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Pearl Market (Hongqiao Market)

For a uniquely local shopping experience, plan to spend a few hours at Beijing’s Pearl Market (Hongqiao Market). The market is famous for its three floors of dealers selling pearl strands from around the world and is the largest pearl market in the ... 

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Bruce L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

Our guide, Jacky, was very enthusiastic and proud of his Chinese history. As well as the listed places to visit we also went to a silk factory genuine silk and a pearl market. we also had a plentiful Chinese lunch. All these places were very interesting and well worth seeing. There were just 9 people on this tour which made it very personal.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

lucia d

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

Great tour. Mr. Li in an excellent guide. He knows all it is about Beijing and the excellent places included in this one really busy day! I would recommend not to stop on the shops, there is plenty of opportunities to buy at the pearl market and other places. The tour would be dedicated specifically to visit historic places. I totally recommend the tour and Mr. Li. It was a great experience!!

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Justin W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

I ended up doing 3 tours while in Beijing and this was by far my favorite. The stories the tour guide gave were just amazing and often hilarious and I'll be recounting many of them once I return home. The stories really make the sites come alive. I also enjoyed getting to see how silk is made and learn about fresh water pearl making.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

VW USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

A great way to see the most important sites in Beijing in one day! We started nice and early so we beat the crowds to Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City. Our guide was very knowledgeable and was able to answer all our questions about the locations we visited, Beijing and Chinese culture. I was not too fond of the visits to the silk factory and pearl shop as they felt like tourist traps. The Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace were also fantastic and we were lucky enough to have great weather the day of the visit. Since it was before peak tourist season there were only 4 of us on the tour. Overall a lovely day in Beijing- I especially recommend it if you are short on time and want to get the most out of your time in the city.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

mgasbarro2

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

All tours were amazing....and Michael (our tour guide) was excellent in explaining things. Be prepared...tours will stop at 2 factories...Pearl and silk factories. Silk factory fascinating...pearl not so much. Be prepared that the tour company gets a "kick back" from all shopping done. However, you are under no circumstances pressured or forced to buy anything. Lunch was good but not great.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Pencefn

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

In contrast to the tour to the Great Wall and Ming Tombs the day before this was a fantastic tour. As with the previous day my wife and I were the only ones on the tour. The tour was comfortably paced for us. Tiamanmen Square was busy due to being the Mid-Autumn Festival. It was unfortunate that it was raining as we walked through the Forbidden City, however our guide (Cherry - if that is her real name) took us along the right side away from the masses and slightly higher than the main throng of visitors. She regularly pointed out photo opportunities.

Getting back to the coach it was onto the Silk Factory. Although there was an opportunity to buy, there was no sign of any high pressure sales.

Onto the Heavenly Temple and the rain had stopped. Again our guide provided us with excellent information and provided us with time to have a look by ourselves. Before lunch it was on the Pearl Factory. Getting a theme here? Yes - we were shown how fresh water pearls are cultured and farmed, but it was followed by a purchase opportunity, but as with the Silk Factory no high pressure sales techniques used.

Lunch was at a restaurant as was good quality and quantity. And onto the Summer Palace. By now the sun had come out. The Summer Palace was busy, again because of the Mid-Autumn Festival. We walked to the Marble Ship, before coming back on the Dragon Boat (you will have to pay extra, but well worth it).

Would I recommend it - most definitely. We were not subject to high sales pressure at the Silk or Pearl Factories. Cherry was a great guide.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Kerin J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2013

Our guide 'Jackie Lee' was the highlight of the day. We are still talking about him! This is a great tour. The Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven are very interesting and the Summer Palace is beautiful. I wish these tours avoided local businesses like the pearl factory though.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Anna B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2013

We would recommend this tour and our tour guide, Jackie. We especially enjoyed the Kung Fu show and the Pearl Market. Jackie was very professional and spoke excellent English. He did a great job helping us bargain with the vendors at the Pearl Market.

