Departs and Operates
·Tour Type: Exclusive Private Tour
·Vehicle: Car or Van
·Departs: 8:00am or 1:30pm
·Returns: 12:00am 5:30pm
·Duration: Approx. 4 hours
·Pick-up: Your midtown Hotel
• This tour will take you back in time to when the imperial dynasties still ruled China. You’ll head to the Ming City Walls Park, a relic of Beijing’s golden age. You’ll also go by Yondingmen Tower and the Outer City’s Southern Moat, which both stand as a reminder of Beijing’s ancient fortifications and impressive city walls, and which stand in stark contrast to the modern high rises surrounding them.
• The Temple of Heaven, a can’t-miss attraction of Beijing, was the center and holiest site of Imperial China’s Heaven Worship, where the Emperor would perform his solemn rites on behalf of the country
1. You will be picked up from your hotel, and from there we will head to the Ming Dynasty Wall Park, which is located in central Beijing.
2. Running the entire length of the northern flank of Chongwenmen Dongdajie is this slender park alongside a section of the Ming inner-city wall. The restored wall runs for around 2km, rising up to a height of around 15m and interrupted every 80m with buttresses, which extend south from the wall to a maximum depth of 39m. The park extends the former site of Chongwen Men (one of the nine gates of the inner city wall). Its green-tiled, twin-eaved roof rising up imperiously, this splendid Ming-dynasty fortification is punctured with 144 archer’s windows. The highly impressive interior has some staggering carpentry: huge red pillars surge upwards, topped with solid beams. On the first floor is the excellent Red Gate Gallery.
3. On our way to the Temple of Heaven, we’ll pass by some interesting places. We’ll go by the Outer City’s Southern Moat. The Yuan Dynasty first built an extensive moat system in and around the city as a city fortification. In 1950's, Beijing's moat system was still measured at over 4000 kilometres. Today, only parts of the inner city's northern moat system, the outer city's southern moat system, the imperial city's moat system and the Forbidden City's moat system still remain!
4. We’ll also pass by the Yondingmen Tower. Originally constructed in 1553, it was torn down in the 1950s to make way for the new roads in Beijing. In 2005, the Yongdingmen was rebuilt at the original site of the old city gate. Almost half a century after its collapse, the gate finally stands up to its reputation and importance as the towering southern structure overlooking the southern part of Beijing.
5. We will arrive at the Temple of Heaven. 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!
6. After our tour through the Temple of Heaven, we’ll roam around Dashilan and Qianmen Street, an area of Beijing long known (over 500 years) for its curio shops and its prosperity. Different from the imperial palaces and gardens of the north, the south has always been the poorer side of the city and, away from the modern north of Beijing, remains comparatively undeveloped. Qianmen is still a busy part of the city, where shops merge with Hutongs, and a good place for a walk.
7. We will drive back to your hotel, and you will be dropped off.