This is a typical itinerary for this product
Stop At: Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang), West Changan Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100006 China
The guide will pick in the hotel lobby at morning 7:00.
My Tiananmen experience was above and beyond interesting. For some reason, I thought it was going to be a relaxing walk before the crowds in the Forbidden City, but that definitely wasn’t true. The Square itself is full of tour groups, vacationers, and locals alike. Everyone is trying to get the perfect picture with Mao in the background (just like I did), and nobody wants to make room.
While in the Square, someone asked to take a picture with me. Although creepy, I said yes – may not have been the best move. Within 1 minute, there was actually a small line of 4 or 5 Chinese people who wanted to take a picture with me. There was no reason other than they saw someone else taking a picture with me, probably thought I was a famous American, and wanted to hop on the bandwagon. Every now and then on the streets someone will try and speak English with me, but this was the first time this type of thing ever happened to me. My wallet wasn’t stolen, and in some weird way I may have made those peoples’ day, so it’s all good.
Then moved to The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was home to the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912). Begun in 1406, construction lasted 15 years, and required more than a million workers. It’s the world’s largest surviving palace complex and covers 178 acres, consisting of 980 surviving buildings with 9,999 bays of rooms. Word on the street is that in Imperial times, unauthorized entry by common people would be punishable by death.
The Three Great Halls are definitely the highlight of the tour. Each with a different function, they were used for ceremonial occasions, as the Emperors personal prep areas, official meeting areas, and imperial examinations. All three Great Halls line up in sequence on a marble terrace. Some of the halls and palaces have been restored and repainted, some haven’t. This way, you can still enjoy their authenticity while seeing what they would’ve looked like hundreds of years ago. Be on your toes when trying to get a look inside, it gets a little rowdy.
Duration: 8 hours