Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China, it is not only the nation's political center, but also a cultural, scientific and educational heart as well as a key transportation hub. Beijing has served as a capital of the country for more than 800 years. The city has many places of historic interest and scenic beauty, including the Forbidden City - the largest and best-preserved ancient architectural complex in the world; the Temple of Heaven - where Ming and Qing emperors performed solemn rituals for bountiful harvests; the Summer Palace - the emperors' magnificent garden retreat; the Ming Tombs - the stately and majestic mausoleums of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors; and the world-renowned and genuinely inspiring Badaling section of the Great Wall. Large-scale construction has brought great changes to Beijing since the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949 that adds more and more new attractions to the mysterious old city. The city also has a character all its own; there are quadrangles, Hutongs, tricycle, boiled mutton, arts and crafts, roasted duck and Peking Opera.
• Chinese Name: 北京
• Location: North of China
• Dialing code: (+86) 010
• Zip code: 100000
• Beijing Gov website: http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/
• Main attractions in Beijing: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Badaling/Mutianyu Great Wall, Ming Tombs, etc.
Beijing is universally acknowledged for its rich history and cultural development. It is also recognized as a modern international metropolis full of energy and vitality. It is located on the northwest part of Huabei Campagna (the North China Plain) about 150 kilometers (93 miles) west of the Bohai Sea. It has been the capital city of many dynasties in Chinese history. The city's grid pattern and original city walls were first laid down in the 13th century when it was called Khanbalik, the capital city of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). It was razed, rebuilt and named Beijing by the Han Chinese rulers of the subsequent Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It also served as capital city of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
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Beijing is world-famous for its trove of historical sites and enchanting natural scenery, making it a compelling tourist destination among people's China tour package itinerary. It offers a staggering array of attractions including the resplendent Forbidden City; the majestic Tiananmen Square (the world's largest public square); the grand meandering Great Wall, and Beihai Park (Beijing's oldest imperial garden). It's a remarkable city offering an abundance of ancient and modern architecture, temples, gardens, and museums and a variety of colorful local customs.
No other city in China offers the range of accommodations Beijing does. There are enormous numbers of four and five-star hotels in convenient locations throughout the city. It is also a food-lovers' dream. It is difficult to imagine a city with more restaurants per square kilometer or a more exhaustive variety of Chinese and foreign cuisines. There is also no shortage of entertainment with the Beijing Opera, concert halls, acrobatic troupes, and teahouses being popular choices.
The city is rapidly changing as it continually modernizes. You'll see everything ranging from a Harley Davidson motorcycle dealership to upscale women's fashion boutiques to military displays at the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. Despite its progress, the city values its great historical culture and its antiquities. You can capture the true essence of the city by walking around the Summer Palace and its pavilions or strolling through the courtyards and quadrangle houses or the quaint and serene Hutong. The modernization has also had a salutary impact on Beijing's citizens. Since reform, living conditions and purchasing power have improved dramatically.
Few cities have the unique historical charm of Beijing. Its wide thoroughfares, magnificent gate tower and memorial arch, and grand palaces all speak to the extensive history of this city. It also stands as a symbol of China's grandeur, history, culture and mystery. It is also an approachable and visitor-friendly city. It eagerly looks forward to being on the world's stage when it hosts the Summer Olympic Games in 2008.