Capital of the People’s Republic, Beijing is China’s political, economic and cultural centre. With an awesome history, Beijing was established in 1045 BC and for 800 years served as the capital of several dynasties.
Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world and where Chairman Mao proclaimed the People’s Republic in 1949, is the city’s heart. The square plays hosts to Chairman Mao’s great mausoleum, various stoic monuments and is a popular gathering place for people out strolling, flying kites and eating ice creams. Dissecting it from the Forbidden City is Chang’an Avenue, the main centre thoroughfare. Staring out across Tiananmen from above the Gate of Heavenly Peace is the famous Technicolour portrait of Mao. It is through these gates that one can enter the Forbidden City. Built between 1406 and 1420, it served as the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasties and is said to contain 9,999 rooms. Residence of the emperors and focal point of the empire, entry was forbidden to all those except on imperial business until 1911 when the last emperor, Puyi, was overthrown. The 720,000 sq m concoction is dominated by vast gates, temples, halls and palaces replete with imperial yellow tiled roofs and surrounded by a protective moat.
Beyond the city is the Summer Palace. A preserve of the emperors seeking respite from the summer heat, the Summer Palace is set around beautiful Kunming Lake.
Here are some popular itineraries for a trip to Beijing
If you are planning a Beijing holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Beijing Friendship Hotel Beijing
The Beijing Friendship is a modern, stylish hotel with spacious and elegantly furnished rooms. The hotel is well-appointed and as well as the indoor swimming pool, there are two indoor tennis courts, a yoga room and mini golf course.
DuGe Courtyard Hotel Beijing
A designer courtyard boutique hotel, the DuGe blends traditional Chinese architecture with contemporary design. All the themed rooms are unique in design, open directly onto the inner courtyards and are include a 24 hour butler service. Traditional tea performances frequent the courtyards daily and delicious traditional and international cuisine is served in the two restaurants. Why not take advantage of the free bicycle hire and explore the local hutongs? Perfectly located in a historical alley in the Dongcheng hutong district.
Hotel G Beijing
Inspired by the retro chic of the 60s, this award-winning boutique hotel features designer rooms with comfort and space in mind. Combining uptown elegance with downtown cool, the rooms offer such goodies as i-Pod docking stations and rainforest showers with wooden floors. The hotel's contemporary Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant boasts a fine selection of wine and food whilst the health centre is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Beijing Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Beijing.