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Wonders of the Great Wall: Imperial and Modern Beijing

Beyond Yangtze

From ancient grandeur to bustling modern charm, Beijing is one of the world’s most historic capitals, as well as a contemporary centre of art, culture and architecture.   A tour to Beijing reveals some of China’s most treasured sites, both old and new; from the mystery of the Forbidden City and the wonder of the Great Wall of China, to the cutting edge design of today’s Beijing National Stadium and the National Centre of the Performing Arts.   Beijing is the heart of what was once called the Middle Kingdom, and is situated in Northern China, where it experiences four distinct and lovely seasons.   Visited by Marco Polo, home to great Emperors, and host of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games; this city has left its elegant mark on nearly a thousand years of world history.  Today, with its exquisite palaces, temples and monuments, and its welcoming restaurants, opera and theatre, Beijing is described as one of the greatest cities on earth.

Travel Itinerary

Day 1:  You will be welcomed to Beijing by your guide, who will escort you across this incredible city to your comfortable hotel.   Refresh yourself after your flight, and relax.  The rest of the day is free for you to unwind, gather your thoughts, and get ready to experience this incredible city.

Day 2:  The Great Wall of China is one of the most famous sites in the world.  China spent more than 2,000 years building the Great Wall, and it stretches nearly 9,000 kilometres across the country.  In the morning, your tour will escort you to the Badaling section of the Wall, built during the influential Ming Dynasty.  Hike to one of the lofty watchtowers, and enjoy the panoramic view.  In the afternoon, you will tour Beijing’s distinctive hutongs by rickshaw. These pretty neighbourhoods feature winding alleyways and picturesque courtyards, and have been home to Beijing residents for hundreds of years.

Day 3:   You will start the day by visiting the historic Tiananmen Square, the largest city square in the world.  At this famous site, you will be able to see Mao’s Mausoleum, the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the National Museum of China.  From there, you will head right next door to the stunning Forbidden City, originally built for the Ming emperors in the 15th century.   It is considered one of the finest palaces on earth, and served as the seat of Chinese imperial power for more than half a century. The Forbidden City features some of the most beautiful classic Chinese architecture you will see on your tour.

Day 4:   On your final day in China’s capital, you will visit the world famous Summer Palace, the most beautiful Imperial garden in the country.  The gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being a masterpiece of Chinese landscape design.  Enjoy a boat ride on the sparkling Kunming Lake, before heading out to the Beijing Airport, where you would fly to Chongqing or Yichang, where you can meet your spectacular Yangtze River cruise tour.