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Beijing

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With a 3000-year history, served as the capital city of four dynasties, and the current capital of People’s Republic of China, Beijing is now one of the world’s largest, prosperous cities in the world. It is the national political, cultural and economic center and has a population of over 14 million people, covering 16,808 square kilometers in area. It is a dynamic city where the old and new intermingle, and has attracted visitors all over the world. With the success of the 2008 Olympics, it has enhanced its international reputation ever since.

Attractions to visit

  • Great Wall
  • Construction of the Great Wall began more than 2,500 years ago by China's first emperor to protect China from aggressive northern invaders. The Great Wall is one of the most famous cultural sites in the world and was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987

  • Forbidden City
  • Closed to commoners for 500 years, the imperial palace was constructed by 200,000 workers between 1406 and 1420. It is said to have a total of 9,999 rooms. Its many pavilions, gardens, and courtyards cover 178 acres.

  • Tiananmen Square
  • Tiananmen Square is the largest city square in the world. Located in the center of Beijing, it was originally designed for political rallies and important state events. Today the square is flanked by the Forbidden City in the north, the Great Hall of the People in the west, Mao Tse Tung's Mausoleum in the south, the Museum of Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History in the East.

  • Summer Palace
  • Located in the western outskirts of the city, the Summer Palace is the leading classical garden in China. Originally built in 1750 and rebuilt in 1886, this site was listed as an UNESCO"s world heritage site in 1999

  • Temple of Heaven
  • Originally constructed in 1420, the temple is rated the largest temple and altar in China, where Ming and Qing monarchs utilized its complex to pray for good harvests. Today the park is a popular place for Beijing's senior citizens to enjoy tai chi, singing, music, and even practicing their calligraphy by painting characters on the mazes along the sidewalks with long handled brushes and buckets of water.

  • Hutong Lane
  • 'Hutong' is a Manchurian word for 'lane' or 'alley'. These areas are typical old Beijing neighborhoods and are mostly designed in the Siheyuan style, with four houses surrounding a shared square courtyard (imagine if you don't get along with your neighbors!). Hutong tours are run by the state and are conducted on three-wheeled peddle rickshaws. The Chinese government trains and regulates the drivers who lease the rickshaws; guides are required to wear red uniforms and abide by rules and guidelines.

  • BeiHai Park
  • 'Beihai' literally means "Northern Sea". Situated in central Beijing, BeiHai Park is one of the oldest and most conserved imperial gardens in China. It has a history of 1000 years. The park occupies an area of 69 hectares including a 39-hectare lake. In the garden, pavilions and towers lie in the midst of the beautiful landscape of lakes and hills, grass and trees. The structures and landscapes are described as great work of gardening technique that reflects the manner and the wonderful architectural ability and prosperity of traditional Chinese garden art.

  • National Aquatics Center
  • Better known as the 'Water Cube', is an aquatics center that was built next to Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The cuboid Aquatic Centre is a steel frame covered with a plastic-like material. The outer structure design of the Water Cube is based on the shapes of cells and soap bubbles. The Water Cube has three pools covering a floor area of 65,000-80,000square meter and can accommodate 6,000 permanent seats 11,000 temporary seats. Swimmers at the Water Cube broke 25 world records during the 2008 Olympics.

  • National Stadiums
  • Affectionately known as the 'Bird's Nest', is a stadium located in Olympic Green Village of Beijing. The form of the stadium looks like a big nest and bowl-like stand zone surrounds the court that can be changed in many ways, to please the needs of different numbers of viewer. It was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Beijing National Stadium hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, athletic events, and football final of the 2008 Summer Olympics and, also hosted the Opening and Closing ceremonies and athletic events of the 2008 Summer Paralympics. The stadium covers an area of about 258 thousand square meters; which can accommodate 80,000 fixed seats and 11,000 temporary seats. After the 2008 Summer Olympics ended, the National Stadium has been opened as a tourist attraction. Now, it's the center of international or domestic sports competition and recreation activities.

  • YongHeGong Lama Temple
  • Also known as the 'Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple' or 'Yonghegong Lamasery', is a temple and monastery of the Yellow Hat Sect of Lamaism, located in the northeast corner of Beijing. The temple is arranged along north-south central axis which has a length of 480meters. It houses a treasury of Buddhist art, as well as sculptured images of gods, demons and Buddhas, and Tibetan-style murals. With five large halls namely: the Hall of Heavenly Kings (Tian Wang Dian or Devaraja Hall), the Hall of Harmony and Peace (YongHeGong), the Hall of Everlasting Protection (YongYouDian), the Hall of the Wheel of the Law (FalunDian), and the Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happiness (WanFuGe), that are separated by courtyards and beautiful decorative archways, upturned eaves and carved details, the Lama Temple is Beijing’s most glorious Buddist Temple.

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