Need a quickie intro to the city? Toss aside your guidebook and instead get the Beijing scoop straight from those who know it best: the locals who live here! This introductory city tour will give you an overview of Beijing plus handy info for your visit, straight from the mouths of locals — so if you want to make the most of your time in town, make this the first thing you do!
Join us for an orientation tour starting at ShiCaHai Metro Station (Line 8). From there, we’ll take a short wander around the Drum Tower area, famous among locals for its narrow alleyways and courtyards known as “HuTong,” one of the city’s most unique and oldest attributes. After Genghis Khan’s army reduced the city of Beijing to rubble, the city was redesigned with over 400 HuTongs. Today, there are some 2,000 HuTongs in the city.
There is only one gate leading to a HuTong, and it’s said that when the gate is closed, the courtyard loses touch with the outside world, allowing families to have tranquil, uninterrupted gatherings. From spring to autumn, men gather outside their gates, drinking beer, playing chess, smoking, and talking. Inside, trees provide shade and a nesting ground for birds.
First, we will visit Mr. Liu’s family and appreciate his lovely collection of fighting grasshoppers and crickets. Then, we will discover a traditional folk house in the HuTongs, known as a Siheyuan. We will also visit a liquor musuem where over 5,000 Chinese liquors are exhibited.
Finally, we will visit another local family. Here, we’ll settle in for a Chinese tea and you’ll be free to chat with new friends, make some plans together for later on and ask any questions you like of our knowledgeable Beijing expert.
Think of it as a city introduction tour, travellers’ meet-up, and info desk all rolled into one — get the tips you need to know from those who are in-the-know, then kick back and relax with some new friends in a new city. There’s no better way to tap into local life in Beijing!
Inclusions: Local English-speaking expert to answer all your questions.
Exclusions: Transportation to and from the meet-up point, food and drinks.
Your Trip: As this is a meet-and-greet with other travellers and not a standard tour, the size of the group may be more than our typical Urban Adventures limit of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: “Locals on Tap” tours are meet-up experiences and therefore require a minimum of four (4) people to be booked on any given tour. Should there be fewer than four (4) travelers booked on your chosen date, you will be notified by email two (2) days prior to the date of your booked tour and provided alternative tour options. Otherwise if you don't hear from us and have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the meeting point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Child Policy: This is a child-friendly experience. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.