Beijing has more than enough sights to keep the average visitor busy, but after traveling all this way, it would be a shame not to grasp the opportunity to get out of the city. Of course, the Great Wall is an absolute must, but not far from the city are also ancient temples nestled on green hillsides and the vast necropolises of the Ming and Qing emperors. To the southwest is the 300-year-old stone Marco Polo Bridge and neighboring Wanping, a rare surviving example of a walled city. Both are an easy suburban bus ride from the city. Otherwise, most Beijing hotels organize tours to these sights.
Whether Venetian trader and explorer Marco Polo (1254–1324) ever visited China is much disputed. The book he dictated to ...