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Beijing is the heart of China .It is the capital of the People’s Republic of China. It is always the first choice of travellers who are willing to know a time-honoured and developed city of China. Traversed by more than a hundred flyovers and spiked with high-rises, this vivid metropolis is China at its most dynamic. For a thousand years, the drama of China’s imperial history was played out here, with the emperor sitting enthroned at the centre of the Chinese universe, and though today the city is a very different one, it remains spiritually and politically the heart of the country.
The city has been soul of politics and society throughout its long history and consequently there is an unparalleled wealth of discovery to delight and intrigue travellers. Located in northern China, close to the port city of Tianjin and partially surrounded by Hebei Province, it also serves as the most important transportation hub and port of entry.
There are many famous places to visit in Beijing. The best-known ones include the Badaling stretch of the Great Wall of China, the Temple of Heaven, the Tiananmen and the Forbidden City, a number of temples, hutongs and parks, relics of ages gone by.
• Forbidden City
The magnificent Forbidden City is the largest and the best-preserved imperial palace complex in the world. For five centuries, this palace functioned as the administrative centre of the country.
• Great Wall in Beijing
The Great Wall of China is one of the ‘Eight Wonders of the World’ and is enlisted in the World Heritage Directory. This immense wall was built to keep out invaders as well as to retain the inhabitants. In the downtown area of Beijing, it is possible to climb Badaling Great Wall.
• Tiananmen Square
The solemn and respectful Tiananmen Square is the largest central city square in the world, which serves not only Beijing’s symbol but also the whole of China. This immense courtyard is surrounded by a variety of significant edifices such as the Tiananmen Tower, Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, Monument to the People’s Heroes and National Museum of China.
• Imperial Gardens & Mausoleums
Beijing is the capital city of several Dynasties. Therefore, besides the spectacular imperial palaces, it also possesses the most luxurious royal gardens—the well-preserved Summer Palace .
Due to religion was always related with the supreme imperial power, Beijing at one time served as the focus of religious life with lots of beautiful temples. The Temple of Heaven, where the Emperors paid homage to the glory of heaven, is the largest group of structures in the country dedicated to rituals. The Great Bell Temple, Temple of Confucius , Temple of Yonge Lamasery, Temple of Altar of Earth, Big Bell Temple are other temples to visit.
• Historical Sites
The Prince Gong’s Mansion the most magnificent courtyard, which was the residence of an official and then a prince. Other famous historical sites include the Bell and Drum Towers; the Liulichang Street for people interested in Chinese calligraphy, painting or other artwork, the Lugou Bridge carved with marvelous stone lions.
• Modern Beijing
There are so many representative buildings displaying this international metropolis, such as the National Stadium and the National Aquatics Centre for 2008 Olympics and the China Century Monument.
• Natural Beauties
For a peaceful and interesting stroll, one can visit Beijing’s beautiful parks. Located at the back of the Forbidden City, the Jingshan Park is an ideal place for an overview of the city, which was also an imperial garden in ancient time. The Fragrant Hills Park has the most beautiful red maple leaves in every autumn. The Taoranting Park is a wonderful workmanship of Chinese ancient and modern architectural skills. The Stone Flower Cave is an astonishing karst park.
After a day’s tour, night-time can hold other surprises for the visitors. These can vary from traditional performances such as the traditional opera, acrobatics and martial arts to modern ones like concerts, pubs and clubs.
How to Reach Beijing
Beijing Capital International Airport is located to the northeast of the central districts, 26 km from the city centre. The airport, which was expanded at a furious pace to be ready in time for the 2008 Olympics, now has three terminals, broadly speaking divided as follows:
Terminal 1: Hainan Airlines.
Terminal 2: China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Sky team.
Terminal 3: Air China, Shanghai Airlines, One world, Star Alliance, Finnai.
Beijing Railway Station is the main railway station. In the heart of the city, it is served by Subway Line 2. Beijing west is the largest Railway station.
Since the Olympics in 2008, foreigners are allowed to rent vehicles while in China.
Beijing is the hub of several expressways heading in all directions.
Long-distance buses from areas as far as Shanghai and the Mongolian border connect to Beijing. One can reach areas as far as Harbin or Xi’an on a single bus ride. Beijing has over 20 long distance bus stations.
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