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Three Days in Beijing - What to See with Three Days in Beijing, Capital of China

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Day Two - the Great Wall and Ming Tombs with a Guide
Three Days in Beijing - What to See with Three Days in Beijing, Capital of China

Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall

(c) 2004 Sara Naumann licensed to About.com, Inc.
You can certainly see the Great Wall on your own. Read Visiting the Great Wall to learn how. However, having done it with a tour group and on my own with a private guide, I'd definitely recommend going with a private guide. You'll get to spend as much time as you want on the wall and you'll get to see a less-congested part. I recommend visiting the Mutianyu section. The views are awesome and the wall itself is in great shape. You can walk for miles, though some of it is very steep.

Lunch Break: After your visit to the Mutianyu section, ask your guide to stop at one of the local trout restaurants for lunch. Fresh trout restaurants line the roadway to the Wall and the gimmick is that you catch your own. The food at these restaurants is very inexpensive but quite good.

After the Great Wall, most private and group-tours will head to the Ming tombs. There are thirteen of them and different tours go to different tombs. Most go to Dingling, the tomb of Emperor Wanli (reigned 1537-1619). You'll visit the Sacred Way, a long path leading to the tombs flanked on both sides by mythical and real stone animals as well as the tomb compound itself. The Great Wall and Tombs lie 1-1.5 hours outside Beijing.

Dinner: You most likely had a little nap on the way back from your Great Wall and Ming Tomb adventure, so surely you'll be rested enough to splurge on a fancy dinner at one of Beijing's finest destinations. For a nouveau Chinese dinner that will leave you stunned, try the Green T. House.

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