Touring the National Palace Museum in Beijing

Beijing - Best Tours & Trips 2019

Beijing is China's capital, and is an epicenter of Chinese history and modern life. Home to such sites as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, it's the place to be for absorbing the incredibly extensive history of China.

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Top Beijing Experiences and Attractions

Top Beijing Experiences

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Top Beijing Attractions

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Beijing Trip Reviews

Beijing Tour Reviews - Summary
99% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 260 Great 98 Average 2 Disappointing 1 Terrible 1
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals



Fantastic November 2018


China Sampler

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
They took very good care of me as I was a woman traveling alone, never once did I worry about a thing. It was extraordinary. I am using them again to go to Japan.

Operator Alexander + Roberts


Does Not Recommend

What a nightmare! October 2018


14 Day China & Tibet Discovery 2018 Itinerary

  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Do not book with Gate 1. If you do, don't get sick cause they leave you for dead. If you do they will take creepy photos of you. If you do don't get the travel insurance, because they will not honor it. Read more

Operator Gate 1



Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom October 2018


Walking the Great Wall

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Space, and the (temporary) frontier abound provided that you go boldly, up,
more up, and even more up; cast aside fears of teeming hordes, and remember,
the people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world
history. At times, you become the 'attraction' - videoconferencing a chap's
wife on her drive home so she could practice her English (at the top of the
Wall, naturally). That was a first. High fiving hundreds of school kids,
while teachers convulsed with laughter (on the wall too), in a society where
physical contact is not a thing, also a first. Underpinning it all, a long
past with, to quote a fellow traveller, "zero history of democracy". And the
kittens really do want their fluffy tummies tickled, oh yes they do.
Decades of watching China from afar, dissolving whilst sitting on some unused
telegraph poles, on a country road, alone at sunset.

Pema. Well, it's always handy to have a Tibetan guide, when you bump into
some Tibetan monks, looking for a group photograph with some westerners for
their Instagram. Or need to explain the fire in your room. Retrieve a
confiscated bank card. Discuss the geological formations under the wall and
the materials in it. Get you through 'Security' painlessly. And be objective
about Tibet's relationship with China.

1) the Dong Fang has a machine which converts cash banknotes (sterling, USD,
canadianD, euros, and many more) into yuan, which is very handy indeed.
2) two types of ATM exist, ones that hand out cash and return the card, ones
that are for account management only, and hold onto the card. Make sure you
are using an international bank, and a real ATM. Worth watching what other
people are doing for a few minutes.
3) Euro / US plugs sometimes work in the local sockets, but if you require
mains, take a three pin Chinese adapter. Not many amps in the supply, so
charging is slow.
4) Do not, repeat do not, leave electric oil radiators switched on in an
empty room. And stand by for a few minutes to pull the plug out of the
socket after switching on.
5) keep an eye out, and the camera hot, for feral panda spotting.

Water for drinking: arrive, fill kettle, allow to boil, open lid to cool
down, do something else, pour into 'tough' water bottle / bladder, refill
kettle etc. Everywhere has a kettle for that purpose. Have a thermos, with
local tea leaves instead / as well. Even petrol stations have hot water
boilers. The journey to a plastic free world starts with the first step.

Read more

Operator Exodus Travels



China Calling October 2018


Walking the Great Wall

  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
What a great trip !
6 hiking days and 2 days seeing the sights in Beijing with Pemma our Tibetan
guide and our mixed bunch of 16, comprised of couples and solos making for a
great trip to China. ( I didn’t book the Xian extension ) the hikes are
tough as they are up and down the many ridges that the wall sought to protect
and most are on the “Wild Wall” where we had the fantastic views all to
ourselves, so expect some tender knees and sore calves as the days progress.
Accommodation in the country is in friendly and comfortable homestays and Don
Fang in Beijing is about 30 minutes walk to the Forbidden City and Tianenmen
square etc. China is a real mix of old and new and the vibrant colours are a
treat for the eyes. Ticking the Great Wall box with this Exodus trip was
memorable and as is the case on many a trip there were only minor things that
could be improved but take it from me, if you’re thinking of booking then
take the leap, you’ll love it.
The Stairs to the Sky near Jiankou are scary, picturesque and a challenge to
mind and body, but what a thrill !

Pemna is a super guide, ever smiling, friendly but most importantly is
putting you as his primary goal.

Don’t underestimate it’s a tough enough hiking trip with more downhill
setions than most

It’s a great trip
Read more

Operator Exodus Travels



walking the great wall of china and xian extension October 2018


Walking the Great Wall

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
spent 6 days walking the great wall of china and then a walking tour of
beijing. we then went on a sleeper train to xian where we saw the terra cotta
walking on the unrestored parts of the great wall.

Jack was great and spent a lot of time explaining the history and he was a
great ambassador for his country

We took metal water flasks with us but were given small plastic bottles of
water every day so we didnt need the flasks. In september the weather was
great and i took warmer clothing both for the day and night which i didnt

i was very disappointed in missing the walk in olympic city as we just drove
passed it. Also I didnt like the skytel hotel in xian as it was soulless. No
real communal area and no outside space/garden. The room was fine. Not to
keen on the breakfast.

