Browse our Beijing Tours
There’s always something new blooming in Beijing, and the red walls and glimmering roofs of the Forbidden City are only the beginning. Beyond famous sites like Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven, you will live the breathtaking reality of Beijing’s local street life. Enjoy a pleasant afternoon in Beihei Park, or check out the Panjiayuan flea market for antiques. Stroll around Nanluoguxiang, where trendy cafes and bars line the old neighborhood’s narrow streets, or try a few culinary oddities — like delectable skewered scorpions — in the Donghuamen night stalls.
Explore China’s artsy, intellectual capital the way you want. With Backyard Travel’s local expertise, you have the freedom to create a tailormade Beijing tour that suits your style and ambition.
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So where should you begin in Beijing? It depends on what you’re looking for. Backyard Travel’s tailored Beijing tours can take you on luxury honeymoons, family trips, and cultural and culinary explorations. Experience the majesty of Beijing’s past in its iconic monuments and temples, but also absorb the details of everyday, yet far from mundane, life.
Taste the authentic flavors of Chinese cuisine, and wander its exotic markets with our local guides. Spend the day hopping around Beijing’s museums for culture and art — the 798 Art Zone is particularly notable. For fresh air, Beijing only offers a humble, little site called the Great Wall of China, just a short drive outside the city and ideal for a day trip (especially in the early morning when the crowds haven’t arrived yet).
I wanted to send you a quick note thanking you and your team for a fantastic trip to China. The guides were outstanding. They both made my family comfortable and at ease and provided a wealth of information along the way.
Mr. Matt Paine (China, Mar 2015)
Thank you and your team for well-done job.The trip was unforgettable and we have a lot of pleasant emotions. Once again lots of thanks.
Mr and Mrs. Janis and Marite (China, Nov 2014)
Excellent. Maeve at Backyard Travel was personally involved in arranging our honeymoon - an experience that would not have been possible without Backyard Travel’s knowledge and support.
Mr. Deron Pease (China and Japan, Oct 2014)
Some Questionsabout our Tours of Beijing
Visiting mainland China will require a visa for most nationalities, but obtaining one is a relatively straightforward process. A tourist (L) visa will allow you to travel freely throughout most of China, while visits to Hong Kong and Macau won’t require a visa at all. If you’re planning to enter Tibet, you’ll need a Tibet Entry Permit—we’ll make sure you get one when you book your Tibet tour with Backyard Travel.
You can apply for a visa for mainland China at a Chinese embassy or consulate in your country before traveling. The required documents will depend on your nationality and the embassy from which you apply, but nearly everyone will need a proof of hotel accommodation and a copy of your return air ticket, or a letter of invitation from a person or company in China. When you book your China tour, we can assist you with all of these documents. Make sure your passport has two available blank pages and is valid for six months after your travel dates. The price of a visa will vary from nationality to nationality.
Almost every major city in China has an international airport, and with air route development expanding annually, there are more and more long-haul direct flights to China. The main international entrances into mainland China are through its three major international airports in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.
China offers a number of domestic carriers to get you from city to city in this vast country. Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, and Hainan Airlines are all established carriers, although more and more carriers and routes seem to pop up all the time.
Overland travel, even for long-haul trips, is also possible in China with its far-reaching network of trains and buses.
Because of China’s vast and varied topographies and microclimates, it’s difficult to characterize seasons, as conditions vary from place to place. In general, monsoon season arrives in April and May in the southern regions. It then spreads northward in July and August. All told, monsoon season is usually over by the end of October.
We’d love to give you an accurate, specific explanation on what kind of weather to expect when you make your customized China tour with Backyard Travel. So, if you’re planning a trip, just contact us and let us know when you plan to travel. We’ll give you the best recommendations for you.
There are a hundred possible answers to this question—it all depends on where you want to go and what experiences you’re seeking. Ranging from the subarctic climes of Harbin to the sweltering tropics of the south, and from the slick urban scene in Hong Kong to the wind-swept wilderness of the Tibetan plateau, China offers a rainbow of different experiences. We can help you customize your itinerary to reflect the best of China based on your available travel dates or the regions you’d like to visit; the best time to visit China is in your own time. Just let our experienced China guides know your preferences, and we’ll help you create an unforgettable, tailor-made tour of China fitting your specifications.
