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Temple of HeavenTemple of Heaven in Beijing Price: Duration: Dates: Tour code: Overview: Ask for a free quotation 7 Days As you request TCG-1205 Combining the best of north central China, this tour takes you through Beijing, Hohhot, and Datong with a visit to the Xilamuren Grasslands just outside of Hohhot. This is a great tour for those who would like to see some of China's most famous sights (in Beijing) and also have a chance to get off the beaten track.

As with all our tours, you can expect experienced guides, quality meals, and great recommendations if needed. We pride ourselves on offering friendly service and expert opinions.
Itinerary
day 1
  • Meals: lunch
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City
Jingshan Park
Jingshan Park
Hutong Tour with local family visit
Hutong Tour with local family visit
The Silk Market (Xiushui)
The Silk Market (Xiushui)
Olympic Venues (outside view)
Olympic Venues (outside view)
day 2
  • Meals: lunch
Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car
Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car
The Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs
The Sacred Way
The Sacred Way
day 3
  • Summer Palace Read more about Summer Palace resort for Chinese emperors
  • Lunch Read more about lunch on a tour Hot Pot (cook your own food at the table)
  • Temple of Heaven Read more about Temple of Heaven where emperors pray for a good harvest
  • Hongqiao Pearl Market Read more about Hongqiao Pearl Market famous for pearls but has wide range of souvenirs and toys
  • Drop-off at the Beijing Train Station
  • Take the train to Hohhot soft sleeper
  • Accommodation: Overnight train
  • Meals: lunch
Summer Palace
Summer Palace
Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven
Hongqiao Pearl Market
Hongqiao Pearl Market
Drop-off at the Beijing Train Station
Drop-off at the Beijing Train Station
day 4
  • Meals: lunch, dinner
Xilamuren Grassland
Xilamuren Grassland
Horseback riding in the grassland (optional upon arrival)
Horseback riding in the grassland (optional upon arrival)
day 5
  • Meals: lunch
Muslim Street & Hohhot Mosque
Muslim Street & Hohhot Mosque
day 6
  • Drop-off at the Hohhot Train Station / Hohhot Airport
  • Take the train to Datong soft sleeper
  • Lunch Read more about lunch on a tour Chinese Style Standard
  • Huayan Monastery Read more about Huayan Monastery Datong's oldest structure
  • Nine Dragon Wall Read more about Nine Dragon Wall the largest of its kind in China
  • Dinner Read more about dinner on a tour Chinese Style Standard
  • Meals: lunch, dinner
Huayan Monastery
Huayan Monastery
Nine Dragon Wall
Nine Dragon Wall
day 7
  • Meals: lunch
Yungang Grottoes
Yungang Grottoes
The Hanging Temple
The Hanging Temple
Drop-off at the Datong Airport
Drop-off at the Datong Airport
  • Tour price
  • Get a free quote
  • Our advantages
  • Included / not included
Tour price
Guests Cost per guest
Ask for a free quotation
Tour code: TCG-1205
  • » Your tour day starts and ends at a hotel in the city, which may or may not be included. If a hotel is included it is listed by name on the itinerary for each night.

  • » Discounts for children in China are based on height. Let us know your child's age and height and we can calculate accordingly.

  • Get a free quote
  •  
  • Let us modify the tour's itinerary for free and with no-obligation to suit your needs. We can change the activities, add or change hotel rooms, flights or trains as you wish.

  • Why book a tour with The China Guide?
  • » Zero shopping stops at overpriced commission factories. Your time and money is better spent.
  • » Flexible time schedule to suit your pace. No rush and can cater to children's needs.
  • » Guides selected and trained by American management. Excellent English, accommodating, family friendly.
  • » Meals are in quality local restaurants. We order according to your tastes and diet.
  • » Western style service. Our agents and guides are there to make you happy.
  • » We have traveled in China with our own children. The American owners have four young children.

  • Read more about why choose The China Guide as your travel agency and meet our travel agents.
  • Included in the tour price
  • » Private English speaking guide (selected/trained by our western staff), experienced Chinese speaking driver and quality, air-conditioned vehicle
  • » Admission tickets to all sights listed on the itinerary - no hidden costs
  • » Free bottled water supplied in your vehicle
  • » Meals as specified in quality local restaurants with unlimited standard drinks (Coke, Sprite, bottled water, Chinese tea)


  • Not included in the tour price
  • » Tips to your guide and driver
  • » International travel insurance (you should purchase your own policy in your home country)


  • For tour booking terms & conditions, please review our company policies.

Tiananmen Square   天安门广场

Most people visit Tiananmen Square on their way to the Forbidden City, both can be done together in a morning or afternoon. Chinese citizens from around the country descend on Tiananmen to take their photos in front of the portrait of Chairman Mao. When there is a breeze you can buy a kite and fly it on the square.

