• For those that want to get away from the enormous crowds and hassles of the major Beijing tourist attractions, this is the ideal tour for a little peace and relaxation. You’ll be taken to the Peking Man Museum. The site was a natural habitat of human ancestors about 700,000 years ago. Here multiplied descendents, from age to age, created the splendid Paleolithic Age. To some extent, this is the cradle of Chinese civilization. In this charming and mystical land, Peking Man left its footprints. Today, the remains and site provides a good opportunity for you to explore the primitive life of our human ancestors.
• You’ll also see the Stone Flower Cave, a magnificent natural wonder and a vital center for geological research, and Lugou Bridge, a wonderful architectural wonder that was once visited by Marco Polo, and holds a very special place in the modern history of China, and more for painful memories rather than either its stunning beauty or amazing architectural achievement. It was here on the Marco Polo Bridge that the eight-year-long War of Resistance against the Imperial Japanese Army commenced on the 7th July 1937, that culminated with the surrender of Japan in 1945.
1. You will be picked up from your hotel at about 8:30am. From your hotel we’ll drive by private van to Zhoukoudian (Peking Man site). The Peking Man Museum, or Zhoukoudian Anthropological Museum, is the location of the 1921 discovery of Peking Man (Sinanthropus pekinensis), based on the surface find of a molar, which created a sensation when it was first discovered. It was not only the first example of a prehistoric humanoid find in China, but the first such find in all of Asia. Peking Man was believed to be an example of a "missing link" between ape and man, the notion of a missing link belonging more to the imagination of lay folk than to the scholarly world of science. Further pieces of the Peking Man "puzzle" were found during initial site excavations that were conducted between 1923-1927.
2. After our visit of the Peking Man Museum, we’ll drive down to the Stone Flower Cave, which is 50km from downtown Beijing. Originally the cave was called Qianzhen Cave, or Shifo Cave, names given it by the wanderer monk Yuan Guang during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The cave thus became famous from then on. Covering an area of about 1.8 Hectares, Stone Flower Cave is a multilayer Karst cave with seven clearly distributed layers. The first to the sixth layers are the cave scenery area and the seventh layer is the underground river. There are twelve huge "cave halls" which are interconnected with countless narrow passages, sixteen "cave chambers" and 71 "branch caves" in many sizes and shapes. The inside is a fairyland on earth. You will be amazed at nature's creativity. All of the features are made of stone: fantastic stalactites, stalagmites, curtains and, flowers. Everywhere is full of the sound of water dripping "Di Di Da" which is composed into delightful music. Stalactites and stalagmites are growing until one day they meet. The milk white stone "Yue Nai Shi" is a wonder in the cave and a national treasure. It comes in many shapes such as stone lotus and mushroom.
3. Following the Stone Flower Cave we’ll take a break for a Chinese lunch, and then we’ll proceed on to the Lugou Bridge. The Lugou Bridge, also known as the Marco Polo Bridge, is well known because it was highly praised by the Venetian traveler Marco Polo during his visit to China in the 13th century (the bridge was later known in Europe simply as the Marco Polo Bridge), and for the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which marked the beginning of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Hundreds of artistically unique stone lions from different eras line both sides of the bridge. The most intriguing feature of these beasts is the fact that there are more lions hiding on the head, back or under the belly or on paws of each of the big lions. Investigations to determine the total number of animals have been carried out on several occasions but the results have proved inconsistent, ranging anywhere from 482 to 496. How many will you be able to find?
4. Afterwards you’ll be taken back to your hotel at no later than 6:00pm, allowing you to have time for dinner and anything else you’d like to do in the evening.