Menu

About Us

Climate Change

Contact Us/Request Info

Cruises Info

E-Mail Hot List - Info & Specials

Frequently Asked Questions

Homepage

Honeymoons

Hurricane Katrina

Insurance - Travel Protection

Research Tours & Cruises

Terms & Conditions

Travel Ideas - Where to Go and What to Do

Travel Promotions

Travel Shows - We Present

Morocco - Tangier

Thailand - Bangkok

Turkey - Istanbul

Turkish Ports & Greek Isles

Canadian Rockies

St. Lucia

Southern Caribbean - Cruise

Austria - Cruise

Czech Republic - Prague

England

Germany - Austria Border to Nuremberg - Cruise

Germany - Nuremberg to Trier - Cruise

Gibraltar

Greece

Greek Isles - Turkish Ports - Cruise

Hungary - Budapest

Italy

Introduction

Pompeii

Rome

Sicily

Southern Italy

Portugal

Spain

Turkey - Istanbul

Argentina

Buenos Aires

Bariloche

Ushuaia

Brazil - Amazon

Chile

South Islands Cruise

Santiago

Costa Rica

Arenal

Central Pacific

Corcovado

Central Valley

Guanacaste

Manuel Antonio

Monteverde

Overview

San Jose Hotels

Tortuguero

Guatemala

Mexico

Cancun/Riviera

Copper Canyon

Assorted Sights

Alaska Inside Passage - Cruise

Florida - Disney/Universal

Hawaii

New Orleans

New York City

Flights - New Orleans

Flight Status - USA

Links - Travel Info

Travel Books

Beijing Tour of Scenic & Historic Sights


Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, & Great Wall

Temple of Heaven & Summer Palace

Rickshaw Ride & Kung Fu Show

Palaces, Temples, & Gardens

Escorted Tour & Wendy Wu

Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Looking at Tiananmen Square.

Tours

We use the best tour operators to book all kinds of tours to China including independent tours, hosted tours, escorted tours, and packages. Please Contact us to book your travel. We book travel worldwide. Check out our Special Promotions.

Tour Beijing to Shanghai with Yangtze River Cruise

We were on a Wendy Wu escorted tour of China which is reviewed in the China Intro Page. The tour started in Beijing, where there were three nights on the tour including the Great Wall, which is all described here. From Beijing we flew to Xian where we stayed for two nights and saw the Terracotta Warriors. From Xian we flew to Wuhan where we were taken by motor coach to the Yangtze River at Yichang. There we boarded the Victoria Katarina river cruise ship and stayed for four nights. Both the ship and amazing crew shows are reviewed. For a description of the daily shore excursions see the Yangtze River Excursions. We left the cruise ship in Chongqing. From there we flew to Guilin where we spent one night. From Guilin we took a river cruise boat on the Li River to Yangshuo where we stayed two nights in the presence of gorgeous scenery. The tour ended with two nights in Shanghai. Contact Us for more information.

 

Arrival in Beijing

We arrived in Beijing in the afternoon and were transferred from the airport to our hotel by the tour operator. At the hotel we met our national tour director, Addison, who helped us check into the hotel. There was some free time to relax after the long flight. Then we met some of the other members on our tour and Addison took us on a short walk to a nice restaurant for our first meal in China. Our group consisted of 11 people from the United Kingdom, a couple from Australia, and Rebecca and me from the U.S.A.

Tiananmen Square

After breakfast at the hotel, on our first full day in China we were headed to Tiananmen Square. It is one of the largest public squares in the world; it can hold more than one million people. It was built at the direction of Chairman Mao Zedong, and his mausoleum is there. But we arrived to find Tiananmen Square was closed due to a visiting head of state from an African country. They close it for security reasons when world leaders are visiting. So we were only able to look at Tiananmen Square from the outside. The picture above was taken of the attractive building in Tiananmen Square.

Forbidden City

Gate of Heavenly Peace, Main Entrance to the Imperial City.

