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    News bites – February 2019

    The secret garden of the Forbidden City

    The historic Qianlong Garden, a portion of the Forbidden City that is said to be one of the most “exquisitely designed interiors” of Imperial China, is opening to the public for the first time.

    Created for the retirement of China’s longest-reigning sovereign, the Qianlong Emperor, who was known for his impeccable taste, the historic complex is relatively untouched and features a unique architectural design, having been meticulously crafted using the best materials by the most skilled artists and architects of the time.

    Decorated with bamboo marquetry, white jade cartouches, trompe l’oeil paintings, and embroidered satin sitting areas, this magnificent and well-preserved space is one to witness first-hand. Although still undergoing some restoration, the site aims to be fully open to the public by 2020.

    Image courtesy of World Monuments Fund

    Wheel the World

    Machu Picchu is one of the most popular destinations in the world, and sits at the heart of the Incan Empire, but with 320 near vertical steps to tackle, until recently it has been inaccessible for people using wheelchairs.

    Thanks to two friends, Alvaro Silberstein, who uses a wheelchair, and Camilo Navarro, Machu Picchu, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is now wheelchair-accessible. The Chilean duo have worked together to create Wheel the World, a company offering wheelchair accessible tours to places like Easter Island, Mexico and Peru, now including Machu Picchu.

    Their specially-designed wheelchairs are made from steel and aluminium and stored on site in Peru, and their first wheelchair-accessible tour of Machu Picchu is set for March 2019.

    Image courtesy of Visit Peru

    For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book these incredible holidays, contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

    With compliments of First Class: visit them online or at Instagram