Where to meet:
KFC restaurant near the southwest corner of the Tiananmen Square.
Where the tour ends:
North Gate of the Forbidden City. Then CCC arranges transportation to the Liangmaqiao area at the east third Ring road, or to locations where you can take public transportation home.
How to get to the KFC restaurant by subway:
The blue sign (Exit C) on the map indicates Qianmen Subway Station on Metro Line 2.
You will have to go through underpass after you get out from subway, and then go across the street to the KFC.
Note to foreign travelers WITHOUT local contacts:
For foreign travelers who have booked CCC tours online in their own countries but do NOT have local contact information while in China, please kindly confirm your reservation with us via PHONE no later than 48 hours before the departure date. We also suggest bringing a printed CCC map with you when coming to our office in case you need assistance with directions.
Confirmation and Cancellation:
CCC policy requires that you must confirm your attendance on this tour 24 hours before departure. If we do not get final confirmation from you – either by phone or by email – your place on the tour may be cancelled. We appreciate your understanding and support and look forward to seeing you on the tour!
CCC reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment or any other unpredictable issues. In such an event, we will notify you no later than 48 hours prior to departure.
Introduction to the main attractions
The Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.
Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 m2. The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world (440,000 m² - 880m by 500m). It has great cultural significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history.
Hutongs & Courtyard Residence (Siheyuan)
Hutongs are a type of narrow streets or alleys, most commonly associated with Beijing, China. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. Many neighbourhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. The word hutong is also used to refer to such neighbourhoods.
Since the mid-20th century, the number of Beijing hutongs has dropped dramatically as they are demolished to make way for new roads and buildings. More recently, some hutongs have been designated as protected areas in an attempt to preserve this aspect of Chinese cultural history.
Hutongs represent an important cultural element of the city of Beijing. Thanks to Beijing’s long history and status as capital for six dynasties, almost every hutong has its anecdotes, and some are even associated with historic events. In contrast to the court life and elite culture represented by the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and the Temple of Heaven, the hutongs reflect the culture of grassroots Beijingers. The hutongs are residential neighborhoods which still form the heart of Old Beijing.
A siheyuan is a historical type of residence that was commonly found throughout China, most famously in Beijing. In English, siheyuan are sometimes referred to as Chinese quadrangles. The name literally means a courtyard surrounded by four buildings.
Throughout Chinese history, the siheyuan composition was the basic pattern used for residences, palaces, temples, monasteries, family businesses and government offices. In ancient times, a spacious siheyuan would be occupied by a single, usually large and extended family, signifying wealth and prosperity. Today, many remaining siheyuan are still used as housing complexes, but many lack modern amenities.