A walk along the Great Wall of China ranks high on the wish list of many travelers and today's excursion will confirm it is one of the world's greatest travel experiences. Travel 43 miles (70 kilometers) by private vehicle northeast of Beijing to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, known for its beautiful surroundings of dense woods and rich pastures changing colors with each season of the year. Linger at the towers and broad promenades; contemplate on the spectacular scenery and the lives lost in building this monumental construction that never truly fulfilled its purpose. There is ample time to stroll along its ancient stone promenade and photograph the wall as it winds across impossibly steep mountain areas. A cable car is available to help visitors and is included in today's tour.
Following a local Chinese lunch, drive to the Ming Tombs, which lie in a valley to the south of the Tianshou Mountains in Changping district, about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Beijing. The tombs are set into the hillsides sheltering well-preserved artifacts of 13 emperors from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).