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Beijing Municipality

 

The capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing (formerly Peking) is a very modern and exceedingly busy city (nearly 14 million people call it home) with high-rise buildings, international hotels and sprawling suburbs. The city is abuzz and bristling with cranes on the skyline as construction projects give rise to new skyscrapers and modernisation proceeds apace.

However, Beijing also encompasses numerous attractions of cultural and historical interest, of which some, such as the Great Wall, former Imperial palace (known as the Forbidden City), the Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace and the remains of Peking Man at Zhoukoudian, are UNESCO-endorsed World Cultural Heritage Sites. Chinese history and culture fascinates Western visitors, and Beijing is the place to start exploring it.

The city abounds in imperial palaces, temples, mansions, gardens and tombs that epitomise classical Chinese architecture. It has 120 museums and more than 100 public gardens. The first port of call for most visitors is the Forbidden City, which lies at the heart of Beijing with the rest of the city radiating out from it in a grid pattern. For five centuries this massive palace complex with 9,999 rooms functioned as the administrative centre of the country and home to a succession of emperors, who lived in luxurious isolation, surrounded by courtiers and retainers.

The Palace overlooks the famous Tiananmen Square, site of so much political drama and dissent, the epitome of this capital city. As host to the 2008 Olympics in August, Beijing has been busy readying itself to conduct what it claims will be 'the best in Olympic history'. Public transport is being improved, environmental issues addressed and a general clean up of the city has been ordered. The Chinese government sees the games as a chance for China to highlight its economic rise and emergence as a world power.

Tourist Attractions in Beijing

    The Forbidden City

    The Forbidden City was the imperial palaces of the Ming and Qing dynasties, k...
    The Great Wall

    The Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world, was enlist...
    Tian'anmen Square

    Tian'anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) was and is considered as the centre of Be...
    Beihai Park

    Beihai is an extremely popular park among Beijingers and tourists alike. It i...
    Grand View Garden

     Lying by the city moat in southwestern Beijing, the garden was built in...
    Geomantic design

    The third Ming emperor, Yongle, is credited with the planning of the capital....
    Temple of Heaven

    As famous as the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven i...
    Ming Tombs

     Located in Beijing's suburban Changping County, the place is where 13 e...