Social and Cultural programme

Social and Cultural programme


The Organizing Committee will offer city excursions and theme tours outside Beijing during, before or after the Congress. Detailed arrangements, prices and instructions about how to book the tour will be released on the Congress website later.

City Excursions

About Beijing

As a cradle of civilization, Beijing has a history of over 700,000 years. As a city, Beijing’s origins can be traced back to over 3,000 years ago. According to the historical records, the year of 1045 BC is considered the year the city Beijing appeared. As a capital city, Beijing’s history dates from over 1,000 years. In 938, the city became one of the five capitals of the Kingdom Liao. Since then, the historical position of the city has changed tremendously. It grew gradually from a city of strategic military importance into the political center of the nation. The city had been the capital city of five dynasties, Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. In 1949, the establishment of People’s Republic of China opened a new chapter for Beijing. Through the years of development, the present Beijing has become a modern and international metropolis of historic significance. It is the nation’s political, economic, cultural, trade, scientific and communications center.

Beijing is situated at 40 degrees north latitude and 116 degrees east longitude, taking up a total area of 16,410 square kms. It is surrounded by mountains to the east, west and north. The mountain area covers 62 percent of the total area and the rest, flat land. The average elevation of Beijing is 43.71 meters. Located at the North Temperate Zone, Beijing enjoys a typical moderate continental climate with four distinctive seasons.

Beijing has infinite variety of people, brilliant history and culture and is home to a number of world-renowned historic sites. The Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven are all on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Optional Lines

1.Tiananmen Square - National Museum of China - Forbidden City

Tiananmen Square,which is the heart of Beijing and the largest public square in the world, attracts millions of people from all over the world every year. Now, Tiananmen Square is a place for celebrations on important festive occasions, such as the International Labor Day on May 1st, and National Day on October 1st. As one of the most well-known Beijing icons, it will definitely arouse your passion for the city. Adjacent to Tiananmen Square, you will find National Museum of China,one of the largest museums in the world, whose mission is to educate about the arts and history of China. The highlight of the day, undoubtedly, should be the Forbidden City , which has been home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties; with about 800 buildings and more than 8,700 rooms, the Forbidden City is the best preserved and most complete ancient imperial complex remaining in the world.
2.Juyongguan Great Wall - Sacred Way– Chang Ling Tomb - Bird's Nest (National Stadium) & Water Cube (National Aquatics Center)

Explore the majesty of Great Wall at Juyong Pass ,one of the three greatest mountain passes of the Great Wall. Juyongguan Great Wall is located at 50 kilometers northwest of downtown Beijing. The mountains flanking the valley have many graceful peaks. The slopes on both sides of their narrow passes are covered with dense trees and plants. Therefore, it used to be one of the famous “Eight Views of Yanjing”. Then visit the Chang Ling Tomb , an impressive royal tomb of the Yongle Emperor from the Ming Dynasty, after walking along the Sacred Way, which is 7 meters long from the Memorial Stone Archway to the gate of Chang Ling. Drive back to Beijing city, en route you will stop by the exterior Bird’s Nest(National Stadium) and Water Cube (National Aquatics Center), the amazing architectures built for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. They will also be the one of the host venues in 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
3.Summer Palace – Temple of Heaven

Summer Palace,a former royal garden with more than 200 years of history, temples, lakes and walkways, is the best-preserved imperial garden in the world and the largest of its kind in existence in China today. Roaming along the long corridor there, you will definitely be amazed by the tranquil beauty of the picturesque garden. In contrast, what Temple of Heaven exhibits is a solemn and magnificent atmosphere. Temple of Heaven is recognized as a wonderful example of Ming architecture in a walled 267-hectare park; Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties visited there to offer sacrifices and pray for an abundant harvest. Based upon its original use as a place to worship both heaven and earth, the temple’s architecture has two themes: heaven and earth. Not only can you appreciate architecture wonders there, but also you can experience the “secrets of sounds” by exploring the “Echo Wall” and “Triple Sound Stone”.
4.Baiyun Temple (Taoism) – Lama Temple (Buddhism) – Beijing Confucius Temple (Confucianism)

