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Having a Beijing tour is actually walking through the history of China from ancient to recent times.
Beijing became a capital city (1279) for the first time in Yuan Dynasty. Thereafter, Beijing remains the capital city of China through Ming and Qing Dynasties. Beijing is also the current capital city of China.
Beijing is also the host city of the
2008 summer Olympics.
Beijing tour has lots of to-see's and to-do's. You might have to spend a week here if possible.
As a capital city, Beijing is relatively new comparing with Xian which had been a capital city of China for 13 dynasties. Because of this, the tourist spots here are relatively new and well preserved. What we are going to see here are mainly heritages from Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Beijing travel requires a lot of walking. It is not relaxing at all. A tour to the Great Wall is exceptionally demanding. You might need to climb other than walking. Forbidden City requires at least half a day for a brief tour. You might need to walk for one whole day for an intensive tour.
To avoid being over exhausted, please try not to do the Great Wall and Forbidden City on consecutive days.
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Beijing Tour Recommendations
I have short-listed some in terms of priority. Since you are going to walk a lot, please plan your itinerary carefully so that you won’t walk too much everyday.
Great Wall of China
Great Wall experience is so unique and unforgettable. This should be your top priority of your Beijing travel.
Take a look at the bio of Qin Shi Huang – the first Emperor of Qin, who was the pioneer in building the Great Wall.
Visit the palaces and offices of the Ming and Qing Emperors. This is another must-go of your Beijing travel.
Visit the resort palace of Empress Dowager Cixi who ruled over China behind the curtain for half a century.
Take a look at the bio of Empress Dowager Cixi – the woman who embezzled a navy fund in building the Summer Palace.
Temple of Heaven
Get to know how Ming and Qing Dynasties emperors pray for their people. The praying ceremony held here annually was led by the emperor, followed by thousands of his Court members.
Visit the most classic imperial burial site in China. Out of 16 emperors of Ming Dynasty, 13 of them were buried here.
Hutong and Old Beijing
This is the most relax tour in Beijing. Your Beijing travel should at least include one hutong trip in order to experience an old Beijing feel.
At the centre of Beijing, it connects to the Forbidden City, the People’s Great Hall and the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao Zedong. A place mostly associated with recent China history.
Beijing Tour Travel Tips
Beijing is extremely dry in winter. Make sure to bring lots of moisturizer which are rich enough to keep your skin.
Beijing has heaters on everywhere indoor in winter. Unless you are spending long hours outdoor, try to wear in layers so you are flexible in taking off some warm clothing.
Beijing water is what we call ‘hard water’. If you feel uneasy of its high alkalinity, just go for bottled water.
Since you are going to walk a lot, make sure your walking shoes are comfortable enough.
My Beijing Travel Blog
Beijing's best hotel deals
Beijing Travel Stories
Anna's Visit to the Old Summer Palace 2008
Anna's Red Leaves Tour at Xiangshan Park (Fragrant Hill) 2008
Anna's Mutianyu Great Wall Tour 2007
Anna's Bejing Food Tour 2007
Anna's Pre-Olympic Beijing Vacation 2006
Anna's Mandarin Study Tour in Beijing 2001