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Take advantage of your already included international airfare to see even more of Asia with this pre-trip extension in Beijing. Here is where the modern face of China and 7,000 years of continuous Chinese civilization converge in a capital filled with imperial treasures, historic monuments, dazzling museums, cosmopolitan amenities, and delicious cuisine. You’ll have an opportunity to experience eight exclusive Included Features and Cultural Discoveries, including visits to four unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You’ll tour a section of the Great Wall of China, as well as the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Summer Palace. Don’t miss your chance to experience everything this enigmatic city has to offer.
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Fly overnight to Beijing, China
Depart the U.S. and begin your extension with an overnight flight to China.
Arrive in the iconic capital of China
Upon your arrival at the airport in Beijing, you will be met by a representative who will assist you with your hotel transfer. The balance of the afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy at leisure. Your Deluxe hotel is in the heart of Beijing’s central business district and offers acclaimed restaurants, and easy access to world-class shopping, entertainment, and other fun activities.
A day at the Great Wall, capped with Peking duck
You’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel before traveling outside the city to experience one of the modern wonders of the world: the UNESCO-listed Great Wall of China, a marvel so vast it has long been rumored to be visible from space. You will see it from a unique vantage point, as we will travel to a lesser-known, “wild” section of the wall that has not been overly restored for tourists. Take an invigorating walk along the paths and ramparts of this more challenging stretch of this ancient fortification, then enjoy lunch at a nearby Badaling restaurant. Another culinary adventure awaits tonight when we enjoy a Welcome Dinner where we’ll savor a signature dish of China: Peking Duck. This dish dates back to roughly 600 years ago, when chefs would cook the dish for the Emperor. The dish became known as a royal delicacy, and over time members of the imperial kitchen took the recipe with them. By the early 20th century, the dish was beloved around the country and has remained a popular dish since.
Beijing’s historic highlights, including Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City
Today you will discover some of Beijing’s most important historic treasures and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. First is the 15th-century Temple of Heaven, the largest of Beijing’s religious building complexes, and a house of worship during the Ming and Qing dynasties, where emperors would pray for good harvests. You’ll join local seniors and participate in their morning activities, including tai chi exercises, singing, and dancing. Afterward, we’ll explore Tiananmen Square and pass through its Gate of Heavenly Peace into the awesome Forbidden City, the largest ancient palace in the world. This maze of sprawling palaces, pavilions, museums, and plazas was constructed in 1420 and served as the imperial palace and winter residence of the emperor during the Ming dynasty. This evening, you’ll enjoy dinner on your own.
Tour a hutong, savor a home-hosted lunch, and go inside the famed Summer Palace
After breakfast, set off on a tour of one of Beijing's charming hutongs, ancient neighborhoods that showcase yet another side of Chinese culture. Laid out hundreds of years ago, these ancient lanes are formed by traditional courtyard compounds lining both sides, crisscrossing each other, and making for a fun walk through Beijing’s past. You'll enjoy a home-hosted lunch and tea at a local residence, giving you a chance to ask questions and learn about daily life in Beijing. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy a tour of the famed Summer Palace, a former getaway for Chinese emperors, and the most well-preserved imperial garden in the world. It is as grand as you might expect, considering whom it was built for, and it’s no surprise that it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Take the morning to explore, then fly to Seoul and join the base tour
Take the morning to relax, shop, or explore on your own. This afternoon you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight to Seoul, South Korea, where you will commence your base program.