Beijing

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Landlocked Beijing is a very self-contained city, and visitors usually don’t venture beyond its municipal borders. The great exception, of course, is the Great Wall - a symbol of both ancient and modern China.

Day Trips from Beijing

Chang Ling Tomb

The 15th-century Yongle emperor who built the Forbidden City choose to be buried here for the area’s harmonious feng shui setting. Although there are 12 tombs in the 15 square miles near Chang Ling, this is the most spectacular for its restored three-tiered terrace and stele pavilion.

Changping District,
Tags: culture | architecture | history | day trip

Great Wall of China

In 2007, the wall was voted one of the world’s seven modern wonders. Badaling, a 1.5 hour drive from Beijing, is the nearest (and busiest) section and most hotels will transport guests to the site. Alternatively, sign up for expert William Lindesay’s guided tours of unreconstructed sections of the “Wild Wall.”

starts 40 miles north of Beijing, www.wildwall.com
Tags: family | history | day trip

Summer Palace

Overlooking the tree-lined Kunming Lake, with manicured gardens, humped bridges, and pagodas, the summer retreat of Chinese emperors and empresses boasts a picturesque setting beyond the sprawling capital. Arrange a driver at your hotel, and allow a few hours for exploration.

Yiheyuan Lu, 011-8610-6288-1144, www.summerpalace-china.com (Chinese only)
Tags: romance | architecture | history | day trip

Temple of Heaven

Located in Tiantan Park, south of Beijing, the Temple of Heaven merits at least a half-day visit. First built in the fifteenth century, this site of religious and historic interest is comprised of several blue-tiled buildings, including the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest.

Tiantan Park; Yongdingmen Dajie (south gate), 011-8610-6702-8866
Tags: culture | architecture | history | day trip

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