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Beijing, Hong Kong Visa-Free City Escape - 7 Days / 6 Nights
Beijing, Hong Kong Visa-Free City Escape - 7 Days / 6 Nights

Beijing, Hong Kong Visa-Free City Escape - 7 Days / 6 Nights

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Beijing - Hong Kong

Experience 2 very different cities without the requirement of arranging a VISA (for 72 hours in Beijing). The city operates now a 72 hours no visa policy for 45 countries at Beijing Capital International Airport. Foreign visitors from these countries will not be permitted to leave the capital but can experience all this stunning metropolis and that of Beijing has to offer.

Day 1 - Beijing arrival


Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel.

Welcome in Beijing that has become a thriving metropolis in recent years, and was brought to the attention of everyone on the world stage in 2008 when it hosted the Olympic Games. It would of course probably be more appropriate to say “brought back”, because Beijing was a major world player as capital of the Chinese Empire under the Yuan Dynasty (the Mongols) in the 13th century. It was however much before that time under the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that Beijing truly created its own identity, with notable thanks to the Emperor Yongle who commissioned building of the Forbidden city (and not to forget the one million workers that toiled over this immense project).

According to your flight schedule (be careful with the 72 hours time limit!) you’ll be able to visit Temple of Heaven which is notable for its architectural simplicity and its symbolism reflecting early Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. Here, emperors would forge the link between the round sky and the square earth through sacrificial rituals based on the founding principles of this ancient civilization. 

Transfer back to your hotel.

Day 2 - Beijing (B)


Most Chinese buildings face south, which according to ancient beliefs symbolized the barbarian threat and potential invasion from the north. This explains why the main entrance to the Forbidden City faces south towards Tiananmen Square, the third largest city square in the world.

The construction of the City was finished in 1420 during the reign of the Ming Dynasty Emperor Yongle, and served as the Imperial administrative center throughout the Ming and Qing Dynasties until the fall of the Empire in 1911. According to legend the Forbidden City is made up of 9999 different rooms.

In order to simplify this huge site, it is often divided into three parts:

- The official palaces which were used for lavish ceremonies, imperial exams and governmental meetings.

- The Imperial lodgings and gardens where the Emperor, Empress and visiting ambassadors resided.

- The surrounding areas which house temples, libraries and further gardens.

Note: From 13 Jun 2015 the Forbidden City access to visitors will be limited to 80 thousand/day. Passport copy must be provided at least 11 days advance for personal registration (preferably 2 weeks in order to assure a successful booking); and it will not be possible later on to modify its date.

Visitors are required to bring their passport for security check upon their visit to the monument.

Lovingly restored for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Forbidden City has regained the youthful and vivid colors of its former glory. Take your time during this visit to such an unforgettable destination, and make sure you spend some time in the more serene surrounding courtyards and rooms. Climbing the artificial coal hill just behind the Forbidden City provides a spectacular view of the entire site and lets you get a grasp of the layout of the whole of Beijing.

Visiting the Forbidden City can take several hours. The rest of your day will be dedicated to walks around Beihai Lake where young couples come for romantic boat trips and the more lively Houhai Lake which is encircled by Hutongs. Hutongs are the famous Beijing alleyways home to traditional courtyard style homes, many of which have now been converted into pedestrianized streets boasting charming little restaurants and bars.

Your walk will then lead you to the Drum Tower. Here you can attend a demonstration of how, during the Ming Dynasty, the passing of each hour was marked with a drum roll. From the top you can also admire the rooftops of the neighboring Hutongs and the Clock Tower just opposite.

Optional (with driver only): You will end your day by having dinner on a roof terrace overlooking traditional Chinese courtyard-style housing, also known as Siheyuan.

Day 3 - Beijing (B,L)


Although, contrary to popular myth, the Great Wall cannot be seen from the moon, it is nonetheless one of the most famous symbols of China and should not be missed. You have to go back to the Qin Dynasty over 2000 years ago to find the first traces of defensive walls that were slowly unified and linked under the greater restoration project of the Ming Dynasty and created the Wall we know today.

The Wall stretches for over 6000km from ancient Manchuria to the fort at Jiayuguan at the edge of the Gobi desert in the west, one of the world’s most hostile environments to where criminals were banished in ancient China.

