Footloose Tours


Dear Colleague:

To convey some of the many facets of Beijing to the ICM2002 participants, and in particular to accompanying persons, several volunteers (students from Peking University) will offer informal tours of Beijing, especially to places "off the beaten track".

Since the circular letter 19 of ICM2002 was distributed, many requests for joining the Footloose Tours have been received. Based on the requests, we have added two new tours (Confucius Temple and Legend Computer Company) and assigned additional dates for the tours to Chinese Ethnic Culture Park and Beijing Botanic Garden. 

All tours will start in front of the Congress Venue (Beijing International Convention Center). Buses (free of charges) will be provided by the Organizing Committee. The duration time for each tour will be no longer than 3 hours, unless we have bad traffic. For example, if you take a Tootloose tour at 9.00AM, you should be back to the Congress Venue at noon.

 The list of Footloose tours (and their dates) are as follows:

1. Great Bell Temple (Da zhong si) August 21, 9.00 August 27, 3.00
2. Madam Song's Mansion August 21, 3.00
3. Chinese Ethnic Culture Park August 22, 9.00 August 27, 9.00
4. Beijing Botanic Garden  August 23, 9.00 August 26, 9.00
5. Peking University August 24, 9.00
6. Yuan Ming Yuan (the old Summer Palace)  August 22, 3.00 August 26, 9.00
7. Ancient Observatory(Gu Guan Xiang Tai) August 23, 3.00 August 27, 9.00
8. Exhibition Hall of Chinese Science and Technology August 28, 9.00 August 24, 3.00
9. Confucius Temple  August 26, 9.00   
10.Legend Computer Company  August 22, 9.00   
   A brief of descriptions of the footloose tours are as follows.



Situated in Haidian in the northwestern suburbs, the temple was built in 1732 in the reign of Emperor YongZheng of the Qing Dynasty. Its original name is Temple of Awakening (Jueshengsi), and because of the famous bell it houses it has popularly been known as the Great Bell Temple. It is the largest bell in China and the second largest in the world. Originally it was one to the six to be hung at the six corners of the city walls to strike the hours, but now it is the only re maining one.

The Bell is also know as the Avatamsaka Bell because it bears the full text of all 81 volumes of the Lotus Scripture(the Avatamsaka Sutra). It is sometimes referred to as the Yongle Bell since it was cast by the order of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty in 1406. 

Entrance Fee: 10 yuans

2. MADAM SONG's MANSION(Song Qing Ling Gu Ju)

Madam Song Qingling was the wife of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the republic, and she herself was the Vice-president of the People's Republic of China. As the second daughter of the famous Song family(Her younger
sister Song Mei-ling married Chiang Kai-shek), she studied in the United  States and was deeply involved in China's political life. Just as Dr. Sun Yat-sen was regarded as the "Father of the Republic", she was sometimes called the "Mother of the Republic". Her personal life was to some extent a mini-history of modern China.

In 1981, her residence was turned into a museum dedicated to the memory of her and Dr. Sun Yat-sen. The layout of the houses and the arrangement of the furniture and her personal belongings are kept as they were when she was alive. Pictures of historical interest are also displayed.

Entrance Fee: 10 Yuans.


This culture park is indeed a big museum of the nationalities of China. China has 56 nationalities. In this park, houses(villages) of all the different nationalities can be found. Culture shows, such as special dances, wedding 
ceremonies, songs, festival celebrations of different ethnic groups, are given in the park regularly.

A visit to this park will at least give you a flavour of China's multinational cultures. 

Entrance Fee: 60 Yuans


Located at the Foot of the Fragrant Hills, Beijing Botanic Garden is one of the largest botanic gardens in China. The recent built greenhouse is also one of the main attractions of the botanic garden. The Temple Recumbent 
Buddha(Wo fo si) is inside the Botanic Garden.

Entrance Fee:
5 Yuans for the Botanic Garden; 
an additional 5 Yuans for the Temple of the Recumbent Buddha


Peking University is one of the best and most famous universities in China. Having over 100 years history, Peking University is also one of the oldest universities in China. The site of Peking University was a garden in the Qing Dynasty. This tour is a walk in the beautiful campus of Peking University.

Entrance Fee: free


Yuanmingyuan (the Garden of Perfection and Brightness) is actually three gardens. It used to be the summer palace in Qing Dynasty (please notice that it is older than the Summer Palace, the later one being one of the most visited places in Beijing now). The whole garden was destroyed by Anglo-French joint force in 1860. The whole grounds were set on fire, and treasures were plundered.

Since most the buildings were wooden structures, almost nothing escaped the fires, except in on corner of the garden there still stand some broken stone pillars and collapsed arches. This is a group of Western-style
Renaissance buildings to the north of the Garden. They were designed by Western architects employed by the Qing court at the time, and constructed by Chinese artisans. From the ruins we still can imagine out the grandeus of the palaces.

Entrance Fee: 
10 Yuans for the Park, an additional 15 Yuans to see the Ruins.


This ancient observatory seats on a high platform which was used to be the battlements of a watchtower on the Beijing city walls. An astronomical observatory was set up around this site in 1279 during the Yuan Dynasty, and astronomical instruments designed and made by the famous astronomer, hydraulics engineer and mathematician Guo Shou Jing and by other astronomers were installed on the top of the observatory. The observatory and instruments were the most advanced in the world at that time.

Entrance Fee: 10 Yuans


Entrance Fee: 20 Yuans
9. Confucius Temple

The Confucius Temple in Beijing was built during the Yuan Dynasty in 1306, and it is the second largest Confucian temple in China after the one in QuFu, Shantong Province.

Confucius, the great thinker and philosopher in ancient China during the Spring and Autumn period(770-476BC), lived between 551-479 BC. The Confucianism founded by him advocates the rule of virtue and benevolence and stresses good morals. 

Entrance Fee: 10 Yuans
10. Legend Computer Company

Legend is the best selling PC brand in the PRC, commanding 30% of the market share in 2001. Its innovative policies and strategic alliances with international computer vendors, continue to reaffirm its leading position in the PRC's computer market. In fact, It is regarded by many of the international vendors as a key partner. 

This tour will take you to the headquarters Office of the Legend Company, which is located in ShangTi in north of Zhong Guan Cun. ShangTi is regarded as the new Silicon Valley of China.

Entrance Fee: Free
These informal tours will be organized by the Office of Academic Exchanges of the Academy of Mathematics and System Sciences, No charges will be made for these tours, except all have to pay the possible entrance fees themselves. 

For each footloose tour, only limited numbers of persons will be taken. Those who want to take the footloose tours please contact

Ms Huijuan Wang (

You should send her your name, ICM2002 registration numbers, the tour number(s) and the date(s) of the tour(s). 



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Last modified: July. 11, 2002

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