Doing what: Beijing Private Tour: Temple of Heaven, Hongqiao Market and Kung Fu Show with Peking Duck Dinner

Anonymous

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2013

Hi, I would like to thank Jacky, our tour guide today for a very nice day in Beijing. We very much enjoyed the whole tour and Jacky was very knowledgeable and professional. Our dinner was delicious and we were impressed with the show. We were also glad he helped us at the Pearl Market. We will recommend your company and Jacky to the rest of our group and our friends. Thank you, Anna, Meili, Katie and Karen

Doing what: Beijing Private Tour: Temple of Heaven, Hongqiao Market and Kung Fu Show with Peking Duck Dinner

jenscane

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2013

Our tour picked us up at the hotel on time. It was just the two of us and one other woman on the tour. Our guide was full of information and talked almost non-stop. This was an extremely fast-paced tour. I would recommend this tour to people who only have a short time in Beijing because it crams a lot into on day. We first went to the Summer Palace and although we spent about 1.5 hours there, we only saw a fraction of it. You could easily spend an entire day there. The next stop was the Pearl Market where the showed us how pearls are made and opened an oyster. We were brought up to the next level where they wanted us to buy pearls. Afterwards, we were taken to the Temple of Heaven and spent about 45 minutes there. From there we went to lunch at a buffet. The food was not great. All of the dishes were vaguely labelled 'pork', 'chicken' and 'vegetable'. After lunch we were taken to the Silk Market. Another shopping experience where they showed you how silk is made. They let my boyfriend open up one of the cocoons, stretch the silk and help make a layer of a quilt. It was a fun experience and we did end up splurging on two silk quilts. After was Tiananmen Square. We only really saw it from across the street, but we were there long enough for photos. We went directly into the Forbidden City and again, we were there for over an hour, but only saw a small section of it. The guide walked very fast and we were exhausted by the end of the day. He was full of information and offered to take photos for us (which was the best part of being on such a small tour). There were a lot of people and panhandlers around the tourist attractions and having a mandarin speaking guide helped shoo them away faster. At the end of the tour, the guide offered to bring us to a cheap place for a foot massage. We were taken to a holistic medical school where we were given foot massages by students and the cost was whatever you tipped. Great tour even with the forced shopping stops.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Donna K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2013

I would like to give you some feedback for Chris who took us to a tea ceremony, the pearl markets, the Peking duck dinner and the Kung fu show at the red theatre. We would highly recommend your guide, Chris, she was very helpful, extremely informative and spoke very good English which was welcomed. We had a wonderful tour and all of our needs were met. Thank you very much for your service.

Doing what: Beijing Private Tour: Temple of Heaven, Hongqiao Market and Kung Fu Show with Peking Duck Dinner

SY United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2012

Very good tour covering a lot in one day. Our tour guide Jack Li was friendly and very informative. The only downside was lunch which was rather forgetful and bland. One thing to note is that a lot of time is spent in the silk and pearl factories which will please those who like shopping.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

emilyspeca

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2016

This tour was exactly what we needed for the first day of our Beijing trip: transportation to all the big sites in Beijing, a meal that was set for us, and a reason to stay awake the whole day to get us on Beijing time. The bus was comfortable enough. The meal was good with a variety of dishes to share between 8 group members. The driver was good at getting us close to the entrances of the places. The guide was good but had some quirks. Traffic was bad at the end of the tour so it took a while to get back. We ended up getting out at someone else's hotel because we just needed to get out of that bus and were interested in eating around that area. As others have stated, we did have to spend about 2 hours of the tour at places meant to take tour groups in and have you buy things. One was a silk factory which I found at first to be kind of cool because they showed you the process but then sales people do their best to guilt you into buying silk quilts. Later in the tour we went to a cultured fresh water pearl shop, which again was cool to learn the process but ended up being lots of time to stare at each other. I ended up bargaining down on a bracelet and am glad I came away with it as a souvenir.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Gerald L

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2015

Jackie Li JL was my tour guide. Reliable and punctual, relatively good English speaker, energetic, joyous, empathetic, funny, sensitive and gives a sense of security to me. Note, this is my 1st tour and I normally plan my own itineraries.