Tiananmen Square is the largest public square in the world. It is a tourist site everyone tends to visit on their trip to Beijing. A vast desert of paving stones, the square can hold over one million people. It lies on the historical central axis going through the Forbidden City.

Expect to go through airport level security when going onto the square, with metal detectors and x-ray machines. There is also a high level of police presence. Nonetheless people are very friendly and its on most Beijing itineraries.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
5:00am - 10:00pm

The Forbidden City   故宫

The Forbidden City was the former imperial palace which was the home to twenty-four Chinese emperors over 491 years between 1420 and 1911. The Forbidden City is now known as the Palace Museum and is open to Beijing's visitors.

Wear comfortable walking shoes as the palace is 960 metres long and 750 metres wide. It has 9,999 rooms - a room being the space between four pillars.

The well guarded palace is surrounded by a moat 3,800 metres long and 52 metres wide. Intruders were discouraged by guards in watchtowers with bow and arrows.

There are five entrances to the gate - the central one reserved for the emperor. The empress was allowed through it only once - on her wedding day.

As well as walking through the wide open courtyards along its central axis, the sides offer some museum exhibits and small courtyards worth exploring.

An excellent view of the Forbidden...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Jingshan Park   景山公园

Jingshan Park was a part of the Forbidden City until the early 1900's when the walls were pulled down and a road cut through it destroying several gates and buildings between the park and the rear entrance of the palace. The hill in Jingshan Park was made with the earth removed to create the palace moat. It is well worth the climb on a clear day for spectacular views of the Forbidden City and Beijing.

The best view of Beijing is from the Pavilion of Everlasting Spring (Wanchun-ting) perched on top of the middle peak, which used to be the highest point in the city. Northwards, one can see the Drum and Bell Towers, a traditional feature of old Chinese cities. To the northwest, the two slabs of water of the Shichahai and Beihai Lake are intersected by Di’anmen Dajie. To the south, the golden roofs of the Imperial Palace can be seen stretching into the distance.

Just north of the Imperial Palace, the...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
6:30am - 8:00pm with last admission at 7:30pm

Hutong Tour with local family visit   胡同游

Hutongs are the old traditional alleyways and courtyard homes which once covered all Beijing. Many still survive today and are pleasant to walk or bike through. Not much has changed and you can see how people lived in the past.

The China Guide's Hutong Tour starts with a cycle rickshaw ride through the hutongs. Cycle rickshaws are a traditional means of transportation in the old narrow streets.

We take you into a traditional family courtyard home. The family will greet you, serve tea and show you through their home. Your guide will explain the cultural and historic significance of various aspects. For instance, the layout of the courtyard, who lived where and how to tell the importance of the people living in a home.

Nanluoguxiang is a trendy hutong area with fun restaurants and cafes, nice to visit during the day for a coffee or lunch, or return in the evening for dinner.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

The Silk Market (Xiushui)   秀水

Once a real outdoor silk market, the modernized Xiushui "silk market" is a popular destination for tourists. It has a huge array of goods over 5 floors including silk goods, souviniers, luggage, name brand goods and clothes. The vendors are a bit on the pushy side and they try to charge as much as they can get away with, so you need to be tough, bargain hard and shop in a few stalls since most goods are repeated. One advantage of this market is most of the vendors speak some English and a lot of the goods are aimed at the taste of western tourists. This is not a commissions shopping market. Surrounding the market you can find coffee, sandwiches and western fast food in case you want a snack or dinner.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:30am - 9:00pm

Olympic Venues (outside view)   北京奧林匹克公園

The Olympic Swim Cube and the Bird's Nest Stadium on the Olympic Green are two of the major architectural achievements of the Beijing 2008 Olympics. You can walk around the Swim Cube whose skin is modeled on soap bubbles and the Birds Nest Stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies occurred as well as many broken olympic records.

This tour takes you around the outside of these two venues. It is also possible to arrange a visit to the inside of the stadium or Swim Cube at additional cost, please select this in advance with your agent. You can even swim inside the Swim Cube.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Great Wall Mutianyu Section w/toboggan and cable car   慕田峪长城

For those who want to see a restored section of the wall which is more fun and less touristy than Badaling and not as far as Simatai or Jinshanling, then Mutianyu is a good choice. Just over an hour from Beijing in normal traffic, it is possible to see in a morning or afternoon and combines well with the Ming Tombs.

Mutianyu has some good options. You can take the cable car up, have a little stroll on the wall then come back down the cable car. Or you can take the cable car up and walk for about 45 minutes on the wall, down hill mostly, to the toboggan sled. Its pretty long run on the toboggan track down the hill from the wall. There are double cars for parents with kids as well as the usual single cars. Fun and safe, everyone seems to enjoy this.

