Welcome to Beijing!

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1 chinese Festival

China is an amazing country with its vast and diverse landscape ranging from deltas, hills and plains in the east, deserts in the north, subtropical forests in the south and to the forest steppes in the north-east. The country boasts a coastline of approximately 14,500 kilometers along the Pacific Ocean and is bounded by the East and South China Seas, Yellow Sea and Bohai Gulf. China borders with Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam to the south, Mongolia and Russia to the north and North Korea to the east.

China is divided into the regions of Northeast China, North China, Northwest China, Southwest China, Southeast China, East China and South Central China. Beijing, marked by its flatness, is the country’s capital with almost 22 million people and is the second largest city in the country after Shanghai.

Explore Beijing

2 Beijing

Beijing is the cultural, political and educational hub of China and is rich in historical sites. There are four central districts: Xicheng District in the north-western part of the central city, Dongcheng District in the north-eastern par, Xuanwu District in the south-western part and Chongwen District in the south-eastern part of the central city.  Shijingshan District is located west of the central city, Haidian District is situated north-west of the central area, Chaoyang District covers the north-west urban area, Chaoyang District is located east of central city and Fengtai covers the area south and west of the city. The other ten remaining districts are far from central city.

Tiananmen Square in Dongcheng District is the most important landmark in Beijing. The Great Hall of People, Museum of the Chinese Revolution, Museum of Chinese History, the Forbidden City and the Qianmen Gate all surround the Tiananmen Square. Forbidden City is the largest ancient structure in the world and the best preserved imperial palace in the country.  The city is divided into two parts.

The Front or Outer Court was used for ceremonial purposes and the Back Palace or Inner Court was used for everyday affairs. A ten meter high wall surrounds the city with a watchtower in each corner. Tourists usually enter the Forbidden City through Meridian gate to an enormous courtyard. You can visit the Hall of Supreme Harmony which is decorated with the Dragon Throne. The Hall of Preserving Harmony was used for banquets. The marble imperial carriageway with its carved dragons and clouds are absolutely stunning.

Beijing Heaven Worship Performance

Beijing Heaven Worship Performance

One of the highlights of the Forbidden City is the Clock Exhibition Hall with an amazing exhibition of timepieces and the Gilt Copper Astronomy Clock. The next group of buildings include the Palace of Heavenly Purity and the Palace of Earthly Tranquillity. You will also love the beautiful and classical Imperial Garden at the northern end of the city.

The Complete Palace of Peace and Longevity is located in the north-eastern end of the Forbidden City and houses Treasure Gallery. The Nine Dragon Screen is in close proximity to the Clock Exhibition Hall. Ensure to visit the wooden opera house referred to as the Pavilion of Cheerful Melodies.

Old Summer Palace, also known as the King of Gardens or Yuan Ming Yuan Imperial Garden, is one of the top tourist attractions and located in the northern part of the Haidian District of Beijing. Yuan Ming Yuan was built in the forty-sixth year of Kangxi reign of Qing Dynasty. The garden consists of the Elegant Spring Garden, Garden of Eternal Spring and the Garden of Perfect Brightness. The park is home to a significant amount of rare flowers and trees.

Yonghe gong (Lama Temple), Beijing

Yonghe gong (Lama Temple), Beijing

The Yonghe Temple near the north-eastern corner of the Second Ring Road at 12 Yonghegong Street, Dongcheng District, reflects a combination of Tibetan style and Han Chinese artwork. Yonghe temple houses the three bronze statues of the Buddhas and the large White Sandalwood statue of the Maitreya Buddha. The temple consists of five main halls and the Hall of the Heavenly Kings served as a monastery. The Maitreya Buddha stands in the center of the hall. For more information about visiting hours, you can contact the temple at +86 10 6404 4499.

Other great places to visit include the National Museum in Dongcheng District, Capital Museum in Xicheng District, the China Aviation Museum in the northern suburbs and the Military Museum in Haidian District. For exciting acrobatics shows you can visit the Chaoyang Theater in Chaoyang District or Tiangiao Acrobatics Theater in Xuanwu District. Drama plays can be seen in the Century Theater in Chaoyang District or Capital Theater in Dongcheng District. For a great classical music performance you can visit the Beijing Concert Hall or the National Center for Performing Arts in Xicheng District.

Beijing is home to many markets where you can find a lot of inexpensive stuff. Panjiayuan or Silk Street in Chaoyang District and Xizhimen in Xicheng District are among the popular markets. Dashilan and Liulichang in Xuanwu District and Nanluoguoxiang in Dongcheng District offer an array of shops. You can find porcelain, silk clothing and table settings at the Oriental Plaza in Dongcheng District and at the mall in Xicheng District.

5 Roast duck Beijing

Peking Roast Duck is a popular and famous speciality in Beijing and is typically served with scallions (spring onions), cucumbers, pancakes and plum sauce. Beijing offers many street vendors and small eateries in areas such as Wangfujing, Gulou, Gui Jie and Huguosi Street. Jiānbĭng guŏzi, or savoury pancakes, are eaten right through the day and evening.  Lamb kebabs and noodle dishes are abundant in Wangfujing. The brave can sample scorpion, silk worms or organs on sticks and grilled to order.  One of the best sweet snacks is the candied haw berries. There are variations available with oranges, bananas, grapes and strawberries. The fruit on a stick are typically dipped in molten sugar and left to harden. For the best culinary experience you should visit Gui Street within Dongzhimen which is known as the food paradise of Beijing.

China is famous for its tea and the number of different teas is phenomenal. You can choose from herbal tea, flower tea, green tea, white tea, black tea, Oolong tea and many more. Green and black teas are the popular tea in China and it is said that there are almost three-thousand types of green tea alone. Tea is drunk in peaceful teahouses, over noisy games of mah-jong, for medicinal purposes and when friends meet. You will find people drinking tea on buses and with meals.

Those who prefer something stronger than tea could visit Sanlitun in Chaoyang District or Nanluoguoxiang in Dongcheng District. West Gate of Chaoyang Park in Chaoyang District boasts a new bar. Dashanzi is located in the same area and is well-known for its art shops and bars.

Tourist Visa

Getting a tourist visa is rather easy for most passports as you do not need an invitation. The usual tourist single-entry visa is valid for a visit of thirty days and must be used within three months of the date of issue.

 

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