Visit the UNESCO Listed Temple of Heaven, Watch local people at leisure in the adjacent park, learn TaiChi with a master, tour Beijing Hutongs by rickshaw, and enjoy your lunch time in a Hutong family. Visit Shijia Hutong Museum, the first public museum dedicated to Hutong courtyard home life.
Your private guide and driver will meet you at the lobby of your downtown Beijing hotel at 8am and transfer you to the Temple of Heaven.
The whole complex was constructed in the 15th Century and was used by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties to pray each year for a good harvest. The Temple is now an UNESCO World Heritage Listed site and the extensive surrounding parks are a popular place for local people to congregate and socialize with activities such as singing, dancing, TaiChi, majhong, or just drinking tea and chatting.
Your guide will walk with you around the complex and explain the purpose of each of the buildings and allow you enough time to enjoy the surroundings before walking through the surrounding parks where you will engage in a TaiChi lesson from a TaiChi master. TaiChi was originally an aspect of martial art training but today it is seen more as a regime for promoting better health. It is believed that by focusing on the movements of the exercise, it helps bring about a state of mental calmness and clarity as well as providing additional health benefits. You will find the TaiChi lesson quite relaxing.
After your TaiChi lesson, continue to the famous Beijing Hutongs. The name Hutong comes from the Mongolian word for "well" because historically people would build their homes close to or around a well. Nowadays, Hutong means a lane or an alley. This is a fascinating area of Beijing with long lanes of grey-tiled buildings and your visit will include a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes where you can observe different streets, alleys, and the locals going about their everyday lives. You will join a local family for dumpling-making and then enjoy those partly made by yourself with your lunch. After lunch, you will also visit the Shijia Hutong Museum(it is closed on Monday) the first public museum dedicated to Hutong courtyard home life. The museum has eight rooms depicting the history and life in the Shijia Hutong during the second half of the 20th century. You will be arranged to visit Beihai Park if Shijia Hutong Museum is closed on Monday.
After walking through the museum, you will have time to walk around the surrounding streets as well as lanes and alleys before being transferred back to you hotel where this fantastic experience ends.