Beijing Travel Guide

Beijing Travel Guide Introduction

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As an internationally well-known ancient and young metropolis, Beijing, the great capital city of the People’s Republic of China, is called Jing for short. It lies on the northwest of the Huabei Plain, around 150 kilometers to the northwest of Bohai Sea. Measuring over 16, 800 square kilometers, Beijing has a total population of approximately 13.819 million.

To the north of the city is the Jundu Mountain, to the west the Xi Mountain and to the southeast of Beijing is the alluvial plain formed by the Yongding and Chaobai Rivers and slopes towards the Bohai Sea. About 62 % of the whole territory is mountainous land with a large variety of minerals and metals such as coals, iron and superior construction materials like granite and white marble.

Being the capital of the P. R. China, Beijing is the heart of politics, economy, transportation, culture and art of this great country. As a most ancient municipality on this planet, Beijing is also home to a large number of natural wonders, manmade miracles and cultural heritage, which not only belongs to China, but also to the whole world. Functioning as a window for China to communicate with the outside world, Beijing is a dynamic city with a full range of industries and a place where many cultures meet and blend.

After China adopted the reform and opening up policy in 1978 and especially after the ninth Five-year Plan, the Beijing municipal government introduced the new concept of “Capital Economy.” This core idea of the new concept was that Beijing’s economic growth should be based on the capital itself, serve the whole country, and face up to the whole world.

The restructuring of the traditional economy and industry is now under way, the mode of economic growth is more adaptable to the new domestic and international setting, and more importance has been attached to the healthy, sustainable and harmonious economic development. Beijing is among the most dynamic regions and has the strongest economy in terms of GDP per capita in China.

Beijing has abundant tourist resources, with more than 200 scenic spots open to visitors throughout the world; good examples are the Forbidden City – the largest royal palace in the world; the Temple of Heaven where the emperors paid their devotional admiration to the Heaven hundreds of years ago; the imperial garden – Beihai park; the important holiday resort of the royal family – Summer Palace; the most magnificent defense project on this globe – the Great Wall as well as the Mansion of Prince Gong – the largest Siheyuan (the compound with houses around courtyard).

Beijing has 7, 309 listed historical sites of varying importance, among which, 42 are at the national level, 222 are at the municipal level. At present Beijing boasts 456 star rated hotels with a total of about 84, 000 guest rooms.

The 456 travel services in Beijing have more than 5,000 professional tourist guides who speak 21 languages and serve visitors from every corner of the world. In 2000 Beijing had received 2.821 million tourists from abroad, with total tourism revenue of about 2.77 billion US dollars. Beijing is listed by the National Tourism Administration as one of the Superior Tourist Cities in China.

Beijing is a combination of tradition and modern prosperity. To the southeast of the huge city lies a vast plain and to the northwest of Beijing are the winding Taihang Mountain and Yanshan Mountain. Relics of imperial gardens, ancient temples & tombs of the royal family infuse profound cultural elements to Beijing. Sheer cliffs, twisting springs and brooks add an enchanting element to suburban Beijing.

The crowded pedestrian streets in the city center and countless shopping malls that are scattered across the city bring the old city commercial prosperity and vigor. Beijing, as the capital city of a many feudal dynasties, boast grand imperial palaces, gardens, temple, altars, tombs, among other ancient architecture that still exhibit their ancient grandeur and glory.

The most typical ancient imperial architecture in Beijing is the Forbidden City, which was the home of 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is the largest scale architectural cluster of its kind on this planet. Its typical Chinese architectural style and tradition are a bright pearl in the treasure house of Chinese cultural heritage.

The Summer Palace, on the other hand, boasts an elegance that was imported form southern China and the grandeur that typically seen in architecture in northern China. The clear water and green hills of the Summer Palace bring an international reputation to this great garden.

The Temple of Heaven is the biggest ancient architectural cluster for sacrificial purposes in China. It was also nominated as a world cultural heritage site. Being the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties paid their worship to the Heaven, the temple is known for its unique layout and beautiful environment. The Ming 13 tombs are the largest imperial tombs zones where 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty are buried. Among the 13 tombs, Ding Ling, or Tomb of Ding is the largest.

The imposing Great Wall is the largest military defense project in the human history. It is famous for its long history, and the hardship of building such a great architecture in different topographies. Nominated by the UNESCO as a world heritage site, the Great wall is often quoted among the Eight Wonders in the globe.

There are a number of important religious sites in Beijing. Some well known temples are the Biyun Temple or, Temple of Green Cloud; a Buddhist center in China, the Baiyunguan, or the Taoist Temple of White Cloud, Yonghe Place, or Lama Temple for the Tibetan Lamaism and the Mosque of Niujie. Tiananmen Square in front of the Forbidden City is the largest city square in the world. One million people can gather and hold events.

The suburbs of Beijing contain other famous scenic spots known for their gorgeous natural attractions. Xiangshan Park or Fragrant Mountain Park in the northwest and the Zizhu Garden (Garden of Purple Bamboo) and well as the elegant Yuyuantan Garden in the east to name just a few.

Beijing’s entry in to the high-tech age is evidenced by its own booming Silicon Valley – Zhongguanchun. Nearby this scientific park, the internationally known universities Beijing University and the Tsinghua University produce graduates who are very capable of competing with the best in the world.

Beijing has distinct four seasons: the gentle and bright spring, the hot summer, the golden autumn and snow-white winter. Each of these seasons holds their own unique characteristics and beauty. The city’s, differing topography provides many opportunities for adventure sports such as rock climbing, white water rafting. A drive of 70 or 80 kilometers from the city center, will allow one to reach the suburb of Beijing and embrace nature. The eight district and two counties of Beijing are waiting for your arrival.

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