The religious tour begins with Baiyun Temple (Taoism), where Emperor Xuanzng from Tang dynasty worshipped Laozi, a philosopher in the Spring and Autumn Period and the founder of Taoism. It will be a nice choice if you take interest in ancient Chinese stone inscriptions. Then visit the Lama Temple (Buddhism) that was built in the 33 Qing Kangxi year (1694) and is now the largest and best-preserved Lamasery in Beijing; there you will see the 26-meter tall Maitreya Buddha whose main body was made of one complete sandalwood. The final stop will be at Beijing Confucius Temple (Confucianism), the venue where memorial ceremonies were held for Confucius during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
5.Mutianyu Great Wall – Cloisonné Factory – 798 Art Zone

Mutianyu Great Wall is characterized by grand military towers along the wall and is lined with green trees and flowers. The elevation at Mutianyu Pass is only 484 meters in height, but the highest point on the top of the mountain is over 1000 meters above the sea level. Strategically built in mountains in Ming Dynasty, the Pass was of military and strategic importance in ancient times. After the tour on the Wall, visit the Cloisonné factory to appreciate Ming Dynasty cloisonné artwork. Cloisonné, one of the most famous arts and crafts in Beijing, is a kind of traditional handicraft of enamelware created more than 500 years ago during the Ming Dynasty. It is so beautiful for its elegant molding, brilliant and dazzling color, and splendid and graceful design. Later, you can enjoy a free visit to 798 Art Zone that comprises a complex of 50-year-old decommissioned military factory buildings boasting a unique architectural style.
Theme Tours outside Beijing
China, as one of the four major countries of ancient civilizations in the world, is noted for its five thousand years of profound and splendid culture, with rich natural, historical, magnificent and diversified cultural landscapes. If you take the chance to explore some of the nation’s highlights outside Beijing, you will never regret for the wise decision. Tour proposals are as follows:
1. Ancient Capitals Experience Tour (Beijing – Luoyang – Xi’an –Beijing)

With a long civilized history dating back to over 5,000 years ago, Luoyang,a time-honored city situated on the central plain of China, is renowned as one of the cradles of Chinese civilization and one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. The most classic sites there are Longmen Grottoes and White Horse Temple: Housing tens of thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples, theLongmen Grottoes have been inscribed upon the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding manifestation of human artistic creativity,” for its perfection of an art form, and for its encapsulation of the cultural sophistication of Tang China. The White Horse Temple,
as the first Buddhist temple in China, is considered the founding father of Chinese Buddhism.

Xi’an, a treasure house of time-honored relics and sites, is one of the highly popular tourist destinations in China for tourists from all over the world. You can breathe the historical air from all must-see spots there. Qin Terracotta Army, "the 8th wonder of the world", is the most outstanding landmark of Xi’an. Shaanxi History Museum, a huge state museum with modern facilities in China, tells visitors about the origins and development of ancient Chinese history. Ancient City Wall, one of the oldest and best-preserved Chinese city walls, is another landmark implying Xi’an’s historic role in China. No matter which type of attractions you are interested,
you can spend a leisure time by losing yourself in this charming city.

2.Metropolises Tour (Beijing – Hangzhou – Shanghai –Beijing)

Hangzhou, an ancient city with a history of 2200 years, is one of the seven ancient capitals in China. There is an old saying in China that “up above there is heaven, down below there are Suzhou and Hangzhou”, from which we can tell its enduring beauty since ancient times. Hangzhou has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium, due in partto its beautiful natural scenery. The city's West Lake is its best-known attraction. The special local-made products include silk, color-glazed porcelain, Longjing tea, and white chrysanthemum.

Shanghai,as one of the four directly controlled municipalities under the Chinese central government,is one of the world largest seaports and China’s major industrial and commercial center. With the deepening reform, the city, formerly crowned as the financial, economic and trade hub of the Far East, is playing a leading role in boosting economic development of China. Meanwhile, the city has attracted more and more tourists from home and abroad for its unique charm. The city’s highlights include Lujiazui skyline, and museums and historic buildings, such as those along The Bund, as well as the City God Temple and the Yu Garden.

3.Scenic China (Beijing – Guilin – Yangshuo –Beijing)

Situated in South China,Guilin is like a glittering pearl on a green carpet; the scenery there enjoys the praise that “Guilin landscape tops those elsewhere”. As a world-renowned scenic city, Guilin fascinates people by its incomparable karst landscape, exquisite mountains, limpid rivers, wired caves and beautiful rocks. You may appreciate the fine views of poetic and picturesque Diecai Hill, Elephant Trunk Hill, Fubo Hill and etc., which will afford you a glimpse of a life far removed from earthly distractions.