One additional note to the wise: Transportation systems are strained to maximum capacity during Chinese holidays, when millions of people travel home to visit family and friends. Our China Travel Specialists will take this into consideration when helping you plan your trip.
China offers a dizzying array of bucket-list destinations—the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Army, and the karst mountains of Xinjiang—but these are exactly what all the other tourists want to see. That’s why we at Backyard Travel pride ourselves on giving you authentic experiences in China that doesn’t come with crowds. Even in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, we can (and do) take you off the beaten track. Whether it’s the hutongs of Beijing by sidecar, a walking tour of Shanghai’s French concession, or the cave houses of Xi’an, we can give you a more ‘insider’ experience within the major destinations. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to see China’s hidden gems, we have some ideas for you.
Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, in China’s deep south, is home to a unique culture that once reigned in the Kingdom of Mengbanaxi, which translates to “ideal and wonderful paradise.” Here you’ll find banyans, wild elephants, and ethnic minorities staying as true as they can to their traditions. In the Western Guansu region, you can lose the tourist hordes by trekking into Tibet near Mount Tianzhou. Or float down a canal in Wuzhen Water Town, a veritable Chinese Venice with an ancient history and innumerous charming bridges. We also love Pingyao, an ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site that will transport you back to the heyday of the Qing Dynasty.
We’ve got ideas to spare. If you’re dreaming of seeing \\'off the beaten track\\' places to visit in China, just contact our local Travel Specialists to get a China itinerary tailor-made to fit your personal travel style.
The wealth of sights, sounds, tastes and activities available in China makes it a great destination for family travel. You can couple kid-friendly activities (such as outdoor activities, exploring museums, or visiting China’s famous pandas) with more adult pursuits (cooking, tasting local teas and spirits, or history walks) almost every day. We also offer family China tours, from light treks on the Great Wall, to treasure hunts through the Forbidden City, to staying in cave houses in Xian. Let us help you create a custom China trip that will delight everyone in your family, even if you’re bringing multiple generations!
Although you can use your credit card in every major city in China, be warned that they won’t be accepted in many rural areas. ATMs also abound in every major city; credit cards can also be used to withdraw money at an ATM as long as the machine displays one of the logos on your credit card.
China has three mobile service carriers, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, all of which offer SIM cards and calling credit. Although the price of SIMs vary (some come free with 100 RMB of credit, while some will run about 150 RMB for the card but includes 50 RMB of credit), they are ubiquitous and available at most major airports, mobile carrier stores, newspaper stands, malls, and large grocery stores like Tesco Lotus and Carrefoure. The three carriers offer 2G and 3G SIMs with smart-phone ability, as well as SIMs with no data.
Chinese cuisine is just as varied as the regions that make up this beautiful mosaic of a country. You may have heard the humorous saying that in China, anything that walks, crawls, swims, or flies is edible. Although this is far from the truth, regional dishes can range from the tame (steamed buns) to the surprising (fried sea slugs). You might be most familiar with Cantonese cuisine, such as dim sum, from the Guangzhou and Hong Kong region. This cuisine is not overly spicy and emphasizes freshly cooked ingredients and seafood. Sichuan cuisine on the other hand is famously hot and spicy, and offers culinary adventurers a lot to try. When traveling to Beijing, Peking duck is not to be missed. China really does offer something for everyone, even the less adventurous, as international cuisine is also readily available in all the major cities.
Tipping in China mainland is not a common practice, although it’s a different story in Hong Kong and Macau. As with all Asian destinations, however, you’ll want to tip your guide and driver. We recommend tipping your guide about US$20 to $25 per group per day, and your driver about US$15 to $20 per group per day.
