Search for the famous Jade Cabbage in the Treasure Gallery (there’s a matching one in the Taipei National Museum), and get panoramic shots of the Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square from atop Jingshan Park. You’ll enjoy the amazing Great Wall ruins like a real VIP – without the tourist crowds!
Great way to see the wall. Avoids all the crowds and the car rides were filled with history and great sites.
Our guide, Carolyn, and the driver arrived on time. We drove to the park, climbed to the top, and viewed the Forbidden City and all of Beijing. Great views. Next we headed to the Forbidden City. Carolyn was very knowledgeable, but avoided the main areas because there were too may tourists. But that's what we came to see! Instead we walked around the other areas. The treasures we saw were not very impressive and did not match the pictures. I sort of felt like we missed the true treasures due to repairs or something of that sort. We stopped at a silk place along the way. Then we headed off to the Great Wall. Stopped for lunch at a jade place. Lunch was peking Duck, but not very good. The tea was even luke-warm. Carolyn and the driver decided to take us to a remote section of the wall rather than the tourist section at Badaling. Honestly, we were disappointed. We climbed what we could but there really wasn't that much. Of course the views were great, but I can't help feeling that we missed out. Then we headed back into the city. We asked to see Tiannemen Square, so we did a drive-by. Also drove past the Bird's nest and Swim Cube. Then we headed back to the hotel. And that was it.
I booked the VIP Beijing's Forbidden City with Treasure Gallery and Great Wall for myself and three friends. It was an expensive tour but I thought it would be worth it because how often do you get to go to Beijing on vacation. The tour was suppose to start between 7:30 - 8:00am and would last until around 4:00pm. When no one showed up at the hotel we called and the company and we were told that the hotel was contacted and could not find our booking therefore, the guide was not coming. We explained that we were at the hotel and waiting and a guide finally showed up at 9:00am. We went to the Forbidden City first and it was okay -- our guide was somewhat knowledgeable but not very enthusiastic. The treasury room was completely under construction and there were only a few pieces of jade to see. Very disappointing but not the tour's fault. Next we went for lunch before visiting the Great Wall. The lunch was in a jade tourist trap sales room. We had to listen to an entire sales pitch for jade and then we were encourage to shop in the showroom with over priced statues and jewelry. Lunch was in a dirty side room and was mediocre at best. Lastly, we went to the Great Wall however, the guide said that the part of the wall we were supposed to go to would be too long of a walk so we were going to a different section. The section of wall he took us to was Badaling - and was okay - but crowded the MOST touristy part of the wall by far and not exceptional - and that would be fine if we had not paid so much money for the tour. Overall, the day was good - but not VIP good.
I must say we were a little disappointed with the part of the wall we stopped at although there were not many people there but the climb up was horrendous it was just so steep
The tour was announced as taking place when at least two passengers registered. It turned out that we were the only ones who had booked that tour that day. I was concerned that this could reduce the quality of the service, but I was mistaken. We had our very private tour with our own tour guide Jacky Lee and driver in an air-conditioned limousine. The guide provided a lot of details while visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. On our wish he focused on the Treasure Gallery there. The Peking-duck lunch was good and provided you with some insights in the peculiarities of the Chinese cuisine. The day was a public holiday with loads of tourists at the Great Wall. Since the motorway was almost blocked, the tour guide redirected the tour to a lesser known part of the Wall that had also much fewer tourists and was more scenic. The Wall was much more steeper there, too. It was also a hot day at the beginning of August, and temperatures reached 38 degrees centigrade. It took us 1 1/2 hours to reach the top of the mountain and to return. However, we were rewarded with a most impressive view of the area with the winding wall on top of the ridge. We also visited a silk and a jade manufacture and a tea ceremony shop. I acquired a silk gown and a jade ball of life'', which symbolizes three spheres of prosperous successive generations. In the tea shop I came across Pu-erh tea for the first time. This tea comes from Yunnan and is from the same tea leaves as green tea. The difference is that Pu-erh undergoes a fermentation and oxidation process over many years I bought a ten year old block. The ferments include peptide-blockers which prohibit the storage of fat in the fat cells of the human body, for which the tea is also called slimming tea''. This effect is confirmed by chemists.
In all this was a very rewarding tour which offers a cross-section of insights in Chinese historical and cultural achievements.