Gate of Heavenly Peace, Main Entrance to the Forbidden City.

Close to Tiananmen Square is the Forbidden City where we spent several hours on a walk. It is very large covering 180 acres and you see many impressive palaces, more so than anywhere else in the world. There are some 800 buildings. Pictured above is the Gate of Heavenly Peace, which is the main entrance to the Forbidden City; It faces Tiananmen Square. Below Rebecca is rubbing a ball in the Forbidden City for good luck.

Rebecca rubbing ball for luck in the Forbidden City, Beijing.

Rebecca rubbing ball for luck in the Forbidden City, Beijing.

The numerous buildings were built in only fourteen years by many thousands of workers with construction being finished in 1420. The yellow tiled roofs is a symbol of royalty. Along a north-south line there is a symmetry in the buildings, the main buildings being along that line. Here you are surrounded by opulence. From within the Forbidden City two dynasties, including twenty-four emperors, ruled until 1911 when the last emperor was ousted. Ordinary people were not allowed in the palace complex, which is why it was called the Forbidden City. That did not change until 1925 when the general public was allowed to enter.

Taihe Gate in the Forbidden City, Beijing.

Gate of Supreme Harmony (Taihe Gate) in the Forbidden City, Beijing.

The Gate of Supreme Harmony, shown above, has a double-eaved tile roof. Two bronze lions guard the gate. It is the main entrance to the outer palace and it leads to the Hall of Supreme Harmony, which is the ceremonial center of the Forbidden City.

Local Guide Grace telling our group about the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Local Guide Grace telling our tour group about the Forbidden City in Beijing.

In and around Beijing our local guide was Grace, pictured above. Local guides are important because they know so much about the sights where they live. You learn so much from them.

Imperial Garden in the Forbidden City, Beijing.

Imperial Garden in the Forbidden City, Beijing.

The attractive Imperial Gardens are located on the north side of the Forbidden City. This was a place to relax and is where the Emperor, his Empresses, and the concubines spent their leisure time.

Rickshaw Ride

Rebecca and Sunny on rickshaw ride in Beijing.

Rebecca and Sunny on rickshaw ride in Beijing.

For lunch we went to the home of a local family. The food was great. Then Rebecca and I as well as other tour members took rickshaw rides in the neighborhood. In the picture above we are ready for the ride.

Temple of Heaven

Exploring the buildings at the Temple of Heaven.

Exploring the buildings at the Temple of Heaven.

We were taken to the Temple of Heaven, built as a place of worship for Emperors. It is located southeast of the Forbidden City and twice its size. Both complexes were built in the early fifteenth century. The buildings, such as the one pictured above, have blue roofs signifying heaven. This is where emperors sacrificed animals and fruit to the gods praying for bumper crops. The main temple is round with triple gables. It is very attractive as is seen in the picture below. The building is constructed completely of wood without nails and was finished in 1420. It burned in 1889, and was rebuilt using the same methods of construction as before.

Exploring the Temple of Heaven.

The main building at the Temple of Heaven.

Kung Fu Show

Scene at the Kung Fu Show in Beijing.

Scene at the Kung Fu Show in Beijing.

Following dinner at another nice restaurant we went to an optional excursion of the Kung Fu Show. The show involves the legend or Kung Fu (martial arts). In six scenes it follows a young boy that wants to become a monk and master of Kung Fu.

Scene at the Kung Fu Show in Beijing.

Scene at the Kung Fu Show in Beijing.

As the boy grows up he has to follow the strict discipline of the Temple. But he strays from the discipline and chases a young beauty. He eventually regrets this and punishes himself and in the end seeks enlightenment and becomes a Buddhist master of Kung Fu. The actors in the show are Kung Fu Practitioners with an average age of seventeen years. The show is very impressive with a lot of action, music, beautiful ballet, and attractive lighting.

Scene at the Kung Fu Show in Beijing.

Scene at the Kung Fu Show in Beijing.

Great Wall

Sunny and Rebecca at the Great Wall.

