Visit "Old Beijing" Hutongs on pedicab
Tour the Panda Pavilion at Beijing Zoo
The optional tour starts in the morning with a visit to the Giant Panda at Beijing Zoo
. There are less than 1,000 Giant Pandas remaining in the world, and it is officially considered "National Treasure" by the Chinese government and is often used to cultivate relationships with other countries with "Panda Diplomacy".
Afterwards, you join our Culture InSites™ Program for a rickshaw ride along Old Beijing's Hutongs
(narrow ancient alleys) to discover the sights and sounds of local Beijing life in these traditional Chinese neighborhoods. See the locals as they go about their daily activities; and tour the maze-like alleyways and courtyard houses before it's gone forever. Highlights include visits to a traditional courtyard home, to a local market, and a leisure walk along the "Lotus Lane" lined with bars, restaurants and tea houses. This unique tour features a delicious lunch served at a local family home with a Chinese dumpling-making demonstration.
In the afternoon, you tour the Lama Temple
, the most renowned Tibetan lamasery outside Tibet. Its five main halls are a stylistic blend of Han Chinese, Mongol, and Tibetan motifs. The highlight is encapsulated within the towering Wangfu Pavilion—a vast 55-ft high statue of Maitreya (the Future Buddha), carved from a single block of sandalwood.