Acrobatics are the most exciting and accessible form of traditional Chinese entertainment, and, though the style may be vaudeville, the tricks are breathtaking.
Temple of Heaven
One of the best Chinese temples to see is the exquisitely designed and dazzlingly coloured Temple of Heaven, set in its own tranquil park.
The elegant Summer Palace park was created as a retreat for the imperial court, and is still as effective at providing relief from city stresses.
An odd amalgam of Western and Chinese culture, the NASA is a cavernous disco, packed out nightly - striking evidence of how China is changing.
Getting Lost in the Hutongs
The hutongs - the tangle of alleys between the wide, straight streets - give a glimpse of the city's more intimate, private face.
The Great Wall at Simatai
Unblemished with tourist chintz, this is the Great Wall as it should be seen - a half-ruined lonely road winding across purple mountains.
The Forbidden City
The old centre of the Chinese universe, the Forbidden City was just that - ordinary people were not allowed even to approach the walls of this vast and awesome complex, the Gugong or Imperial Palace.
The quirky Ancient Observatory, lost among highrise blocks, is home to a collection of beautiful and bizarre Ming-Dynasty astronomical instruments.