Staff at many high-end, luxury hotels have recently come to expect tips, but it is entirely at your discretion. In Hong Kong or Macau, remember to tip most service providers, such as wait staff, taxi drivers, and hotel porters. Roughly 10 to 15% of the bill is the normal tip amount at fine restaurants in Hong Kong, while rounding the bill up to the nearest whole amount will suffice for inexpensive restaurants and taxi drivers. Hotel porters usually receive about HKD$10 (US$1) per piece of luggage carried.
As with China’s many destinations, accommodations in China also vary greatly, from the boutique hotels to the luxury resort, from family-friendly hotels to the romantic honeymoon suites. You’ll find domestic brands as well as international chains. Although hotels in China tend to be safe, it’s best to make sure that your valuables are secure and hidden. We at Backyard Travel have the local knowledge and inside scoop on the best accommodations in town, and we’re happy to help you find the best fit for your needs and preferences.
There are no required vaccinations for visiting China, but you’ll want to make sure you’re current on all your routine boosters, especially if you’re planning to travel into rural areas. These vaccines include tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, meningococcal meningitis, and Japanese encephalitis. We always strongly recommend having comprehensive medical insurance that covers medical evacuation when traveling anywhere in Asia. Check your government’s travel advisory on China for the most up-to-date information.
China does have a robust underground trade in internationally protected wildlife and natural resources. Before you buy that figurine made of elephant tusk, think about where the item may have come from, even if it’s claimed to be an antique.
When traveling through natural or rural areas, strive for as little environmental impact as possible. With a population of nearly 1.35 billion, China is already struggling to manage the impact of its citizens; don’t add to the struggle.
China is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, and etiquette and traditions are important to the Chinese. Address people with respect, and if you’re invited to someone’s home, bring a small gift, such as a box of tea or a bottle of spirits. Although Western fashions and bright colors are de rigueur all over China, dress styles tend to be more modest for women, so please leave the halter-tops at home.
Please do not bring pens, sweets, chewing gum, etc., to hand out to children, as this encourages begging. Instead, we suggest donating money to a reputable charity of your choice that has a strong mission of helping disadvantaged children.
Sights & Experiences
MORE TRAVEL INSPIRATIONS & INSIGHTS
In a country as big as China, regionalism is a strong force. Beijing’s locals are no exception. Beijingers are somewhat aloof on the surface, but open up enthusiastically when encouraged. They have a dry humor and love talking politics.
Autumn is the best time to visit Beijing, with September and October as the main months. Temperatures are pleasant, and skies are clear. Summers are very hot, sometimes exceeding 40 degrees Celsius, and springs are windy and dusty.
Beijing has plenty of nightlife. See a Beijing opera, a quintessential local performance, or watch a mind-boggling acrobat show. Hit Sanlitun Bar Street or Shichahai Hutong for bars, teahouses, and restaurants.
A prominent center of art, film, and music, Beijing will give you a sense of the cultural renaissance taking shape. For a look at what contemporary local artists are up to, the 798 Art Zone is the answer.
Beijingers speak Mandarin. Generally you can get by with English, especially in areas that cater to travelers, but in the street, your best bet is to ask a younger person.
Meet the China Team
A company's services are best described by genuine unfiltered client feedback. Reviews for Backyard Travel Tours have been compiled from genuine customer feedback in partnership with leading review service, Feefo. A closed invitation only platform, we guarantee every single review is matched to a genuine customer who has travelled through with us. We currently have 9 Client Reviews of Beijing, of which 100% had a good or great time with us, and we hope you will be next!
All details were taken care of. The guides and drivers were fantastic. A well...
Service rating : Backyard Travel were brilliant!
We were a little apprehensive before booking as it...
Service rating : I received an extraordinary service from Joy Vienravee (my travel specialist). She was...
Service rating : Very good planning and very good English speaking guide.
Product : Tought it...
Service rating : Knowledgeable and Savvy,
Product : Helpful, Knowledgeable, Savvy.
Service rating : Patient, knowledgeable, trustworthy. Well worth the money, highly recommend.
Product : Patient, knowledgeable,...
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