Special-Interest Tours

Be a Beijinger for a Day

A close Encounter of the Nice Kind, these tours are guaranteed to provide rich memories of what it's like to be today's Beijing family. While obviously prearranged, these are moments when members of China's emerging middle class society can, with considerable pride, welcome you to their home.

Half-day and Full-day Tours

  • 0830 Pick-up at your hotel
  • 0950 Visit the Chamber of Solitude at the Night Gate of Beihai Park
  • 1000 Meet the children at the well-regarded Qianhai Kindergarten
  • 1030 Guided tour through the Hutons, the quiet, tree-lined maze of urban residential streets
  • 1130 Visit a Hutong area family and enjoy their genuine hospitality around the lunch table
Full-day Tour continuance
  • 1330 Sample the visual pleasures of Prince Gong's Mansion and its elegant chijin Garden
  • 1400 Enjoy a classical Beijing Opera performance at Beijing's big Theater
  • 1450 Return to Beihai Park, where the tour ends. Complete the day back at your hotel

Islam Tour

Settled in China over 1,000 years ago, many in the extreme northwest, turn and religion wherever they settled. For the followers of Islam, these tours will include services and/or prayers; for everyone, they may include visits to families and will include meals at appropriate restaurant.

  • Program 1 Visit Dongsi and Niujie mosques and attend services.
  • Program2 Visit Muslim families, schools and hospitals.
  • Program 3 Stay and/or dine at hotels and restaurants specializing in accommodations and meals for Muslims. These include the Xiyua and Nationality hotels and the Honginlou, Donglaishun and Huizhenlou restaurants.

Student Encounters

Designed for overseas students, these tours combine sightseeing with person-to-person encounters with their Beijng counterparts. In addition to visits to the Ming Tombs, Great Wall, Palace Museum, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven are these options:

  • Take classes and engage in after-school activities
  • Be a guest at the Chinese student's home and enjoy a meal and an evening with his or her family
  • Get together and go shopping with a student
  • With a fellow student, attend an evening acrobatics show at the Theatre of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles

Chinese Medicine Tour

These encounters are intended for those who are interested Chinese medicine and the Chinese methods for easing the onset of aging. In addition to the standard sightseeing- Great Wall, Ming Tombs, Summer Palace, Palace Museum and the Temple of heaven - are these activities:

  • A visit and meeting with professionals at the Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and introduction to the practices of acupuncture, moxibustion, massage and qigong and measures to protect the health.
  • Attendance at "dancercizes" and qigong and taijiquan classes for the elderly
  • Enjoy a hot spring dip at Xiaotangshan
  • Enjoy an evening at the Peking Opera

Getting to know Beijing

Pre-history, history, archaeology and everyday life today are rolled into one in this series of options, which can be sampled over one or several days, depending on interest and schedule. In addition to the standard sightseeing venues - great Wall, Ming tombs, etc. enjoy:

  • Visits to the Peking man site (Zhoukoudian), Shihua Karst cave, Yunju temple (Fangshan County), Marco Polo Bridge
  • Visits to Big Bell Temple, Ruins at Yuanmingyuan, Temple of the Azure Clouds, Prince Gong's Mansion, Grand View Garden
  • Views of (and participation, if desired, in taijiquan, qigong and dancercize exercises in city park, see demonstrations by taijiquan masters.
  • Visits to Big Bell Temple, Temple of the White Pagoda and a stroll through the Hongqiao Free Market
  • City tour combined with a visit to a Beijing home
  • Strolls along the Wangfujing, Shishabai and Liulichang cultural streets, with visits to shops
  • Take a bike hike along city streets; take a ride on a rickshaw
  • Attend folk-art (Lao She Tea House, Tianqiao Pleasant Tea Garden) Peking Opera (Liyuan Theater) or acrobatics performances
  • Take in and sample the culinary delights of the Donghuamen night market

Meeting the Buddhist Culture

Buddhism arrived in China from India many centuries ago, with various emperors and most of the Chinese people accepting its tenets and erecting temples, pagodas and monuments in the celebration of their beliefs. These tours are intended to acquaint the non-Buddhist with the past and present of this religious in China.

  • Visit to the Beijing Buddhist Association
  • Visits to "living " Buddhist temples - Big Bell Temple, Yonghe Palace (hall of Amity and Peace) and the temple of the White Pagoda
  • Visits to 3rd century-built Yunju Temple complex (Fangshan County) and view 14,278 stone tablets. This tour may include visits to sacred Shangfang Mountain, the site of the Peking man discovery, the Shihua Karst Caves and the Marco Polo Bridge, all of which are in the area.

Bike Hike Delight

In Beijing, there is one bicycle for every one and a half people and the morning and evening rush hours are something that must be seen to be believed. A pleasant, healthy way of seeing the streets and byways, which a popular expression describes as, "Thirty-six hundred are the large onces; the rest are as numerous as the hairs on an ox." Suggested routes and maps are available for the asking.
Bicycles are available through hotels or at rental companies, with travel agencies or the hotel front desks making the arrangements, which include:

  • A one-day prior notification, three days if the rental is to a group
  • Presentation of passport
  • Payment of a refundable deposit; rentals are calculated on a daily basis
  • Return of bicycle and collection of deposit

Hutong Hikes

Almost exclusive to Beijing in all of China - because it was the most recent imperial center - the "hutongs" are alleyways along which courtiers and other members of the elite had their homes.

Numbering in the thousands, these architecturally and socially interesting enclaves, including many symmetrically, laid out quadrangles are best tackled on foot, but take a map.

Simulated Archaeology

Simulated archaeology offers archaeological sites for visitors to experience the joy of discovery the myth of ancient life. There are three different diachronic cultural deposits in each test pit namely:

  • Neolithic cultural pottery and earthenware
  • Shang and Zhou dynasty bronze ware being mainly Qin and Han era
  • Lacquer ware and jade ware

Visitors not only can enjoy the excitement of excavating and discovering these underground cultural deposits, but also can bring home their discoveries as souvenirs.

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