Yangshuo, surrounded by karst peaks and bordered on one side by the Li River, is easily accessible by bus or by boat from nearby Guilin. Landmarks include the Li River, Moon Hill, Yulong River, etc. The most prosperous area in Yangshuo is called West Street, the oldest street in Yangshuo with a history of more than 1,400 years. It now changes into a harmonious blend of the eastern andwestern culture.

4. Silk Road Adventure (Beijing – Dunhuang –Beijing)

Dunhuangis located at the western end of Hexi Corridor in Gansu Province in northwest of China, right on the Silk Road that caravans would take to get from China to the Middle East. Known as Shazhou in ancient times, Dunhuang served as a rest stop for traders as the gateway through which Buddhism, Islam and Christianity entered China. You might crush on the Crescent Spring of Mingsha Sand Dunes, a popular tourist site since Han dynasty, or Yumen (Jade Gate) Pass connecting Central Asia and China on the Silk Road. Mogao Grottoes, which have been designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO for its 1600-year accumulated cultural,
architectural, and art treasures, are one of the don’t-miss sites in Dunhuang. They’re considered the great treasure house of Buddhist arts in existence and a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road.

5.Buddhist Holy Lands Experience (Beijing – Mount Wutai – Yungang Grottoes –Hanging Temple–Beijing)

Mount Wutai,inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, is home to many of China's most important monasteries and temples, and is rich in historical relics, ancient folk art, folk customs, and, of course, Buddhist culture. Yungang Grottoes, also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the three most famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China. Built more than 1,500 years ago, the Hanging Temple, is notable not only for its location on a sheer precipice but also because it is the only existing temple with the combination of three Chinese traditional religions: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. After the tour to the above holy

lands, you can enjoy yourself in an ancient and relaxing town - Pingyao. Rishengchang Exchange Shop and Ming Qing Street are two main attractions in this town.

6.Confucius’ Hometown (Beijing – Qufu – Mount Tai – Jinan –Beijing)

Qufu is best known as the hometown of Confucius, a great thinker, statesman, and educator in ancient China, who is traditionally believed to have been born at nearby Mount Ni. The city contains numerous historic palaces, temples and cemeteries. The three most famous cultural sites of the city, collectively known as San Kong, meaning "The Three Confucian Sites”, are the Temple of Confucius, the Cemetery of Confucius, and the Kong Family Mansion. These three sites have been listed together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. Mount Tai (also Taishan), which is noted for its spectacular, grandness, elevation, width, steadiness and
messiness, is a mountain of historical and cultural significance located north of the city of Tai'an, in Shandong province, and ranks No.1 among the five most important mountains in China. Jinan, known as "the spring city ", is the birthplace of the Longshan culture, a prehistoric civilization symbolizing the origin of Chinese civilization. There you will go sightseeing at Baotu Spring, Daming Lake and Mount Qianfo.

7. Qing Dynasty Buddhism Fusion Sites Exploration (Beijing - Chengde - Mulan Paddock - Mongolia Grassland –Beijing)

Jinshanling Great Wallis recognized as the best-preserved section and also the essence of the Ming Great Wall. While Chengde attracts visitors by Panchen Lama’s Palace, also called Small Patola Palace, which is the largest Buddhist holy land in North China. Chengde is best known as the site of the Mountain Resort, a vast imperial garden and palace formerly used by the Qing emperors as summer residence. With its vast and rich collection of Chinese landscapes and architecture, the Mountain Resort in many ways is a culmination of all the variety of gardens, pagodas,temples and palaces from various regions of China. Many of the scenic spots around

the resort's lake area were copied from famous landscaped gardens in southern China. If you’d like to ride a horse on the prairie quickly, enjoy the leisure time of a bonfire party and experience the northern-frontier scene in China, Mulan Paddock, a royal hunting area for Qing Dynasty Emperors, will be a perfect choice. The ancient battlefield of Wulanbutong was the site where Emperor Kangxi from Qing Dynasty battled with the rebel Galdan.