History of China in 50 Objects Tour


Inspired by the New York Times bestseller and wildly popular radio series, Newman Tours has created a tour that explores the human history of China through 50 of the most celebrated art objects in Beijing’s National Museum of China. Our guide will take you on an informative and entertaining journey of 4,000 years, using the most venerated objects of the museum’s collection to illustrate the principal developments of China’s epic history.

Find out why these ancient sowing needles are one of the most important leaps forward in human evolution.
See some of Neolithic China’s most important inventions.


  • Meet at Tianamen East Metro Station Exit D. Following an introduction to Tiananmen Square we will enter the National Museum of China.
  • Hear a brief history of the collection as you go through the museum’s security checks.
  • Start your journey with the infamous 1.7 million old remains of the ‘Peking Man’ and end with the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1900s.
  • Learn about the mythological animal motifs on the Houmuwu Ding, the world’s largest piece of intact 4,000 year old bronze ware.
  • See the Han Dynasty Jade Suit burial practices of 200BC.
  • Marvel at the Ming Dynasty indulgence of Empress Xiaojie’s coronet encrusted with 100 rubies and 5,000 pearls.

  • Why is this Han Dynasty burial suit made of jade?
    Learn why the Chinese buried their dead in jade suits.

Getting There

The Standard Meeting Point for Private and Select 50 Objects Tours is at Tianamen East Metro Station Exit D, 天安门东地铁站D出口外面 (on Dong Changan Jie, near Guangchang Dongce Lu: 在东长安街上,靠近广场东侧路).

Price (Chinese renminbi per person)

50 Objects Tour Adults Children under 14
Private (2 hr) 290 240
Select (2.5 hr) 390 290

Tour Types

Public Tour availability can be seen by clicking here.

Private Tours can be scheduled for your group at any time you like.

Select Tours are led by Senior Newman Tours’ Guides, and guarantee the provision of an iPad to enhance the content of your tour. They can start at any time you want, and feature exclusive content described in italics in the Tour Schedule on this page.

Private and Select Tours require a minimum of 4 adult guests (or the financial equivalent thereof). Full terms and conditions can be viewed here.

Understand how feng shui was used when laying out the home of an ancient Chinese clan.
Understand the Confucian principals that have determined the layout of Chinese houses for hundreds of years.

What Our Guests Say

What the Media Says

“Will tell you folk stories known only to natives”

Christie Lee, China Daily                                               

“Newman Tours’ guides are not only highly knowledgeable about the city and its past, but also have the charisma to bring the incredible stories of the area to life.”

Alice Shaman, Shanghai Talk

This totem pole bronze decoration was discovered in Sichuan in the 1980s.
Understand why the discovery of this bronze turned Chinese history on its head.