Looking for a reliable and comfortable private
transfer from Beijing to Tianjin Port Xingang with a four-day excursion
in the city? Great Wall Adventure Club is here to help. We have a large
fleet of cars and vans with licensed tour guides and professional
drivers. We make sure that your private transfer will be safe,
comfortable and relaxing.
Day 01: Arrival in Beijing
Upon arrival in Beijing, (at either the train
station or airport), you will be met by your English-speaking guide and
driver. You will be taken to your hotel in Beijing, where you will have
the opportunity to relax and prepare for the days ahead.
Day 02: Beijing (L, D)
After being picked up in your hotel at about
8:00am, we will head over to the political center of the country,
Tiananmen Square. The largest public square in the world, Tiananmen
Square is seen as China’s political center. Its grounds have seen some
turbulent moments, from the May 4th Movement of 1919 to the political
turmoil of 1989. The south of the square is marked by the Chairman Mao
Memorial Hall, while the center of the square is dominated by the
Monument to the People’s Heroes, an imposing 10-story granite obelisk.
To the east is the National Museum of China, and to the west is the
Great Hall of the People, home to China’s legislative bodies. The north
of the square is dominated by the Gate of Heavenly Peace, known for its
iconic portrait of Mao Zedong, and is the national emblem of China.
After walking across the street, we will enter what
is perhaps the greatest attraction in China, the Forbidden City. After
walking across the square we will enter the Forbidden City (known in
Chinese as Gu Gong), the largest surviving palace complex and the former
home of the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The Forbidden City is
one of the greatest attractions in the world. Built by the third Ming
emperor between 1406-1422, the Forbidden City served as the official
residence to the Emperor of China until the last emperor, Puyi, was
forced to evacuate in 1924. The Forbidden City is divided into two
parts. The southern section, or the Outer Court was where the emperor
exercised his supreme power over the nation. The northern section, or
the Inner Court, was where he lived with his royal family. Consisting of
980 buildings and with 8,707 bays of rooms, the Forbidden City is the
best example of classical Chinese architecture in the world, and is a
wonder to behold.
Next we will explore the Temple of Heaven park. The
complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for
annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. The Temple of
Heaven park is best known for the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, an
iconic building famed for its magnificent triple-gabled circular roof.
You will also have an opportunity to walk the same imperial walkway that
the same emperors walked hundreds of years ago in their holy rites. You
will also see Beijing’s senior citizens using the park grounds for
everything from tai chi and ballroom dancing to bullwhip practice!
Following lunch we’ll go to the Summer Palace.
Being northwest of the city center, the Summer Palace has the largest
royal park and being well preserved, the Summer Palace is ranked amongst
the most noted and classical gardens of the world. In 1998, UNESCO
listed it as one of the World Heritage Sites. Like most of the gardens
of Beijing, it could not elude the rampages of the Anglo-French allied
force of 1860 and was destroyed by fire. In 1888, Empress Dowager Cixi
embezzled navy funds to reconstruct it for her own benefit, changing its
name to Summer Palace (Yiheyuan). She spent most of her later years
there, dealing with state affairs and entertaining. Highlights not to be
missed are climbing Longevity Hill, viewing the Empress Dowager Cixi’s
extravagant Marble Boat, and talking a walk down Suzhou jie, a canal
meant to resemble the beautiful river city of Suzhou.
After a delectable dinner featuring Beijing’s
signature dish of Peking Duck, you’ll be treated to a Kung Fu show. “The
Legend of Kung Fu” is presented by China Heaven Creation International
Performing Arts Co., Ltd. ( CHC)-- China's leading performance art
production company. “The Legend of Kung Fu” follows the story of a young
boy found wandering outside an ancient temple. Like every boy in China,
he dreams of becoming a Kung Fu master. On the road to enlightenment the
young monk encounters many difficulties and temptations. The show has
English subtitles shown above the stage to keep you informed of the
story line. The actors do not speak, and the show is all Kung Fu, dance
and acrobatics. It is the fusion of modern dance with Chinese
traditional arts, which make this performance unique and spectacular.
The best Kung Fu practitioners from all over China have been found for
this production and it shows on the stage. Their average age is just 17
years old! Additionally the costumes, set design and special effects are
up to international standards, created by some of the best stage
directors and designers in China. The show will last for about 1.5-2
Following the show you’ll be taken to your hotel
for the night.
Day 03: Beijing (L, D)
You will be picked up from your Beijing hotel at
about 8:30 am, and from there we’ll make our way to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. Although it has gotten a face-lift, it avoids the army of
tourists that plague Badaling. Mutianyu offers some breathtaking views
of the valley and wall below, and if you look to your right you’ll see a
large sign engraved in the side of the mountain encouraging you to
“Cherish the teachings of Chairman Mao”. Mutianyu has also become
popular for visiting foreign leaders and celebrities (former U.S.
President Clinton visited Mutianyu on one of his trips to China).
You can hike down to the parking lot, take a cable
car, or take a toboggan ride (highly recommended, and lots of fun!) down
to meet our driver.
After lunch we’ll make the drive to the Ming Tombs.
The Ming Tombs, about 50 km/31 miles from Beijing, are where 13
emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) are buried. This site was
carefully chosen for its feng shui principles by the third Ming emperor
Yongle (who also moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing and began
construction on the Forbidden City). The tomb we will visit, Dingling,
is the tomb of the Wanli Emperor. It is the only one of the Ming Dynasty
Tombs to have been excavated. It also remains the only imperial tomb to
have been excavated since the founding of the People's Republic of
China. After viewing the tombs, we will head to the “Shenlu”, or the
Spirit Way. The Spirit Way leads into the complex, lined with statues of
guardian animals and officials, with a front gate consisting of
three-arches, painted red, and called the "Great Red Gate". The Spirit
Way, or Sacred Way, starts with a huge stone memorial archway lying at
the front of the area. Constructed in 1540, during the Ming Dynasty,
this archway is one of the biggest stone archways in China today.
