Driving up to 1.5 hours throughout the day. Walking approximately 2 miles in and around the Forbidden City on flat, paved terrain with many chairs and benches to rest; up to 80 steps with railings. Walking up to 1/2 mile from the coach to Tian’anmen Square.
In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as warm meats, eggs, cereals, fruit, and Chinese dishes such as rice porridge and cooked vegetables; beverages include juice, tea, coffee, water.
We will explore parts of the 250-acre Forbidden City imperial compound. It was called the Forbidden City because it was “forbidden” to enter without the Emperor’s permission. The world's largest palace complex, it is surrounded by a moat 170 feet (52 meters) wide, a wall more than 32 feet (10 meters) high, and contains 8,700 rooms! Construction began in 1407, and, thanks to the labor of a million workers including 100,000 artisans, it was completed in 1420. The Forbidden City was not only the personal residence of emperors and their royal families, but China’s political center for more than five centuries.
At a local restaurant, enjoy a family style meal.
Walk through Tian'anmen Square, considered the heart of Beijing. Meaning "Gate of Heavenly Peace," the square, set in the heart of Beijing, serves as the location of formal celebrations and ceremonies. More commonly, this huge piazza is where families come to stroll and chat and where kites and balloons abound. Here are located the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, the China National Museum, Great Hall of the People, Monument to the People's Heroes, and the Tiananmen Tower. The square was the site in 1989 of pro-democracy protests seen around the world. The remainder of the afternoon is free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
At a local restaurant, we’ll have our official welcome dinner and savor Beijing’s famous culinary delight, Beijing Roast Duck, a.k.a. Peking Duck. The ducks are specially raised and the elaborate preparation involves a series of steps to produce the crispy skin and savory meat with traditional accompaniments such as scallion and sweet bean sauce, all rolled inside a thin pancake.