This morning you will visit the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site - the Temple of Heaven where emperors used to pray for good harvest. You will also attend a morning lesson of Taiji (also referred to as Taichi by the Westerners) exercise on the site of the Temple of Heaven given by a professional. Taichi is a type of internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. T'ai chi theory and practice evolved in agreement with many Chinese philosophical principles, including those of Taoism and Confucianism. After lunch, you enjoy your free afternoon for leisure or shopping. You may also take an optional tour of Hutong (Chinese alleyways) by riding aboard a rickshaw pedicab through the narrow lanes of the old residential quarters in the afternoon ($45 per person).
Hutongs are a type of narrow streets or alleys in Beijing, formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. Many neighborhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. Hutongs represent an important cultural element of the city of Beijing. Thanks to Beijing's long history and status as capital for six dynasties, almost every hutong has its anecdotes, and some are even associated with historic events. In contrast to the court life and elite culture represented by the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, and the Temple of Heaven, the hutongs reflect the culture of grassroots Beijingers. The hutongs are residential neighborhoods which still form the heart of Old Beijing. Taking a Hutong tour is a great way to enjoy the local cultures, giving you a unique opportunity to glimpse into the local resident's daily life.