The Peninsula Academy provides in-house guests with the chance to learn about and gain exposure to the uniqueness of Beijing. The rich culture of the capital and it's hidden gems are highlighted in a variety of bespoke programmes including activities such as a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter tour of the Great Wall, a rickshaw Hutong tour, a kite making class at Tiananmen Square and many more.
Beijing’s timeless hutong lifestyles A rickshaw ride and classic Chinese art classClick to View DetailsThe Peninsula Beijing’s curated Peninsula Academy activities are designed to provide engaging, fun-filled insights into the city’s diverse cultures and lifestyles. Beijing is the only city in the world blessed with hutongs, labyrinthine lanes flanked by grey-brick courtyard homes, and this journey takes guests into the hutongs to experience timeless local living accompanied by a local Beijinger who has lived in the hutongs his entire life.Make an Enquiry
After a visit to the ancient Drum Tower to watch drummers perform the beats that once told the time for city residents and a fun ride on a rickshaw, a classic tea ceremony is enjoyed in a secluded Chinese teahouse. Refreshed and relaxed, it’s time to get creative with a Chinese paper cutting or calligraphy class, or a lesson in cricket training, a beloved Beijing pastime dating back centuries. Upon returning to The Peninsula Beijing, guests can relax and share a traditional Afternoon Tea amid the magnificent Chinese décor and artworks of The Lobby.
Baijiu, or White Liqueur, is the drink of choice for toasting a family celebration or a business banquet in China. China’s traditional liquor is complex and challenging to the palate, and often little understood beyond China.Make an Enquiry
This unique journey begins with a chauffeured limousine drive taking guests behind the scenes at a Beijing distillery to learn the intricate production processes and the many different varieties of Baijiu enjoyed across China. After returning to the hotel, the chefs at Huang Ting will prepare a delicious Chinese lunch or dinner accompanied, of course, by a glass or two of premium Chinese Baijiu.
Precious jade has been highly coveted in China for several millennia, and it was the preferred gemstone of both emperors and empresses. Treasured for its translucent beauty and subtle durability, jade has been used throughout history to make decorative jewellery and for carving ornaments and even weaponry.Make an Enquiry
This private journey of dicovery begins at Beijing’s famous jade market, where guests learn to spot the most valuable pieces. Guests also meet a jade master in his traditional Chinese home, and share a traditional Peninsula Afternoon Tea while learning more about this cherished gemstone. After receiving a jade souvenir, the journey is completed with a luxurious body massage using warm jade stones at The Peninsula Spa. This soothing spa experience includes a cleansing express facial, with energy grounding techniques and an acupressure head massage to prepare the mind and body before the warm jade stones evoke deep physical relaxation, mental clarity and spiritual harmony.
An enthralling activity to enjoy with the family, Kung Fu, or gong-fu, is the ancient Chinese martial art made famous worldwide by movie stars such as Bruce Li and Jackie Chan. The art of Kung Fu continues to gain global prominence courtesy of stunning performances by the Shaolin monks.Make an Enquiry
Thousands of styles of Kung Fu have existed through the centuries, and this exciting experience enables guests to learn from Kung Fu experts. After mastering the meditative principles and practicing some basic techniques of this most cerebral of marital arts, a sumptuous Chinese meal awaits at Huang Ting, the signature Cantonese restaurant at The Peninsula Beijing.
Made from bamboo, paper, silk and rattan, traditional Chinese kites are usually crafted in the shapes of animals: dragonflies, swallows, butterflies and centipedes. With their grace and symmetry, the kites are said to be emblematic of freedom and their making is seen as a vehicle for artistic expression.
Under the guidance of the kite master, you will start by choosing a design for your kite – maybe a dragon or a fish or something simpler for your first attempt. Then you will build your frame and choose material to cover it: silk is the traditional fabric, but you may also use strong paper, nylon or plastic. Balance and proportions are key to ensure your kite stays aloft. Once you have cut the material to fit your frame, you are ready to paint and decorate your kite. Attach it to your frame; add the string bridle and you are fit to fly in the nearby Temple of Heaven Park. But don’t let it go, because according to Chinese folklore, this can bring bad luck!
Beijing’s hutongs are narrow streets or alleyways formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences built around a quadrangle. The word hutong comes from the Mongolian for water wells, nodding to the fact that communities gather around wells. Although many of the city’s hutongs have been demolished to make way for modern roads and high-rise buildings, some have been preserved as designated areas of Chinese culture. Those that survived, give a real glimpse into Beijing life as it has been for generations.
From their size and style, you can tell whether the compounds belonged to the rich and powerful or the poor. On this exclusive tour, you will get an insight into both, with visits to more humble abodes as well as the mansions of Prince Gong, one of the most extravagant and ornate residential compounds in Beijing, and Soong Ching Ling, wife of Sun Yat-sen, former president of the People’s Republic of China.