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Things to do in China

Exploring Beijing’s politics & history

So many visitors pass through Tiananmen Square each day barely scratching the surface of its fascinating history….

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

Exploring Beijing's politics and history


So many visitors pass through Tiananmen Square each day barely scratching the surface of its fascinating history. With space for up to one million people, this political epicentre is actually the largest city square in the world and has been the centre stage for many significant political events in China.

During this gentle walking tour with our resident American scholar, we not only explore what has happened here in the past we ask why and how the stories of Tiananmen Square unfolded the way they did. We also visit the Beijing Urban Planning Hall, which I promise is far more exciting than it sounds! Perhaps it’s the lacklustre name that keeps the crowds away from this hidden gem. This exhibition illustrates the Beijing development and urban structure so perfectly and the detailed 3D model of the city is worth visiting for alone.

We hope to give you a sense of life to the area, eliminating any need to study maps or navigate crowds. By the end of our walk you’ll have a deep understanding of Tiananmen Square’s political significance and help you discover how the city has moved from an imperial capital to a modern metropolis.


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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.

Alfred & our China holiday experts

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