Sunny and Rebecca at the Great Wall.

Following breakfast at the hotel we were taken by motor coach about 2 hours northwest of Beijing to the famous Great Wall at Juyongguan. The area is mountainous, and the section of the Great Wall that we were investigating was on a very steep slope upward. Note the picture above with the Great Wall behind us. We decided to climb the steps to an observation post way up the hill. The steps were not at all even, and the climb was a serious challenge. But it had to be done. Stopping to rest on the steps multiple times we finally reached our chosen place to stop. Note the picture below. We were quite high and could lookout over a large area. Then it was time to go back down the steps, no easy task. But we achieved our goal, something we will never forget.

Climbing the Great Wall.

Climbing the Great Wall.

The Great Wall is one of the best known historic sights in the world. The original purpose of the wall was to prevent an invasion of nomadic tribes from the north of China. The building of the wall began in the fifth century BC. It was built in sections where needed most over two thousand years. It is built mostly of stone and earth rammed into place. Some of the brick sections of the wall north of Beijing were built from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. The wall is 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) long. From the lofty position we reached it was possible to take the pictures of the Great Wall shown below.

The Great Wall extends through mountainous topography.

The Great Wall extends through mountainous topography.

Jade Factory

A large fish bowl covered with Jade at the Jade Factory.

A large fish bowl covered with Jade at the Jade Factory.

Next it was a short drive to the Jade Factory where we learned how to tell if jade is real or fake. They had many beautiful pieces of jewelry, statues, and other things made out of Jade. Note the picture above. You definitely wanted to buy some of it to take home. There was also a very attractive dining area, and that is where we had lunch.

Summer Palace

Summer Palace on Longevity Hill.

Summer Palace on Longevity Hill.

In the afternoon we visited the Summer Palace, a retreat for emperors located in the northern suburbs of Beijing. It is a beautiful place with pagodas, temples, gardens, and a big lake. Kunming lake, which occupies most of the property, is mostly man made and was created as a source of water. Many boats were seen on the lake as people can take boat rides. The excavated dirt from Lake Kunming was used to build Longevity Hill. The Summer Palace was built on Longevity Hill and was finished in 1764. However, in 1860 Anglo-French forces invaded and destroyed the Summer Palace and other buildings. A rebuilt Summer Palace was destroyed again during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. The Summer Palace seen today dates from 1903, and it is seen on the left in the picture above. The Summer Palace complex was not open to the general public until 1911. In 1924 it became a public park.

Very long Corridor at the Summer Palace.

Very long Corridor at the Summer Palace.

There is a very long corridor on the property that is great for taking a walk, which we did. It is pictured above. With a length of about one-half mile (0.8 Kilometers) it is one of the longest outdoor passageways in the world; it parallels the northern shoreline of the lake. It is constructed of wood and the ceiling and rafters inside the walkway are beautifully painted with scenes based on nature and legends.

Our afternoon tour ended with a stop in Beijing to view the outside of the Olympic stadium. That evening we had dinner at another very nice restaurant.

Tour Beijing to Shanghai with Yangtze River Cruise

We were on a Wendy Wu escorted tour of China which is reviewed in the China Intro Page. The tour started in Beijing, where there were three nights on the tour including the Great Wall, which is all described here. From Beijing we flew to Xian where we stayed for two nights and saw the Terracotta Warriors. From Xian we flew to Wuhan where we were taken by motor coach to the Yangtze River at Yichang. There we boarded the Victoria Katarina river cruise ship and stayed for four nights. Both the ship and amazing crew shows are reviewed. For a description of the daily shore excursions see the Yangtze River Excursions. We left the cruise ship in Chongqing. From there we flew to Guilin where we spent one night. From Guilin we took a river cruise boat on the Li River to Yangshuo where we stayed two nights in the presence of gorgeous scenery. The tour ended with two nights in Shanghai. Contact Us for more information.

Photos by Sunny Breeding. Pictures of us by rickshaw driver and local guide Grace. We sell images and prints.