Meet your guide at your hotel in Beijing city center and transfer to the Temple of Heaven, a notable icon of the capital.The Temple of Heaven was used several times annually when the emperor, bearing the sins of the Chinese people, humbled himself before heaven and performed rituals calculated to insure good harvests. From an aerial view, the temple’s architectural style mimics the Chinese concepts of heaven and earth – the round edifice symbolizing heaven, rests upon the square base meant to symbolize earth. The dominant feature of the entire complex is the enormous Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, an ornate and colorful structure mounted on a three-tiered marble altar. Amazingly, the wooden pillars ingeniously support the ceiling without a single nail, symbolizing the harmony between man and nature.
In the Temple of Heaven, your Tai Chi master will explain the principles of Tai Chi, a martial art known for both its defense techniques and its health benefits. The master will guide you through the basic movements before giving a demonstration of this graceful martial art. Once your spiritual energy is full, you will visit a silk factory to see how the silk products are made. Afterwards, you will have time to enjoy a traditional Chinese lunch (at own expense).The tour will continue to Tiananmen Square and the Imperial Palace, also called the Forbidden City. Commissioned by Emperor Yongle of the Ming dynasty, the Forbidden City was completed in 1420 and was home to 24 emperors until the last Qing emperor, Puyi, left in 1924. The entire imperial complex is reputed to have 9999 rooms, which at its peak, housed up to 10,000 people, including the imperial family, 3,000 eunuchs, as well as maids and concubines, all contained within 170 acres. Today, the gates of the Forbidden City lead to a fascinating display of Chinese history in what is probably the best-preserved site of classical Chinese architecture.
Once the visit is over, you will be transferred back to your hotel.