may show e-voucher from your mobile device.
Featured On:
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Pull apart the symbolism, meaning, and the history of China's three major religions: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, in this docent led tour through Beijing's major temples.

We begin the learning journey at the Beijing Confucian Temple, a quiet complex deeply embedded with Confucian symbolism. Here we'll learn about Confucius, his followers, and the system of thought that bears his name. Then we'll move next into a gentrified neighborhood of Beijing and look at classical homes where Feng Shui guides not only the placement of buildings, but also commerce and social interaction. Our walk through the neighborhood may take any number of courses, but will plunge us into contemporary life in Beijing, including the "Daoist Masters," as the motley assortment of fortune tellers and hucksters in the neighborhood call themselves. We may take the opportunity to sit down for a cup of tea, or step into a calligraphy shop to discuss the role and symbolism of this ancient art.

We'll also visit the Lama temple, a major site of Tibetan Buddhism, that offers a colorful and lively backdrop against which to learn about the arrival of Buddhism and China and its role in religious life over the past two millennia. We'll cover briefly the main outlines of Buddhist thought and how it intersects with other traditional Chinese religions. One of the themes we'll discuss is syncretism and how, over time, the three major religions of China interweave and inform each other.

We'll finish our tour at the Ming Dynasty-constructed Altar of the Earth, where rituals of imperial rule were practiced. Set within the encompassing Altar of the Earth park, where Beijingers practice Tai Chi in the morning, we'll use this time to explore more deeply such primary concepts in Daoism as Chi. By the time we're done we'll have a much better understanding of these three fundamental parts of Chinese thinking.


  • Beijing Confucian Temple

  • Lama temple

  • Altar of the Earth


  • Services of a docent


  • Meals and drinks

  • Personal expenses

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Optional activity costs

Please Note

  • Children below 12 years old are not permitted on this tour.

  • Minimum of 2 passengers per booking is required. Private walking seminars are available for solo travelers.

  • Tour will be operated as a guaranteed Small Group Tour with a maximum of 6 guests.

  • Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather.

Cancellation Policy

  • 15% Cancellation Fee (85% reimbursement): 3 days prior to date of activity.
  • 100% Cancellation Fee (no reimbursement): 2 days or less prior to date of activity.

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