The years between 1912 and 1927 marked an era of profound change in Beijing and for China. The end of the imperial era ushered in a new age of revolutionary thinking which affected not just the culture of the capital, but the very shape of the city.
We will explore this transformation as we stroll through some of Beijing’s most beautiful landscapes. Our walk takes us across the old “Imperial City,” the walled heart of the capital which contained the Forbidden City, several imperial gardens, and the residences of princes and eunuchs.
First, we will explore Beihai Park, one of Beijing’s loveliest parks, and the lakeside gardens there which were once the private domains of the imperial court.
We will then visit Jingshan, the 600-year-old artificial hill and former Imperial garden which on good days gives us a 360-degree view of Beijing and a stunning perspective on the Forbidden City and its environs.
We will stop at the former location of Peking University, the birthplace of the May Fourth Movement and where some of the most influential figures in modern Chinese history worked and studied. (Including a chubby intern from Hunan who would one day lead a revolution!
Finally, we will visit the former residence of Beijing's most beloved author, Lao She. Lao She wrote such classics as Rickshaw Boy, Teahouse, and Cat Country but came to a tragic end during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s.