Beijing - Capital of China
Beijing, capital of China, is the nation's center of politic, economic, culture and education as well as the most important center for international trade and communications in China. Beijing is one of the six most famous ancient cities in China, together with Xian, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Nanjing and Hangzhou.
Beijing has a long history, back in 3000 years ago in Zhou dynasty, Beijing, which was called Ji at the moment, had been named capital of Yan. Thereafter, Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasty all made Beijing their capital. Therefore, Beijing is famous for "Capital of a thousand years". Beijing is located in northern China, close to Tianjin Municipality and partially surrounded by Hebei Province.
The city covers an area of more than 16,410 square kilometers (6336 square miles) and has a population of 14.93 million people.
Why does Beijing boast so many phenomenal places? Beijing's long and illustrious history started some 500,000 years ago. It is here that the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens, Peking men, lived in caves. The recorded history of Beijing as a city can date back to more than 3,000 years ago and has endured invasions by warlords and foreign powers, devastating fires, the rise and fall of powerful imperial dynasties and has emerged each time as a strong and vibrant city. For more than 800 years, Beijing was a capital city - from the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368) to the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties. Thirty-four emperors have lived and ruled the nation in Beijing and it has been an important trading city from its earliest days.
The long history leaves Beijing precious cultural treasure. Winding for several kilometers in Beijing area, the Great Wall is the only man-made structure that could been seen in the space. The Summer Palace is a classic composition of ancient royal gardens, and the Forbidden City is the largest royal palaces in the world. Tiantan is where the emperor used to fete their ancestors, and also the soul of Chinese ancient constructions. The four sites above has been confirmed world cultural heritage by UNESCO. However, the best representatives for Beijing are the vanishing Hutongs and square courtyards.
Through hundreds of years, they have become symbol of Beijing's life. Tian'anmen square being still brilliant today with cloverleaf junctions and skyscrapers everywhere, the old-timey scene and modern culture are combined to present a brand new visage of Beijing. Although now Beijing is a modern and fashionable city complete with a full 21st Century vitality, you can experience authentic Beijing life and become acquainted its many tea houses, temple fairs, Beijing's Hutong and Courtyard with 'old Beijing' by exploring and enjoy the Peking Opera. Add any or all of these to your Beijing tour and you will leave with a feeling of special appreciation in your heart for this ancient city that has truly seen it all and tells its story with matchless grace, charm and vigor.
And Beijing is a city with four distinct seasons. Its best is late spring and autumn. Some travel agencies suggest tourists visit Beijing during the months of May, September, and October when people can enjoy bright sunshine and blue skies. In May, there is an abundance of international class performances are presented, you can enjoy different kinds of arts from all of the world. If you come in winter, you will have other chances to appreciate another landscape of Beijing. After skiing in Beihai and viewing the snowy sights on West Hill, enjoying the steaming hotpot is the best choice, which is really the fun of tour in Beijing.
Dwelling too much on the historical past of Beijing may give tourists the false impression that it is little more than an ancient city in style but this is definitely not so! Strolling around Beijing, you'll find it has much in common with any other great metropolis elsewhere in today's world.
There are towering skyscrapers; busy shopping malls and an endless stream of traffic that makes the city much the same as others. The most famous and popular commercial circles and commercial pedestrian streets are predominantly located near the Yansha Shopping Mall, Tiananmen and Wangfujing Street, Guomao Shopping Mall, Qianmen Street and Xidan Street, etc.
However, although you will find multinational chains with their own brands to offer, nowhere else on earth will you find such a variety of gourmet Chinese restaurants offering the very best of the eight different styles of Chinese cuisine as well as western style dishes. Modern hotels abound, each offering the highest standards of service and convenience.
After a day's Beijing tours, nighttime can hold other surprises for you. These can vary from traditional performances such as the Beijing Opera, acrobatics and martial arts to modern ones including concerts, ballroom dancing, pubs and clubs. You can go to Houhai, the Bar Street, walking along the river with the music from the bars.
Each and every one has its individual enchantment for the tourist. No description of our capital city is complete without mention of the friendly people who throng the streets. Everywhere you will encounter smiling faces and a warm welcome, especially from the children who love to say 'Hello!' All these things add up to truly make your visit a cultural experience of a lifetime.