Your program includes the Emperors official residence, the main Imperial Temple of worship and the Imperial “Summer Holiday Resort”. Experiencing these is truly an insight into the life of the Emperors of China. Beginning with Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City, the home to 3 Dynasties over 800 years. After exploring the grounds of the Forbidden City, you will visit the Temple of Heaven – the official symbol of Beijing and the world’s largest temple and altar complex. After an appetizing Chinese lunch, your final destination is the largest imperial garden in Beijing built during the Qing Dynasty, the Summer Palace. You will explore the garden grounds, see an actual marble boat, and walk through the long corridor on the lakes edge referred to as the world’s longest art gallery. In addition there will be visits to Silk Gallery for a fascinating insight into the ancient culture of Chinese silk and pearl cultivation and jewelry.
ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang), BeijingTian’anmen Square is at the very centre of the modern city of Beijing. Bounded to the north by Tiananmen Gate and the Rostrum, to the west by the Great Hall of the People, to the east by the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History, and to the south by the imposing Qianmen Gate. Covering 44 hectares, it is the largest public square in the world. In the center of the square are the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall where Mao Tse Tung’s embalmed body lies in state. It was from the Rostrum that Mao proclaimed the People’s Republic of China on the 1st of October 1949. The most recognisable feature of the Rostrum is Mao’s portrait; a required backdrop for any photo visitors may take of themselves.Duration: 40 minutesStop At: Forbidden City-The Palace Museum, BeijingForbidden City, so called because it was off limits to commoners throughout the history of Imperial China. Commoners caught in the Palace during this period were executed. Only once a year was a ‘commoner’ allowed to pass through the central gate of the entrance to the city (reserved for the passage of the Emperor). From this Palace the emperors governed China, often rather erratically, as they tended to become lost in this self contained little world and rarely left it. A truly great monument to a great civilization.Duration: 3 hoursStop At: Temple of Heaven, BeijingThe Temple of Heaven dates back to the same period as the Forbidden City--1406 and is ranked among the most famous structures in China. The temple was used several times annually when the emperor, bearing the hopes and sins of the Chinese people, humbled himself before heaven and performed rituals calculated to insure good harvests. Another very interesting part of any visit to the Temple of Heaven is the activity in the Park. Frequented by many Beijinger’s who have retired, you will find them playing Chinese chess, dancing, performing Peking Opera and doing Tai Chi among other popular activities. What was once the preserve of the Emperor is now a playground for the masses. Duration: 1 hourStop At: Summer Palace (Yiheyuan), BeijingThe Summer Palace is one of the finest landmarks in Beijing. The site has long been a royal garden and was considerably enlarged and embellished when Dowager Cixi began rebuilding in 1888 using money that was supposedly reserved for the construction of a modern navy academy. The lovely Kunming Lake occupies three quarters of the area, and weather permitting you will get to travel part of the lake by boat. After this walk back along the Long Corridor. Somewhat similar in style to the covered bridge in Lucerne, this 728-meter long open sided corridor is decorated with 8,000 scenes including many from the emperor’s travels around the country. Duration: 2 hours