Visits : Forbidden City, Beijing Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square
After enjoying your breakfast, you will travel to Tiananmen Square, which covers an area of 440,000 square meters. A flag raising ceremony goes on there every morning at the same time with the sunrise and people gather around at the sacred moment to watch the 5-star red flag rising slowly up the flagpole and following the music, they sing the national anthem March of the Volunteers to show their love to their country. Tiananmen Square has great cultural significance as it was the site of many important historic events. The most notable are the proclamation of the People´s Republic of China by Chairman Mao Zedong on Oct. 1, 1949 and the grand military displays and parades on each anniversary. The square is surrounded by many great buildings, including the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao, the Monument to the People’s Heroes and the Great Hall of the People.
Then you will be guided to the Forbidden City. It is a massive architectural complex that covers an area of 725,000 square meters and it served as the home of 24 emperors and their households and the ceremonial and political center of the imperial government for almost 500 years. Its construction was initiated in 1406 by Emperor Zhu Di, the third emperor of Ming Dynasty and it lasted for 14 years. It is said that Forbidden City contains totally 9999.5 rooms. Why 9999.5 rooms instead of 10000? A legend explains that Emperor Zhu Di initially wanted to build 10000 rooms. But he had a dream in which he met the Jade Emperor, the ruler of the heavenly realm in Chinese legends, who was infuriated at the news that the human emperor would build an imperial palace that had more rooms than his. When Emperor Zhu Di woke up from the dream, he knew he shouldn’t challenge authority. As a compromise, he finally decided to build 9999.5 rooms.
After the visit, you will have lunch at a nice local restaurant. After lunch, you will move on to the Temple of Heaven. It is a religious complex that served as a ritual site for the Emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties to hold annual ceremonies to pray to the Heaven for good harvest. Following the Temple of Heaven, you will travel to the Summer Palace. It served as a summer resort for Empress Dowager Cixi. It is said that Cixi spent 30 million taels of silver on the reconstruction and enlargement of the palace and this fund was originally designated for the Chinese navy.
Afterwards, you will have dinner at a local restaurant. Then you will be guided to a local famous tea house Laoshe Tea House. It is named after Laoshe, a great Chinese novelist and dramatist. The tea house serves light snacks, Chinese tea and authentic local performances such as Beijing opera, acrobatics, face changing show, cross talk, kungfu and tea ceremony, etc. The performances last for around 1 hour. Finally, you will be transferred back to your hotel.