Recently, my very first travellers have returned from a wonderful trip to Beijing. A city trip to the diverse Chinese capital is an impressive, unique experience and definitely recommended if you’re interested in the Chinese culture. Although all my travel proposals are tailor-made, I would like to share you in the itinerary of this ten-day city trip to Beijing. This itinerary has been specifically made for these travellers; others may want it to be more- or less organised, less no guides included, or a different combination of excursions. All of these specifics are taken into account when I create a personalised itinerary, so regard this as no more than an example of what could be done.

Beijing, the fantastic city that's got so much to offer: get inspired now.

Ni hao! Beijing, the amazing capital of China. Beijing has more than 20 million inhabitants and is located in the north of China. Did you know, Beijing literally means “Northern capital”? The city is the center of administration, education and culture. You will find ancient temples and futuristic skyscrapers side by side, you can wander for hours through old neighbourhoods and then there is of course the Forbidden City, the largest palace in the world. Moreover, the Great Wall is just outside the city limits. So much to do and see! In this travel proposal you will find the must-see highlights, combined with different experiences with which I would like to bring you closer to the local society. Because you want to be moderately active, I have planned a few days off so that you can discover this special city on your own.

To get in the mood a bit, you can find ten handy Chinese translations of words that might help you during your trip below (don’t worry, your guide speaks good English, so learning Chinese is definitely not necessary):

hello  – 你好 –  nǐ hǎo
thank you  – 谢谢 – xièxiè
goodbye  – 再见 – zàijiàn
yes  – 是的 / 对  – shì de / duì
no  – 没有 / 不是 / 不 – méiyǒu / bùshì / bù
waiter / waitress  – 服务员 – fúwùyuán
fork  – 叉 –  chā
restaurant  – 饭店 – fàndiàn
excuse me  – 请问 –  qǐngwèn
sorry  – 对不起 –  duìbùqǐ

Attached you can find the suggested program. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, any adjustments or comments. Enjoy reading!

Day Where Travel Itinerary
1 Beijing Welcome to Beijing! You will be met in the lobby (look for a sign with Jane’s Planet logo and your name on it). During the transfer to the hotel, the English-speaking guide will walk you through the itinerary again. Along the way you visit the Temple of Heaven. This is also called the “most beautiful temple of Beijing”. The Taoist temple was where the emperor went to pray twice a year for a good harvest for all the Chinese in the empire. Besides the buildings of the temple itself, it is also a very large park with thousands of centuries-old trees that is used daily by many Chinese as a place to play music and dance. After this visit you will be dropped off at the hotel where you will have the rest of the afternoon and evening to yourself.

For dinner, I have reserved a special Peking Duck dinner for you in a popular local restaurant to celebrate your arrival in Beijing. You will be picked up at the hotel lobby and returned after dinner.
Guide: yes
Hotel: XXX
Meals included: dinner

2 Beijing After breakfast you will meet your guide in the hotel lobby. You will set out for the world’s largest square, Tiananmen Square, the Square of Heavenly Peace. You can have a great time here amidst the relaxing Chinese and children kiting. The Mausoleum of Mao is located in the middle of the square. If you do not know what this to the Chinese most important person looks like, take a look at the Forbidden City. A large photo of him is displayed above the entrance.

After that, you are being taken to the Forbidden City. For a long time the city was closed to the outside world, but luckily this mysterious place is open to the public again. Red tall walls and a deep broad canal surround the Forbidden City. Even the floors exist of several layers of stone, just in case someone would dig its way through underneath the canal and dig its way up again within the Forbidden City. Nowadays the door is open and you walk straight in! Walking across the vast squares you get a good impression of what the imperial past would have looked like. Construction not only takes safety into account, but certainly also culture. The imperial buildings are all equipped with yellow roofs, 9 rows of 9 buttons on the doors and 9 statuettes on the corners of the roofs. The number 9 is an imperial and lucky number!

After this, you will experience the ‘hutong’ in the old part of town; the hutong is a traditional residential area in China, particularly in Beijing. A trip in a traditional rikshaw bike cannot be missed. You will visit a local family who will show you the daily life in the old city.