Start: 7am for me.

1st and 2nd Stop - Tiananmen Sq and Forbidden City : Historical, huge and spacious. Loads of history, JL can provide you both short and long versions. Tian Sq is the gateway into the city. Bring your passport, good walking shoes, and sense of humor. It's a 2.5hr walk. We took the EAST RHS pathway through the city which was less crowded by 95, benches on the corridors to rest, better angle for photography trust me and relaxing for an autumn day walk. Covered too, if it rained. JL was sensitive enough to see one of our members had difficulty walking. - You need to walk to the center to see the insides of the 3 buildings on the outer court.

3rd - Silk Factory : Shoppers kindly bring your Credit C. Loads of nice silks, Duvet Cover set was worth it, RMB3.5k. I bought loads of scarves. Simply awesome!

4th - Lunch : Reasonable unelaborated simple 4 course Chinese meal. There were 4 of us, so good for a nice table by the window.

5th - Temple of Heaven : Relaxing, traditional music played from afar, retirees hung out to gamble, long corridors leading to the top of the temple. Simply breath taking, spiritual honestly.

6th - Pearl Factory : I didn't buy anything here. A US tourist said the sea water pearls were overpriced. We picked an oyster, and was given a tiny pearl from that oyster. Yaay!

7th - Summer Palace: JL did a good job telling stories of the Empress Dowager. The lake was peaceful, the architecture was inspiring.

8th - Hotel : End at 5pm and brace through the Beijing Traffic Jam! We walked more than 10km, so we didn't mind sitting. Recommended? YES! JL, thanks for the guide, you are really good at it!

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

frnklw

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2015

The tour hit all of the big spots to see in Beijing. The tour guide was informative, but perhaps just a bit too much so. The meal was delicious and more than ample. The trip to the silk factory and to the pearl factory were drags, but I guess they are common.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Prasad P

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2015

very easy and efficient. The tour guide Mr. Li was very knowledgeable and had a sense of humor which the tour party appreciated. Only irritant was the unnecessary silk and pearl emporium side visits which took time away from spending more time at the main attractions such as summer palace etc

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

ashley

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2015

We had a lot of fun on the tour. Our guide Cynthia was AMAZING!! She was very bubbly and energetic. She made it a point to stop at every monument and take pictures of us in front of it. That part was greatly appreciated because I didn't really feel comfortable handing my camera off to random strangers. So we ended up with several hundred great pictures and several of them were because of her. I can't say enough good things about her. As for the trip- we learned a lot about the history and culture of each monument. It was neat learning all of the quirks like why their door frames are raised or why the roofs are different colors. All four monuments we visited were definitely worth the trip. I would suggest bringing lots of water!! Its hot and there isn't always places to stop to get something to drink. The reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was because everything felt rushed, at one point we were even asked to run because we were running out of time. Granted there was a lot to cram into one day. We figured we would be pushed a long a little. BUT- everything was rushed except when they took us to the government funded shopping places. We went to the pearl shop and the silk shop and spent far to much time there. With that being said the people were very friendly and we never felt pressured. I just wish we could have spent less time sitting there waiting to be allowed to leave and more time seeing the sites. We didn't get to see most of the Temple of Heaven or some of the Summer Palace because we ran out of time. Which is a bummer because they were beautiful places. Also- the lunch was at a mediocre buffet that wasn't really 'Chinese' and the food had been sitting out for a while. We ended up having to get snacks later to hold us over until dinner. But, with all that being said, the trip really was great. We would definitely recommend it, especially if Cynthia was the guide. The day was jam packed with culture, history, and fun. Its well worth the time and money.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Tyrone R