Running along high ridges, the Wall offered an excellent vantage point to the north allowing watch tower guards to raise the alarm on any potential threat from invading barbarian hordes.

The wall was also high enough to slow the progress of expert Mongol Cavaliers who were forced to dismount in order to continue their attack.

Your trip will begin with an early morning departure from the hotel will mean that your photographs of the Wall will be graced with the spectacular morning light.

If you feel like the long walk up to the Wall is too much, you can take the cable car and coming back down children can enjoy the toboggan ride to the bottom.

Depending on time, you will also be able to have a picnic on the Great Wall whilst admiring the stunning, rugged scenery all around.

Once back in Beijing, you will visit the Summer Palace. At one time a simple imperial garden, the site was totally redesigned by Emperor Qianlong in the 18th Century becoming one of the capital’s major sites. The Imperial Court used to relocate to the Summer Palace during the summer months to escape the stifling heat of the Forbidden City. A mix of temples pavilions, lakes, pagodas and gardens make up this harmonious representation of Chinese culture and architecture. The Long Corridor, the Marble Boat, Seventeen-Arch Bridge, Kunming Lake and Longevity Hill are the key landscape features of the Summer Palace gardens.

After your visit to the Summer Palace, you will be taken back to your hotel.

Day 4 - Beijing/Hong Kong (B)

Head to the heart of the capital’s art scene: the 798 art district, situated in Dashanzi in the north east of the city, just outside the 4th ring road. 798 is made up of a number of abandoned factories which were renovated in the 90s by Chinese artists in a style similar to that seen in Berlin. ‘798’ as it is known locally, has become the mouthpiece for Beijing’s most popular contemporary artists and is probably the most vibrant art district in the whole of Asia. The famous Ai Weiwei had his first exhibitions at 798 and a number of other artists have followed in his footsteps. At the time of its opening 798 was noticeably influenced by the Maoist era whilst these days the collection has become much more eclectic. ‘Dashanzi’ as it is known, is becoming ever more popular. Cafés, restaurants and specialist boutiques selling clothes by exciting young designers, homeward pieces and pottery have grown in number over the past few years. You can spend hours wandering through the narrow alleyways browsing the shops stopping to relax and enjoy a coffee at any one of the cafés or bars…

We recommend that you check the upcoming exhibitions on their website http://beijing798.net so as to make the most of your time at 798.

You will be transferred to the airport (not far away from the Art District) and take a flight to Hong-Kong. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel.

Immersing yourself in Hong-Kong is an incredible adventure. The cars drive on the left and just like in London you will spot double-decker busses which make up part of the incredibly efficient city transport network. You will also find some of the best restaurants in the world offering, amongst pretty much everything else you could imagine, top quality Cantonese food. You can admire the city’s skyline, considered by visitors as one of the most stunning in the world, and watch the never ending flow of people made up of almost every nationality on the planet, surrounded by the bright neon lights and sweet perfume of dim sum and tropical fruits. Hong Kong is a real delight for all the senses!

Overnight in Hong-Kong

Day 5 - Hong Kong (B)


Hong Kong is a city of markets, trade, exchanges, negotiations...In addition to the various stock exchanges and speculation, Hong-Kong has also more traditional street markets than Western travelers don’t even expect. This whole day trip will be on foot and by public transport to have a real local life experience!

In this tiny but enchanting corner of Mongkok, your Hong-Kong walking tour will start by Bird and Flower markets, breeding birds is one of favorite local hobby and you will see old men walking out their caged songbirds. Enjoy the colorful Flower Market which sell everything from Dutch tulips to exotic orchids and perfume the whole area with pleasant scents...

Head to Goldfish Market located in Tung Choi Street and famous for its exotic fish, corals, aquarium with very imaginative plant decorations but also its dogs, spiders, lizards or even snakes, a real zoological museum! Fish symbolize good fortune and wealth for Chinese people, hence their popularity…

Next stop at Langham Palace Mongkok, where you will discover an impressive and design shopping center with giant metal spirals sculptures and revisited representations of Revolution, a visit which contrasts with the other traditional markets.