Read more

Operator Exodus Travels

Beijing Tours and Travel Guide

Beijing Attractions & Landmarks Guide

6 Best Things To Do on a Tour in Beijing

  1. The Forbidden City. This incredible attraction is named after the fact that it was not open to the public until 1924 -- it was believed to be a divine place housing rulers chosen by God, and so ordinary people were not allowed to enter. The Forbidden City includes the largest palatial home in the world, which took 14 years to build and has served 24 emperors in its history. It is an incredible example of traditional Chinese architecture, and includes 100 acres of beautifully manicured gardens.
  2. The Palace Museum. Inside the Forbidden City is the Palace Museum, which holds over 1 million pieces of rare Chinese art, and has some of the most impressive displays in the world. If you are at all interested in Chinese history and culture, this museum is a must-see on your trip to Beijing.
  3. Tiananmen Square. This large square (technically the 4th largest in the world) is a key component of any historical tour of Beijing. The iconic spot of the Tiananmen Square Massacre is a great place to learn about China’s controversial past and present political system, censorship, and those who protested it. You can also visit Mao Zedong’s mausoleum and see his remains.
  4. The Hutongs. The Hutongs are Beijing’s historic residential area that was primarily built during the 15th century.  The homes are, for the most part, single story and multi-generational, with small courtyards. They can be found on small, tree-lined alleyways, which aren’t wide enough for cars, so you can fully experience what life was like in ancient China -- and if you need a lift, take a rickshaw!
  5. Walk Wangfujing. the city’s most popular shopping street. The 1 mile long road is lit with neon signs is one of the busiest in the city, so if you dislike crowds, maybe skip this attraction. Its shops range from large and modern department stores, to time honored traditional Chinese shops specialize in everything from silk to hats.
  6. Donghuamen Night Market. This market is made up of hundreds speciality stands, selling all kinds of exotic food. If you’re feeling adventurous, fried starfish, scorpion, snake, and sheep’s penis are all served on a stick. There are also more classic dishes available, such as handmade dumplings, fried noodles, wontons, and fried ice cream, for sale.

5 Top Beijing Travel Tips

The good news is that if you’re on a group or guided tour of Beijing, there is a lot less you have to worry about. From figuring out how to navigate a public transportation system not only in a different language, but a language in different characters, to balancing different activities depending on when they’re open and what you get tickets to -- your tour guide is going to have it taken care of. That being said, there are still some things any foreign traveler to Beijing should be aware of before arriving.

  1. The day doesn’t end when the sun sets. Most tours plan your itinerary for the entire day, not for the night. At the start of your trip you may need this time to catch up on some much-needed sleep and beat your jet lag, though Beijing’s nightlife is not something you should miss. Beijing has it all -- from casual karaoke venues, to ritzy nightclubs, to scenic rooftop bars, there is something for everyone, so get out of your comfort zone and meet some locals!

  2. Learn a few words in Mandarin, which is the language spoken in Beijing. Even with your tour guide, the people you interact with will appreciate your being able to say a quick “hello” (ni hao) and “thank you” (xiexie). And when you need to get through a crowded street, knwoing how to say “excuse me” ( jièguò yīxià) may be invaluable!

  3. Chinese massages aren’t what you might expect. Sometimes confused with Thai massages, people often recommend you get a cheap massage in China. However, Chinese massages are a bit different -- the Chinese prioritize healing over physical pleasure, and this means your “massage” may consist mainly of suction cups, needles, and wooden hammers instead of kneading hands. This doesn’t mean they aren’t fun to try, or effective, just be aware before booking your first one!

  4. Bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The vast majority of bathrooms in Beijing are “squat toilets” -- essentially a toilet boil in the ground, without a seat or their own toilet paper -- so you will probably run into at least a couple on your Beijing trip. If you have your own supplies, you’ll be prepared.

  5. Watch where you’re crossing! Pedestrians don’t have the right of way in Beijing, and traffic can be confusing and chaotic. This can be intimidating when you first get to the city. When you do decide to cross, pick a line and stay on it. This way, cars will be able to easily drive around you.

What to Eat in Beijing

  • Peking Duck: This delicacy dates back to the imperial kitchens in 1330, and it became eponymous with Beijing—or Peking, as it was then known—in the 1450s.
  • Qianlong Cabbage: This tasty vegetarian dish is made of shredded cabbage soaked in a tasty soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame. It’s also a Beijing staple, so whether you have it as a side or your main course, know that you’re eating a traditional and still-popular dish.
  • Beijing Fried Sauce Noodles: These wheat noodles are served in a big bowl topped in garnish, occasionally bits of fried pork, and with a delicious side of dark brown sauce. This sauce is essentially a salty, soybean reduction.
  • Wandouhuang (Pea Cake): This “snack” was a favorite of one of China’s empresses, and remains a staple snack food. The yellow gelatin-like squares look sweet, and are bright yellow in color, but taste like peas.
  • Old Beijing’s Pear Drink: This sweet tea-like drink is made of pear, plums, wolfberries -- as well white fungus and rock sugar. It is a popular palette cleanser, and known for easing sore throats, so give it a try!
  • Anything on a skewer: A trip to Beijing wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the city’s famous street food, a great portion of which is sold on sticks. So whatever calls your fancy, from prawns, to mushrooms, to more exotic pickings like starfish. You will watch the meal get fried up right in front of you, and get to choose how spicy you want it.

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