In Mutianyu village there are fish farms and restaurants, so you can fish out your own trout from the pond and have it cooked up for your lunch.
Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
8:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 5:00pm

The Ming Tombs   定陵

Of the 16 emperors who ruled during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), 13 are buried in a canyon. Most of the tombs are not open to the public. We take you to the underground Ding Ling tomb, an underground palace rediscovered in 1956. It was the burial place of the Wanli emperor (reign 1572-1620), his wife, and his favorite concubine. Construction of the burial chamber commenced before the emperor was 20 years old.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:30pm

The Sacred Way   神路

The Sacred Way, the road leading to heaven, is a long, straight path flanked by statues first of ancient government officials and then by animals.

Located close to the tombs this is a stop made on the way to the tomb by the emperor. We also try and put it as a stop on your itinerary (but not on your way to heaven). Out of the city, its best done in conjunction with a visit to the Great Wall.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
8:30am - 5:00pm with last admission at 4:30pm

Summer Palace   颐和园

Time allowing, the Summer Palace is well worth a visit for its historical significance and to enjoy strolling its spacious grounds. You may take a boat ride across the lake if you prefer not to walk. Located 15 km northwest from the central city and occupying an area of about 300 hectares, the Summer Palace is associated with the Qing dynasty's dowager empress Cixi, but has a history of more than 800 years as an imperial garden dating back to the 1150s.

The name in Chinese, Yiheyuan, means "garden of restful peace." It served as a suburban pleasance for emperors, a place in the countryside yet near the capital.

The Yiheyuan in its present form dates from Manchu rule over China, 1644-1911. In the 1750s the emperor Qianlong commanded the creation of the lake and redesigned the temple atop Longevity Hill. Severely damaged during the punitive Anglo-French expedition of 1860 the Empress Dowager ordered...   Read more

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
7:00am - 5:00pm with last admission at 5:00pm

Temple of Heaven   天坛公园

The Temple of Heaven is the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship the god of heaven and pray for a good harvest.

The grounds are part of a huge parkland and in the morning you can see the locals practicing martial arts and other exercises. Located nearby is the Hongqiao Market and Toy Market as well as the Legend of Kungfu show in the Red Theater.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5
Opening hours:
6:00am - 5:30pm with last admission at 4:00pm

Hongqiao Pearl Market   红桥市场

The Hongqiao Market is famous for its pearls but also offers a wide range of souvenirs and also has a huge toy market adjacent.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1
Opening hours:
9:30am - 7:00pm

Xilamuren Grassland   希拉穆仁草原

Xilamuren is 2.5 hours drive outside of Hohhot. The area is beautiful in the summer with endless grasslands and rolling hills. There are a number of yurt camps in the area that offer overnight accommodations - Mongolian style.

Horseback riding in the grassland (optional upon arrival)   草原骑马

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1.5

Visit a Mongolian family at their yurt home   牧民家访

Visit a hillside ovoo   参观敖包

Ovoos are rockpiles usually found at the tops of mountains or hills. They are used in Mongolian Buddhist or shamanist religious ceremonies.

Stay overnight in a yurt   蒙古包里过夜

Your chance to experience the nomadic Mongolian lifestyle.

Dazhao Temple   大昭寺

Still a working lamasery, Dazhao Temple is the largest temple in Hohhot. It is best visited early in the morning when the monks can be heard chanting.

Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Xilitu Zhao   席力图召

This small monastery was once the living quarters of the city's 11th living Buddha.

Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm

Muslim Street & Hohhot Mosque   穆斯林街/清真大寺

Hohhot has a very lively Muslim community centered around the Hohhot Mosque just north of Da Zhao and Xilitu Zhao. Built in 1693, the mosque is an interesting combination of Chinese and Arabic architecture styles. The surrounding area has many great food options as well as an interesting produce market.

Huayan Monastery   华严寺

The Huayan Monastery is located in what was once and is now being recreated as the old town of Datong. Built during the Liao dynasty, this complex is divided into two parts, the upper temple and the lower temple. The upper temple is still an active monastery with one of the largest main halls in China. The lower temple is the oldest structure in Datong and one of the most incredible remaining examples of Liao dynasty sculpture and design.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
9:00am - 5:00pm

Nine Dragon Wall   九龙壁

This wall is located in the older part of Datong city. It is one of the oldest and longest walls of its type in China. There are nine dragons all made with different color tiles and represents a different meaning. Upon first site, it seems odd, just a wall standing alone. However, it was once a spirit wall protecting a local palace. Each dragon has a rich meaning which sheds light on ancient Chinese beliefs.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.75
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Yungang Grottoes   云岗石窟

This is the oldest Buddhist cave art in China. Over 50 caves have been excavated, revealing over 50,000 stone statues carved right into the rock face. Some of the caves are only big enough to duck your head in to view small, detailed statues, while other caves are big enough to walk into and see large stone statues surrounded by smaller statues carved with intricate detail. This park covers a large area and can take some travelers more than half-a-day to view.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
4
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