You’ll ride then the worldwide famous Star Ferry, an important part of the commuter system between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and essential journeys for visitors. The National Geographic Traveler named the ferry crossing as one of 50 places of a lifetime… Picture time! Capture some of the world’s tallest buildings that rivals the highest hills of city .You’ll reach North Point in Hong Kong Island and follow Chun Yeung Street, a multitude of wet markets, windows to a vivid and timeless world of food shopping that refuses to be extinguished by modern supermarkets.

You will end your day in KoShing Street where a seemingly endless number of Chinese pharmacies display all sorts of plants and dried roots reminding you how in this city traditional Chinese medicine coexists with the modern Western medicine introduced during colonial times. Pharmacotherapy is, as its name suggests, treatment using pharmacological methods. It is a collection of remedies that come in the form of pills, powders or brews derived from plants (such as Ginseng root), animals (scorpions, seahorses, snakes, rhinoceros horn…) or humans (for example, some people eat the placenta after the birth of a child).Its dispensary employees have earned a reputation for being highly knowledgeable.

Optional: You can enjoy your dinner in the authentic Temple street night market which offers a wide variety of seafood and local specialties in a lively atmosphere

Note: The order of the visits may be modified depending on the location of your hotel.

Day 6 - Hong Kong (B)

Departure with your guide by public transport (subway) from your hotel for Lantau Island. More precisely you’ll head to the subway station in  new town of Tung Chung, from where you will take the Ngong Ping Cable Car for a 6km trip (taking 25 minutes), giving you a 360 degree view of the South China Sea, Tung Chung and the steep hills of Lantau national park.                                                                                    

Optionally: you can spice up your experience by electing to take the “crystal cabin”, which with its see-through bottom gives you a complete view of the surroundings! It is also possible to take a private cabin.

Arrival in the tourist village of Ngong Ping (we strongly advise against visiting) and ascent (238 steps) to the impressive, 34m tall Bronze Tian Tan Buddha Statue.

Visit to the over-100 year old Po Lin Monastery, one of the major Buddhist sanctuaries of Hong Kong, which for a long period was very difficult to access. You will then take the “Wisdom Path”, a wooded trail (taking 15 minutes) that will lead you to a cluster of 28 wooden headstones each measuring between eight and ten meters. On these are found “prayers” common to Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, all presented in works of calligraphy by the master JaoTsung-I, and arranged in a “∞” shape, symbolizing infinity…

Route to Tai’O (7km away, taking less than 15 minutes by public bus that leaves from Ngong Ping), founded by the Tanka fishermen, a southern Chinese minority who, in another time, were considered to be “sea gypsies” but are now settled (of course some maintaining their fishing lifestyle), and partially assimilated into Han culture. The Tanka live above a mud-flat in houses on stilts constructed many generations ago, and which give Tai’O its own particular character. Next a walk, during which time you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in some Street Food, including local specialties (not included) such as dried fish and shrimp, shrimp pâté, and rice cakes. Visit to Kwan Tai temple (also called Kwan Yu), constructed in the 15th century (the oldest temple on Lantau) and dedicated to the world-famous War God of the same name. Meet with a local artist (Chinese landscape gardener, calligrapher or contemporary artist, depending on their availability).

Departure by public bus to Cheung Sha, which is divided in two parts (Upper and Lower), and at 3km long is one of the longest beaches in Hong Kong, and which is dotted with restaurants such as the famous “Stoep”. You’ll head by public bus towards MuiWo to take the ferry and then subway in you stay in Hong-Kong island or back Tung Chung to take the subway to Hong-Kong island with your guide.

Note: You will have sometimes to queue for public buses on Lantauisl and – especially during week-ends. However we can arrange for the whole day trip.

Day 7 - Hong Kong Departure (B)

You will be taken to the airport where you will catch your return flight. 

Tour Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
Tour Operates: Year Round / On Demand
Tour Price: Available upon Request

Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in selected hotel(with breakfast)
  • English speaking guide without shopping (for other languages supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals not mentioned
  • Visa of China
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and Domestic Flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance

Creating Unique Touring Experiences

All the touring itineraries on this website have been carefully crafted by our in-country management teams and represent a series of experiences we can certainly recommend. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveler. Our consultants are waiting to hear from you so that we can tailor or custom design a China Tour to your individual specifications.

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EXO Travel Blog


icon-quote-l  Andrew is fantastic guide. His English is very good and he is very friendlym polite and professional.  icon-quote-r

Cathy Lovern

Exo Foundation