This day Beijing tour begins at 08:30am and ends at around 5:00pm. Please get everything ready before our English-speaking guide meets you in the lobby of the hotel where you stay. Itís about 20 minutes driving to the first stop of the main attractions, Hutong.
As you might have known, one of the unique features of Beijing is its numerous Hutongs, which means small lanes. The life of ordinary people in these lanes contributes greatly to the charm of this ancient capital. In these small lanes, you will find many siheyuan, or quadrangles that are the living quarters of ordinary Beijing locals. Beijingís Hutongs are not only an appellation for the lanes but also a kind of architecture. Itís the living environment of ordinary Beijing locals. It reflects the vicissitude of society. Most of the Hutongs look almost the same with grey walls and bricks. There are often four to ten families with an average of 20 people sharing the rooms of one courtyard complex. The main attraction of Hutong life is a friendly and interpersonal communication. Children living in one courtyard play together and grow up like one family. For the elderly, the charm comes from each otherís company.
Around 09:00am, you will be arriving in the square between the Great Bell Museum and the Drum Tower. We would like to offer Beijing Hutong tour with rickshaw from here. You will observe and learn how Beijing locals have their real life every day. The rickshaw puller and our English-speaking guide will take you to a local family for a home visit. Together with the hostess or host, you can go to the local market for lunch food, such as vegetables, meat, etc. The hostess or host will teach you how to make the dumplings or noodles. Obviously you will enjoy this Chinese lunch made by yourselves. Four hours are needed to experience Beijing Hutong local real life.
After lunch if time permits, you will go for a visit to a kindergarten, the old folksí home or a hospital.
In the afternoon, you will be taken for a visit to the mansion of Prince Gong of Qing Dynasty, which was the Residence of the Last Qing Emperorís Father. The mansion is the most exquisitely decorated and best preserved among the princes' mansions in Beijing, and beside the residence there is also a large garden. The mansion consists of two parts: living quarters and the garden, covering 56,000 square meters. The living quarters run along three axes - central, eastern and western, altogether having 1,000 rooms. People can imagine the grandeur from its green glazed-tile roofs. The garden of Prince Gong's Mansion covers 25,000 square meters, with artificial rockeries, covered corridors and pavilions. It is said the Grand View Garden described in the novel "A Dream of Red Mansions" was modeled after this garden.
Not far from the mansion of Prince Gong is the Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling, late Honorary Chairman of the People's Republic of China. Led by the rickshaw puller and our English-speaking guide, you come to Yin Ding Bridge with a ride past the Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling. After a short view of Shichahai, you can come to the bar street for a drink. This tour will end with the visit to the Drum Tower. With sixty-nine steps climbing to the Drum Tower, you may happen to see the performance of beating drums every half hour. After a short view of Great Bell Museum, both old and modern Beijing, an exciting Yangge, which is a popular rural folk dance is arranged.
We would like to end this day tour with the transfer back to your hotel at around 5:00pm. We hope that this day tour arrangement just fits your need. We look forward to hearing from you.