2012 Feb 19 Walk This Way: A New Way to See Beijing
Unless living in Beijing is part of an overall master plan that included language and cultural classes in college, there's probably a lot that you may not know about the city. How about the duality of Confucianism? Or politics behind contemporary art? Whether you're visiting or just want to know more, here are some new walking tours everyone can check out.
Context Tours has just established itself in China with their scholarly-led tours in both Beijing and Shanghai. Current options in the capital cover both art and history with the possibility of more to come. You can choose between their groups tours that are limited to six people or opt for a private tour that can also be customized based on personal interested, though these will be dependent on the expertise of available guides. For their present lineup, you can view all docents and their qualifications online.
The three walks Context has on offer are: Is it art?, an exploration of the 798 art district with a focus on the cultural and historical background behind both Chinese and foreign art; Taoism to Buddhism: A History of Chinese Thought, which will take you around the Confucius and Lama temples to examine 4,000 years of spiritual history; and Tiananmen and the Making of Modern China which looks at the developments and changes in China during the 20th century.
Aside from tours in Beijing and Shanghai, Context also has walks in 16 other cities including New York, Barcelona and London.