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2015

Our guide Shandie? was high-energy and enthusiastic all day, and kept us on schedule through a very crowded holiday my only complaint would be the time spent at the Pearl/Silk markets that could have been much better spent at the FC, TS or palace.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Emel S

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2015

This is definitely a great way to see a lot of sites in a short period of time if you only have a couple days in Beijing. We were there over a holiday weekend so we had to leave even earlier to avoid the traffic as much as you can avoid traffic in Beijing. The total time from pickup to drop off was 11 hours. We covered 7 miles 11 km so make sure to wear your most comfortable walking shoes. Our guide liked to avoid the crowds and take us along the sides of sites rather than right down the middle. We had to request going down the middle so that we could get better pictures. Yes it was crowded but all of China is crowded so we were mentally prepared for it.

We stopped at a silk factory as well as a pearl store in addition to the 4 sites named above. The silk factory actually had good prices so that stop was deemed a success. The pearl shop was pricier than what we'd found in Shanghai and we were too tired to do any bartering at that point.

The lunch was a buffet and it was good -- not great.

I would also recommend packing your own waters. We bought some at the sites when we ran out but it was always more expensive.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Melody M

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2014

I recommend this tour if you need to fit all of the sites in during a quick Beijing visit. Our guide was very knowledgable. While I enjoyed the presentations at the silk and pearl factories, we were disappointed that it took away from our time at the historical sites. We also did not anticipate these tourist trap visits when booking the tour.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Susan M

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2014

This was a lot to see in one day. We were rushed - my son and I like to buy souvenirs at the places we visit and we had no time to do that. Plus, we had to go to a pearl factory, which seemed like a waste of time. CoraLin, our guide, was very knowledgeable about history. It was our first day in Beijing, so the massive crowds and heat were overwhelming. More water stops would have been good! I loved seeing the overview of the important places, and knew I could re-visit them more leisurely if I wanted to a different day.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Oxana M

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2012

Awesome! Make sure you ask the guide to stop and take some pictures on the way as they get carried away. Also pearl and silk factories are great, but overpriced, Don't touch or look closely at goods unless you intend to make a purchase if you don't want to be pestered

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Belmont United Kingdom

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2012

The tour started at 7.00am. We went on one of the first days of the Chinese National holidays so everywhere was packed to capacity. At 7.30am we were standing in Tiananmen Square, overwhelmed by the number of locals that can gathered. The visit to the Forbidden City was good but limited in the sense that we did not really go into any of the internal "temples" as we walked through the F/City on the outer footpaths, which were still within the F/City so as to avoid the crowds. We arrived at the Summer Palace at 2.30pm by which time over 110,000 people had entered so that will give you a feel on numbers! Likewise, in order for the small party to keep together, we were constantly on the move, so little time to really look at anything. We visited a Chinese Medicine Hospital (waste of time), as well as a silk factory (quite interesting) and a pearl factory (great if you wanted to buy some very reasonable priced pearls). Obviously the latter three stops were purely there to part with some cash! Our guide, Mr Jacky Lee, was excellent as he took time to take photos of the couples in the group and he knew the best places to capture the photos so well done to him. Lunch provided was good. Apart from the crowds, a really good day was had by all.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Charles S. S

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2012

I ended up being the only one so it was an all day private tour. All 4 sites were very cool and the tour gives you plenty of time to take it all in and take plenty of pictures. I was also taken to 2 factories, one that shows how the local silk is made and the other for fresh water pearls; beware it it definitely a ploy to get you to buy stuff. I ended it buying a few things and moved on. Definitely a good trip to see most of the main sites in Beijing.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

Anonymous

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2010

Good tour to do if you want to see all of the important tourist attractions in one day. Again we were taken to a pearl factory and some other unannounced shopping stops which annoyed me and the other 7 people on our tour. Lunch was mediocre. The sights were beautiful, but our tour guide Jackie had a very strong accent and was difficult for us to understand at times.

Doing what: Beijing Classic Full-Day Tour including the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven

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