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Highlights of Beijing
hrs Estimate Duration
This tour presents a look at both modern and ancient sensibilities of China’s vibrant capital through two iconic attractions: Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City palace complex.
Settle in for a leisurely 2 1/2 hour drive inland to Beijing, an irrepressible city revered for its soaring skyscrapers and imperial history.
Once the world’s largest public square, Tiananmen is impressive for its size alone. Over the centuries, it has been expanded four times and now accommodates up to one million people and buildings such as the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao, the National Museum of China, and the Great Hall of the People. Many of the seminal events in China’s history have occurred here, including the pro-democracy protests of 1989. The square’s original Gate of Heavenly Peace (or Tiananmen) was constructed in 1417 as the principal entry to the nearby Forbidden City, your next stop. Home to the emperors in the Ming and Qing dynasties, the imperial palace complex sprawls over 250 acres and contains pavilions, halls, courtyards and gates showcasing treasures of China’s imperial past.
As you walk through the Forbidden City, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will enjoy a rare glimpse into a world that was off limits to all but the reclusive royals for 500 years. It served as home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The city houses 90 palaces, 980 buildings and courtyards covering an area of approximately 180 acres, enclosed by a 32-feet-high defensive wall. Considered one of the greatest feats in human history, the city’s construction is presently one of the largest and best-preserved palace complexes in the world. There are more than one million rare and valuable objects in the museum, many of which are on display for you to view.
Before your drive back to the pier, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
Need to Know:
Note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking (2-3 miles) and approximately 40 steps to negotiate at the Forbidden City. Tour not available on Mondays as Forbidden City is closed.
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Scenic & City Tours
Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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