The Hanging Temple   悬空寺

It is almost impossible to believe that this temple has stood the test of time. Suspended in air against a mountain wall, Xuan Kong Temple looks like a hanging wall mural. Built thousands of years ago, this ancient wooden structure is a popular sight for Chinese and foreign travelers alike. It is a bit of a climb to get up to the temple, but worth the hike to see the beautiful Chinese architecture and designs within the many rooms. Many steps along the cliff lead from one prayer hall to another. Even if you are scared of heights, this is a not to be missed experience.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2.5
Opening hours:
8:00am - 6:00pm

Beijing 北京

Beijing offers much for visitors to do. It is the gateway to the Great Wall, which is 1 - 2 hours drive from the city depending on which part you visit. Within the city, the major sights include The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Hutong tours and cycle rickshaw rides.

Aside from the sights Beijing is a fabulous place to dine. Arguably, it has some of the best Chinese food in the world with lots of regional variations. Western food in Beijing is also excellent due to the abundance of foreigners and embassies.

Beijing also boasts some fantastic parks, with boating, amusements for children, Chinese martial arts and good people watching in a quiet green atmosphere.

The pollution in Beijing comes and goes, blown away by a good wind. Sometimes it builds into a haze, but visitors planning a short trip should not put off. It's just another aspect to life in a city of...   Read more

Hohhot 呼和浩特

Hohhot is a surprisingly nice city to visit in the spring and summer. The cityscape is a mixture of temples, Mongolian architectural elements, and the round green domes of mosques. The many beautiful temples are fun to explore, as well as the lively Muslim district.

Hohhot is also a great introduction to Mongolian culture. The language can be heard and seen throughout the city. Hohhot boasts many amazing food options as well. Don't miss an opportunity to try the famed Mongolian hotpot or barbecue.

Horse racing is a major part of Mongolian culture. This can best be seen during the Nadaam festival at the end of July. At this time, Hohhot becomes a boisterous and exciting place as people come in from all over the country for the wrestling, archery, and races that take place outside the city in the grasslands.

Datong 大同

Datong 大同, in Shanxi Province is a coal rich industrial city with not much to recommend it to visitors. However, the city is blessed with some truly exceptional attractions within close proximity.

The principle attraction for visitors to Datong is the Hanging Monastery (悬空寺Xuánkōng Sì). Located at the base of Mount Heng, the monastery is a remarkable feat of engineering, perched 50 m from the ground on a sheer cliff face. Bridges and boardwalks link the 6 main halls of the monastery, this allows visitors to soak up the view from the height of the monastery. Not for those that suffer vertigo! The monastery is also unique in that it pays tribute to Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. With statues of Lao tzu and Confucius along side one of Buddha.

Another must-see attraction near Datong is the Yungang Grottoes (云冈石窟Yúngāng Shíkū). A UNESCO world heritage site, the grottoes are over...   Read more

Breakfast

Most hotels come with breakfast, or if not it can be added at a cost. Four and five star hotels will generally offer a good western and Chinese buffet breakfast. Three star hotels may only have a Chinese breakfast, or a Chinese interpretation of a western breakfast. Anyway a Chinese breakfast is not bad - rice porridge, eggs, Chinese style breads and vegetables.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Lunch on Tour

We consider experiencing good Chinese cuisine to be an important part of the tour experience. When on a tour, lunch is generally Chinese style and normally included in the price. Our guides will help you order according to your taste. Mild, spicy, meat, vegetables, rice and/or noodles. Dishes are served family style and shared by the guests. The driver may eat on his own but the guide will join you if you like.

Food in Beijing is quite good quality and we take our guests to genuine local restaurants, not tourist traps. We consider it distasteful to ask you for small amounts of money during the tour, so we offer unlimited standard drinks including Coke, Sprite, local bottled water and Chinese tea. You also won't leave the table hungry, if you need more to eat just let your guide know.

We don't have fixed restaurants we must use, it depends on where you are at the time you are hungry. When traveling around China we normally have the same arrangements outside Beijing but this may vary depending on your exact itinerary.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Dinner on Tour

Unless there is a special activity planned or you prefer to have all your meals catered, guests often prefer to relax after a day tour and arrange their own dinner. This gives you flexibility in time and cuisine. Having all your meals catered every day can be tiresome. Handling your own dinner allows you to have some control and also strike out on you own. Your guide can give you restaurant suggestions and in big cities you can find lots of options for fine dining, fast food, both western or Chinese. Hotel staff can often make restaurant recommendations within walking distance.

If you get the taste for a burger or pizza after a lot of Chinese food, this is easily found in Beijing, Shanghai and many other cities around China. Many hotel restaurants offer nice food. China also has its share of McDonald's, KFC and Subway sandwich chains if you need a fix.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.


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