Beijing & the Forbidden City
Classical Chinese architecture and an overwhelming depth of cultural wealth are on display in the Forbidden City. A motor coach drive from the pier at Xingang takes you west, inland to Beijing and the Forbidden City’s gateway. The city was originally built as a dwelling for the Ming and Qing Dynasties and covers an area of 250 acres. Here, the emperors and (later) China’s religious élite dwelt in seclusion, the lives of all therein ordered by a complex set of rules and taboos. There is time to explore some of the best known structures in this magnificent collection of palaces and temples. After lunch at a hotel restaurant, you’ll stop at Tian’anmen Square—the very heart of Beijing. This is the largest square in the world, sprawling 34 acres. From there, the tour continues to the Temple of Heaven—a group of buildings in a walled park south of Beijing. The most famous of the temples is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. After some time to enjoy this remarkable setting you will return to the ship via the road to Xingang.