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Sino Secrets

November 23, 2015
Bespoke Beijing

Beijing can be a hard nut to crack. From its confusing streets and limited English to taxi drivers who only want to take you to their cousin’s tea shop, getting trapped in the tourist rigmarole is easier than spotting a pair of brass knockers in the Forbidden City. But, thankfully for travellers seeking a more authentic experience there is Bespoke, a boutique tour company that specialises in expert-led, fully customisable city itineraries.

For over seven years, the local lovelies behind the venture have been quietly revealing the secret side to the Chinese capital via private walks, foodie jaunts, and personalised activities. 

Visitors looking for a helping of history should set out on a hutong tour, taking in the labyrinthine alleyways with a lifelong resident who’ll guide you to wet markets, museums and the homes of traditional... cricket trainers (?).

Or, if you’re after something a spot more spiritual, take a turn through ancient temples while learning about Buddhism, Confucianism and Chinese philosophy. 

More about the eats than the ideologies? Sample tasty street snacks on a wander through open-air markets, before swilling some craft draughts from the city’s top artisanal taprooms.

And of course, no holiday is complete without a take-home trinket but, luckily, the Bespoke folks have that covered too with shopping expeditions to indie boutiques and artists’ studios. All these options at your mittened fingertips... or go for something entirely tailored. Be-stoked!

B510 / 107 Dongsi Bei Dajie / Dongcheng / +86 10 6400 0133 / 9am-6pm Mon-Fri /

All images © Ben McMillan