Beijing Spotlight Experiences
Discover a living Forbidden City by discerning the happiness and sadness in the stories of famous royals.
Immerse yourself in a cultured town at the foot of the Great Wall, and soak up the atmosphere on the northern frontier of ancient China.
Walk into a local neighborhood to observe the lives of local people.
Be a happy foodie and understand ancient Beijing with your stomach.
Our Beijing spotlight experiences extend beyond the surface of the sites, and will present you with an old, authentic and cultured Beijing!
Discover the Forbidden City Via Our Emperor's Tour
Duration: 2.5 Hours+
The Forbidden City is the largest and best-preserved ancient imperial architectural complex in the world, having been home to 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1420–1911).
Your tour guide will help you explore 12 carefully-selected palaces in the Forbidden City, while other group tours often visit only 6-8 spots briefly.In addition to giving some background on the city's architecture, history, fengshui and art, your guide will lead you to explore some spots related to famous figures during the 2 dynasties.
These figures will include the most hardworking emperors, the most longevous empress dowager and the most talented concubine. Your guide will explain to you their stories so you can imagine what they must have experienced in the city.
Climb up the corner watchtower normally skipped by other tourists and let the yellow roofs of the palaces impress you again at the end.
The 600-year-old Forbidden City has witnessed the rise and decline of the dynasties. Every brick and tile tell what has happened here. We combine the history and the figures to present you with a "living" Forbidden City.
A Taste of Chinese Culture
Duration: 2-3 Hours+
Located in the north of Miyun County, Beijing, Gubei water town surrounds a beautiful lake reservoir and leans against Simatai Great Wall. It used to be an important pass to Mongolia. Most buildings in the town have been reconstructed in traditional courtyard style, based on five ancient villages and a water resource.
If you are interested, try a Chinese cultural experience. We'd be happy to arrange a "one-out-of-three" experience in Gubei water town (about 45 minutes) -- Tie-Dyeing, Kite-Making or Buddhist Text-Tracing.
Tie-Dyeing: Choose whatever pattern you like or design a unique one. The expert will teach you how to tie and dye. You will eventually receive back your own tie-dyed handkerchief.
Kite-Making: In the Gubei Kite Museum, you will see traditional Chinese kites in different styles. You can also make your own kite, with the assistance of the inheritor of traditional kite-craft. You can choose to make either a swallow kite or a butterfly kite.
Buddhist Text-Tracing: If you are interested in Buddhism, tracing a Buddhist text will be a unique experience to help you understand the religion. Wash your hands, worship the Buddhas, and then a monk will bring an incense burner to help you gain inner peace before writing.
Take Pictures at the Most Chinese Places in Town: We selected 5 places in Gubei water town which highlight Chinese style. Your guide will show you these places and help you take the most Chinese pictures, if you like.
Beijing-Life Discovery Walk
Duration: 2.5 Hours+
What is it like to be an ordinary person living in Beijing? The answer is not to be found in the hutongs where the tourists ride rickshaws. You will explore a neighborhood to discover the ordinary people's lives from their religious beliefs, daily food, hobbies, housing issues and situation in retirement.
Your discovery will start with the religious beliefs of the local people. Your guide will show you around Tianning Temple, with the oldest pagoda in Beijing, telling the temple's stories and explaining the religious activities people like to engage in.
Observe people doing their daily shopping, in a market next to Tianning Temple. It is full of life.
Understand more about housing development in Beijing, while walking through a residential community built in the 1990s. Sample the locally popular pancake for breakfast, if you wish.
Visit a pretty park where senior citizens do their exercises. Retired life in China may be quite different from that in your country.
End your tour by visiting a hutong where there are no other tourists. This is a place where you can witness authentic hutong life.
The Old Beijing of A Foodie
Duration: 3 Hours+
Understand Beijing by tasting its traditional food, including doornail meat pie, fried dumplings, traditional yogurt, Peking roast duck, noodles with fried soybean sauce and royal court desserts.
We select small restaurants loved by locals, and restaurants with time-honored reputations, rather than a night market or a snack market full of tourists. Your guide will walk with you and stop at 4 places. You will try 8 kinds of traditional Beijing food/snack and 2 kinds of popular local drink.
Enjoy the delicacies. Learn the stories behind the food. Admire the traditional cooking skills. This will be a memorable night during your stay in Beijing.
Hotel pick-up and drop-off are included. The total walking distance on this tour is about 2 km.
Olivia Tian, a sunshine tour guide!
In October, my friend Amy booked a tour with Chinahighlights, Olivia Tian was our guide in Beijing, she is such a sweet n happy person to be around, not only she gave us the best guide service, also very accommodating, alter the plan as per our interest, took us to very local shopping n food district. Above all, she takes awesome pics, very patient!! Thank you so much for such pleasant 5 days in BJ, look forward to see you when we are back in China, Olivia!!more
Dec 2023, Venture216019
One whole of a good experience !
Kevin was always making flexible arrangements for us making sure we meet our needs. Kevin also walked us to our desired restaurant daily making sure all are well before he left. Kudos to the whole team. Highly recommend ?more
Dec 2023, Cornelius C
China is Amazing Wonders that do not stop coming at you.Great country
Great job,Loved every minute of it,Ethan did an amazing job,True Ambassador of China,Just like the Chinese people,Friendly, dignified and hardworking,Very happy.China Highlights exceeded expectations and then some,I will never even think of travelling with another company.more
Dec 2023, Philip Sardar /Maps10321171537
Wonderful trip to Beijing and Xian
Had a great trip to bejing n xian. Our guide lily liu is so well versed in english and we have no worry here at all. We managed to dine in great halal restaurants though out our trip. Highly reccomended to all muslims travellers.more
Dec 2023, Efen Reyes
Great experience, highly recommended!
