More than 30 emperors have lived and ruled from Beijing, as evidenced by the incredible ancient monuments scattered across this vibrant international city. On guided excursions, visit the remarkable Great Wall, built and maintained from the 5th century BC to the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire, the Summer Palace, a veritable museum of classical Chinese architecture. Also see the Forbidden City, so called because it was off limits to commoners for 500 years. Today it is a showcase of the opulence of the Chinese imperial court.
You are met on arrival at the Beijing airport and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free to rest, relax, or explore on your own. Later, you will gather for a trip briefing with your guide before enjoying a delicious Peking Duck dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel...D
Beijing / The Great Wall
Join your local Beijing guide this morning for an excursion to the Great Wall at Mutianyu, with a picnic lunch. Though the underlying architecture dates from the Ming Dynasty, the original plan for the Great Wall and some of its construction date back to the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC). After a short and easy hike on the wall, return to Beijing in mid-afternoon for a visit to the Yong He Gong Tibetan temple (also known as the Lama Temple) and the nearby Temple of Confucius and National Academy, or to Liu Lichang to browse for antiques. Overnight at hotel...BLD
Forbidden City and Summer Palace
This morning, visit the magnificent Forbidden City. Built between 1406 and 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, this great palace complex was the imperial home of 24 emperors of the Ming and later the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Only officials of the royal households were allowed to enter. In 1950, the Forbidden City became a museum and was at last opened to the people of China. Today it is one of the best-preserved palaces in the world, full of rare treasures including pottery, bronzes, wood carvings, paintings, and famous calligraphic works. Later, we drive to the Summer Palace, located in the Western Hills of Beijing. There is plenty of time to explore this tranquil retreat away from the bustling city, and you can practice tai-chi with an instructor. Time permitting, we also visit the Temple of Heaven, a grand 15th century complex of religious buildings. Return to the hotel and join the main group for a trip orientation prior to a Welcome Dinner. Overnight at hotel...BLD
All meals included
Cultural explorations and walking tours
A visa is required for U.S. citizens visiting China. Your visa must be obtained prior to arrival.