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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in China

A stroll through the Forbidden City

Quite rightly, the Forbidden City is usually at the top of people’s check lists when travelling to China….

By Xiaolin Zhang
Managing Director at Asian Trails, Alfred&'s partners in China

Quite rightly, the Forbidden City is usually at the top of people’s check lists when travelling to China. It’s one of the country’s largest and most well-preserved sites full of fascinating facts, and no trip to Beijing would be complete without exploring the vast courtyards for yourself. With the help of Jeremiah, our insightful American scholar and guide, we scratch under the surface of the Forbidden City’s beauty and explore from an anthropological point of view.

What was life like for the men and women who lived and worked in the palace? Who built the Forbidden City and why? What did it feel like reporting for duty as an imperial officer? Who were the eunuchs who performed much of the necessary daily functions for the palace and its inhabitants? What was life like for a woman in the imperial family? Perhaps you have your own questions you’d like to explore. We’re always learning new things on this walking tour.

Our intimate and original take on the Forbidden City will give you a greater understanding of this ancient site and leave you with a deeper appreciation of its extraordinary history.


  • Culture
  • History
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Alfred & Xiaolin Zhang

Xiaolin is the managing director of Asian Trails, our partners in China who look after our customers once they've arrived. Based in Beijing, Xiaolin has been with Asian Trails for over 10 years and has been country manager since 2016. Fluent in both English and French, Xiaolin loves to share her deep knowledge of her home country with visitors from around the world, helping them build extraordinary itineraries to places they perhaps would not otherwise visit. With a keen interest in both Chinese history and art, when she's not tailoring trips for her guests you'll find her immersed in books and visiting ancient landmarks and galleries.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Suzanne, who's travelled extensively in China. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the guides who can take you to The Great Wall’s quietest spots, the villagers who can show you how to create your own lucky clay cat and the cooks who can rustle you up breakfast pancakes, Shanghai-style.

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