We’ll then head to the northern area of Beijing, in
order to go to the Olympic Green. The Olympic Green was the center of
the event that captivated the world for two weeks in August of 2008, and
is where a majority of the Olympic events took place. The highlights
that you will see today include the Bird’s Nest (officially known as the
Beijing National stadium) and the Water Cube (the Beijing National
Aquatics Center). The stadium gets its nickname from its outward design,
which originated from the study of Chinese ceramics, implementing steel
beams in order to hide supports for the retractable roof, thus giving
the stadium the appearance of a "Bird's nest". The Bird’s Nest hosted
the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, athletic events, and football final
of the 2008 Summer Olympics, from 8 August to 24 August 2008. Since the
Olympic’s end, the Bird’s Nest has been used to host events ranging from
opera to a ski park.
You will then be taken to your hotel for the night.
Day 04: Beijing (L)
After picking you up at your hotel in the morning,
we will head straight to the Beijing Zoo. Unlike other zoos in China,
the Beijing Zoo has the distinct look of a classical Chinese garden.
Initially an imperial manor during the Ming Dynasty, the grounds was
converted into a zoo in 1908 with the original name being The Ten
Thousand Animal Garden. The Beijing Zoo exhibits the wild and rare
animals of China. Outside of traveling to Sichuan, this is the best
place in China to view the Giant Panda. The zoo also includes a monkey
hall, lion hall, and tiger hall. Altogether there are more than 30 large
halls exhibiting animals.
After visiting the zoo we will go to visit the
Lhama Temple. Other than the temples in Tibet this is the best Buddhist
temple in China. Work on the Lhama Temple originally began in 1694
during the Qing dynasty. It served as an official residence for court
eunuchs. It was then converted into the home of the Prince Yong, a son
of the Kangxi Emperor and himself the future Yongzheng Emperor. It was
converted into a lamasery after his ascension to the throne in 1722.
Today the Lhama Temple still functions as a monastery and temple of the
Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism. Walking through the temple your senses
will be enveloped by the incenses and the chanting of the visiting monks
and other followers. The rear Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happinesses
features a 26m tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha cared from a single
piece of white sandalwood. It is one of three artworks in the Lhama
Temple that were included in the Guiness Book of World Records, and it
is not to be missed on your visit.
Then it is just a 5 minute walk across the street
to the Confucius Temple. The Temple of Confucius was initially built in
1302 and additions were made during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It has
a total area of 22,000 square meters (5.4 acres). It is the second
largest temple constructed for Confucius, the greatest thinker and
educationalist in ancient China, ranking only behind the Temple of
Confucius in Qufu, Shandong Province. This temple consists of four
courtyards. The main structures include Xianshi Gate (Gate of the First
Teacher), Dacheng Gate (Gate of Great Accomplishment), Dacheng Hall
(Hall of Great Accomplishment) and Chongshengci (Worship Hall). Dacheng
Hall is the main building in the temple, where the memorial ceremony for
Confucius was often held. Inside the temple one can see that 198 stone
tablets are positioned on either side of the front courtyard, containing
51,624 names of Jinshi (the advanced scholars) of the Yuan, Ming and
Qing dynasties. Also 14 stone stele pavilions of the Ming and Qing
dynasties hold the precious historical information of ancient China.
We’ll then take a break for a Chinese
lunch, and after lunch you’ll be taken to the Houhai lake area for your
Hutong tour. Hutongs are courtyard homes grouped together around narrow
alleys, and served as the lifeline and center of everyday life in old
Beijing. The Hutongs were a critical component in the development and
evolution of Beijing folklore and culture. Going on this Hutong tour by
rickshaw, you will feel like you have traveled back in time to a far
different China, one where there was still an emperor sitting in the
Forbidden City, and where there was still enough time to enjoy the
simple pleasures of common life. Following your Hutong tour we’ll visit
the old Drum Tower, which was built in1272 during the reign of Kublai
Khan, at which time it stood at the very heart of the Yuan capital Dadu.
In ancient times the upper story of the building housed 24 drums, of
which only one survives. Its head is made of an entire ox hide and is
1.5 meters in diameter. A sword score on the side of the drum is a
souvenir of the Eight-Power Allied Forces' invasion of Beijing in 1900.
From the Drum Tower we’ll walk towards
Nanluoguxiang. Nanluoguxiang is one of the best-preserved historical
areas of downtown Beijing, as well as being one of the most chic and
trendy places to hang out in the afternoons and evenings. The
768-metre-long south-north central lane, with 16 Hutong branching off
the central lane, is full of interesting craft shops, relaxing cafes and
trendy bars. The area has a history of over 700 years and is one of the
oldest Hutong neighborhoods in the city. After your tour of
Nanluoguxiang, you have two choices: you can either be transferred back
to your hotel (you’ll be back by 6:00pm) in Beijing or you can continue
exploring Naluoguxiang for the rest of the evening.
Day 05: Beijing-Xingang Port
After picking you up from your hotel we’ll head to
Tianjin Home Port Xingang. Tianjin Port Xingang is about 200 km from
Beijing and the drive will take about 2-3 hours. We should arrive at
Tianjin Home Port at around 4:00pm or your designated time. Your tour
guide will escort you from the beginning to the end. Your tour guide and
driver will give you a hand in carrying your big pieces of luggage to
the Tianjin Home Port Xingang Cruise Terminal Building from the parking
lot. Bon Voyage!