Additionally, she helped me with all my personal needs like getting a SIM card, finding an ATM, shopping, dining, checking in at the train station, hotel, suggested a couple additional very entertaining art events. Was also punctual and spoke good English.more
Nov 2023, Wayne S.
Excellent tour with Tom from China Highlights
We used China Highlights for the 3 days of our Beijing trip. Tom was a fantastic guide. Very knowledgable with excellent English. He was able to accommodate changes to our tour at short notice, allowing us to make the most of our limited time. Couldn’t recommend highly enoughmore
Nov 2023, Ross
Wow this tour was honestly the best tourI have ever taken! Our guide Simon Yao was simply superb! His English was excellent and he was very easy to talk to. He was personable and friendly but not overpowering or overbearing. Very knowledgeable about history. Thankfully the weather was good so we were not super hot !Finally at the wall we were amazed by it's beauty and grandeur. It really is something and pictures don't do it justice.more
Nov 2023, Annika M
Excellent two day visit to Great Wall
Our guide ‘Mark’ was incredible. So friendly, knowledgable and funny. The itinerary was perfect, we got to see two different parts of the Great Wall (one of which at night which was magical) and our hotel stay in Gubei was wonderful. Highly recommend to anybody visiting Beijingmore
Nov 2023, James_Wolstenholme
Great Experience from start to finish!
Jack was my guide and his local knowledge and English skills were fantastic. He was punctual, friendly and willing to flex as we went about our tour. Couldn’t recommend China Highlights more!more
Nov 2023, Scott Smith
Helen in Beijing - thanks for paying great attention to details, for your small surprises for the children every day, for selecting amazing restaurants, and leading wonderful walking tours. Your cheerfulness added to our enjoyment.more
Nov 2023, Kamila
Great day out with Mark, thanks China Highlights!
We did a 1 day private tour with China Highlights to see Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. Communication was great throughout - from trip planning/booking with Roger and from our guide Mark who contacted us the day before to confirm meet up time/location. Avoided a lot of the queues and definitely learned quite a bit of history from our guide Mark…thanks again! No language barriers/issues…highly recommended.more
Nov 2023, ykeezy
China Three (3) Cities Tours
To the tour guides, Ethan, Jason and Tony, you guys have made my visit an awesome and memorable experience. All the tour guides spoke english and communicated very effectively. They are knowledgeable about all the sites visited including, Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Panda Breeding and Research Center, Leshan Giant Buddha, Hallelujah Mountains, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon and Glass Bridge, and Tianmen Mountain. The tour guides ensured I got the most out of my time I stayed in the various cities Beijing, Chengdu and Zhangjiajie.more
Nov 2023, Kadar
13 days in China
We booked a 13 day’s tour of China with China Highlights. Our travel advisor, Ms Leah Zhou organised an itinerary that suited what we wanted. She was really helpful and patient will all our needs. Leah helped us organised our 30th Wedding Anniversary Dinner and my 60th Birthday celebration?? in Beijing. For this to be possible, she had to liaise with our guide in Beijing. The flowers and cake were a real surprise. My husband and I, were really touched at the good service provided by China Highlights and Ms Leah Zhou. Thank you China Highlights and Ms Leah Zhou for your constant care of your customers. I will certainly recommend China Highlights to my friends.more
Nov 2023, Eda Adams
Perfect Beijing experience
Covering all major sights our exploration of Beijing and surroundings was flawless guided by Lily, along with her knowledgeable and balanced information on Chinas culture and history. In particular, Lily was able to adjust the tour according to personal preferences, e.g. focus on photography, as well as suggesting additional activities like an impressive authentic artistic show. I highly recommend China Highlights as China tour operator and Lily Liu as excellent guide regarding the Beijing area.more
Nov 2023, Perfect Beijing experience
Our first trip to Beijing
Our tour guide was Lucy Yubo. She was awesome. Very friendly, informative and passionate about her job. We really enjoyed her company and guidance.more
Nov 2023, Sreelatha Reddy
Anne and Bob’s tour of Beijing
We did the China Highlights tour of Beijing with our excellent guide Mark and his driver. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Beijing highlights including the Lama Temple, the Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Lama Temple. The Summer Palace with the boat ride and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony were memorable also and the Mutianyu Great Wall was a highlight. We were impressed with Mark as a guide. He knew his history and he was kind and thoughtful. He took us to some excellent restaurants and we were introduced to some beautiful food. We enjoyed his company and will always remember him.more
Nov 2023, BendigoBob
Excellent end to end service
Helen is a positive, full of knowledge, experienced guide.She provided us an implacable service abd experience for 3 days .Highly recommendedmore
Nov 2023, Sariel Engel
Amazing Beijing Tour with Risa!
Risa gave us a wonderful tour of the city! She thoroughly explained the cultuaral importance of each exhibit while also educating us on the Chinese culture. Appreciated having this wonderful Beijing trip with Risa:)more
Nov 2023, Angelica M.
Amazing Beijing Tour With Risa!
We were very kindly received in Beijing by our tour guide Risa. She gave us a very thorough tour of the city and showed us wonderful places, while also explaining the important history/culture of China! Very beautiful city filled with many things to do and full of culture! This was very well planned and made it very easy for us to visit the city and foreigners:) Thank you Risa!more
Nov 2023, Angelica M
Do Beijing like a local
They organised my trip very quickly and efficiently. On the day, Anna was very friendly to me, my mum and my baby. Very accommodating to our needs. The car was immaculately clean and very comfortable. We visited everything we initially wanted and more. Also, Anna took us to the best meal we had in China. It makes a difference to have a local choosing the dishes!more
Nov 2023, Natali A