If you wish, you can optionally visit a Kungfu show. This show lasts around 90 minutes and will start at 7.30 p.m. If you decide not to go to the kung fu show, you have the evening to yourself.
Optional: Kungfu Show
Guide: yes
Hotel: XXX
Meals included: breakfast

3 Beijing On day three in the program you will have the day off. You can spend your day exactly as you wish. A Chinese massage, a visit to the food market, a few temples or some souvenirs? It’s totally up to you. The 798 Art District is certainly a must-see if you’re into art: a dilapidated industrial area that in recent years has turned into a bustling artists’ bastion full of galleries, street art projects, art cafés and trendy book stores.
Guide: no
Hotel: XXX
Meals included: breakfast
4 Beijing After breakfast you will be picked up to leave the hustling and bustling city for a night. We seek peace and quiet! About 90 kilometers West of Beijing lies the village of Cundixia Ming Dynasty. It is an old village situated between the mountains. A beautiful location for a short walk, for example. Traditional residential complexes, colourful historical remains and unique folk customs characterise this old village. You spend the night here. You will be back from the village tour around 4 p.m. and have the evening to yourself.
Guide: yes
Hotel: XXX
Meals included: breakfast
5 Beijing
Today you have a day at leisure. After you have returned to Beijing, you can do whatever you like! Tip: try bullet train, this speedy train goes up to 350 km / hour! You can ask the local guide to help you with tickets (make sure to do this in time).
Guide: no
Hotel: XXX
Meals included: breakfast
6 Beijing Today you’ll be put to work! You’ll spend the day with a local Chinese family. The day starts with a trip to the local market, where you will buy all the ingredients together. After that, you will be taken to the family home of your ‘chef’, where you will cook and eat together. A special experience, today you will really be part of the local society. Don’t forget to bring your camera! Around 1.30 pm you will have finished cooking and eating, and you have the rest of the day to yourself.
Guide: yes
Hotel: XXX
Meals included: breakfast & lunch
7 Beijing Today you will visit the Gubei Water City and from there you will finally go and see the Great Wall (the Simatai section). This area is considerably less touristy, so the chance of some beautiful photos is more likely here.

At the foot of the Great Wall was the town of Simatai, which used to consist of 8 small cores, five of which lay together in a valley. In 2010, the construction of the new village of Simatai was started, 1.5 km from the current location. The 1,400 residents all moved. The site of the five old villages was transformed into the new water town, which was opened to the public in 2014. There are canals, hutongs (alleys), court houses and buildings in the style of the Qing (1644-1911) and the Republic of China (1911-1949).

Han-Chinese and Man (Man nationality, Manzu, Manchus) live in Gubei. Taste the local specialty of the Man: home-made tofu. But also enjoy the seasoned eggs, pancakes, pudding, jiaozi and pork from the barbecue.

After you are dropped off at the hotel in Gubei around 11.30 am, you have the afternoon to yourself. In the evening (from 7 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.) you will visit the Great Wall, it’ll be a very special experience to see the sun set whilst you are amazed by the greatness of the Wall. The beautiful lighting will astonish you! Take your time, spend as long as you like. I know it’s a sight not to want to leave from!
Guide: yes
Hotel: XXX
Meals included: breakfast

8 Beijing Today you will visit the Summer Palace, one of the most impressive palaces in all of China. Located on the Hill of Long Life on an artificial lake, it consists of many palaces, temples, pavilions, bridges, pagodas and literally hundreds of walking paths in extensive gardens. For centuries it was used by the Chinese emperor and his entourage as an outer palace, when it became too hot in the city center during the summer. The Summer Palace has the largest and best-preserved Chinese garden in this style and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998.

You will also visit the Beijing Olympic Stadium. You told me you are interested in architecture, so this is a must for you to see. The stadium was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics and will be used again in the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The stadium is also called as the Bird’s Nest; the design, which originated from the study of Chinese ceramics, implemented steel beams in order to hide supports for the retractable roof; giving the stadium the appearance of a bird’s nest.

You will be back at the hotel around 4 p.m. and you will have the evening to yourself.
Guide: yes
Hotel: XXX
Meals included: breakfast

9 Beijing Today you have a last full day at leisure. Treat yourself to a traditional massage before you leave, or try some final local delicacies from Beijing. Enjoy it to the fullest as it’ll be your last day in this fantastic city.
Guide: no
Hotel: XXX
Meals included: breakfast
10 Beijing After breakfast you are expected in the lobby for the transfer to the airport. Your journey is over, unfortunately. Time for your trip home. Have a safe flight!
Guide: no
Hotel: no more overnight stays
Meals included: breakfast

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