Beijing, the capital city of China, is one of the world’s most famous historical and cultural cities. According to a national annual survey, Beijing has become a popular destination for many foreigners and it is almost must visit city for the travelers to China for the first time.
Beijing has a history of more than 3,000 years in record, it served as the capital of five dynasties in history for about 800 years. In Beijing, cultural heritage sites and scenic spots can be found everywhere. Most of them have been enlisted into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are unique experiences travelling in Beijing than other cities.
The culture of Beijing is quite diversified as it is the center of Chinese culture and the international atmosphere adds to its diversity. Peking Opera is a form of traditional Chinese art performance which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. It is extremely popular in the capital and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures in China. Only in Beijing can you get the chance to experience the authentic art performance. If you travel in Jan or Feb to Beijing, especially during Chinese Spring Festival, there are temple fairs that are quite of Chinese characteristics. You will get to watch various kinds of folk art performances, local Beijing snacks and buy some art works of strong Chinese culture and high quality.
In Beijing, the best way to travel is to experience the local residents’ lives by visiting their homes. Courtyard houses and alleys are the main forms where people choose to resident. Courtyard houses are a full embodiment of the Chinese philosophy of “the unity of man and nature.” The current courtyard houses were mainly built from the Qing Dynasty to 1930s. Hutong (Alleys) is the most typical type of old lanes. More than 7,000 alleys scatter throughout the city; each has a story to tell. Those narrow lanes twist through older sections and form an open-air museum where you can happily wander aimlessly for hours.
It is a pity if you do not try the local cuisine such as Peking Duck and Sauced Noodles with Minced Meat. Peking Duck is a world renowned dish. The ducks are roasted in charcoal ovens, and then served by the cook with slices and special sauce. The taste of the duck meat will refresh your taste bud. Sauced Noodles with Minced Meat is the snack normal people have in daily life, but it is quite authentic in Beijing. Some people say it is the “Chinese Spaghetti”.
No other city in China attracts more travelers than Beijing. Almost every building of the city tells a story. The former imperial palace Forbidden City stands in the heart of the city and as the home to the emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties; the palace complex seems grand and magnificent. Great Wall, the symbol of China, lies in north Beijing is a must see attraction when travelling in this city. Summer Palace, the former imperial gardens of Qing Dynasty, covers a huge area. There are beautiful lakes, palaces, temples. Modern buildings like The Nest (National Stadium) and The Water Cube (National Swimming Center) are also very popular among tourists.
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The majestic Tiananmen Square is the largest central city square in the world, which is the symbol of the whole China. There are surrounded by many famous buildings,such as,the Tiananmen Tower, Great Hall of the People, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, Monument to the People’s Heroes and National Museum.
From the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Forbidden City, now housing the Palace Museum, served as the imperial palace for the royal households for nearly 500 years. It has witnessed the heyday of the dynasties and also their downturn. So many stories, maybe about love, hatred or even murder, have happened here that many historians are spending lifetime trying to seek for the truth.
The Summer Palace was the playground for emperors and their households fleeing the hot summer languor of the old imperial city. It is regarded as imperial garden museum, which is one of the biggest remaining scale of garden.
Temple of Heaven
Situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing, it is the biggest preserved medieval complex of religious buildings. The Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties pray for good harvest annually in this complex.
Grave and sublime, with beautiful landscapes, one of the Eight Wonders of the World…With varieties of titles, the Great Wall of China is the embodiment of the wisdom of ancient Chinese. There is an old saying which goes that he who doesn’t reach the Great Wall is not a true man.
Prince Gong Mansion
Prince Gong Mansion is situated in southwestern Shishahai. It can be departed into two parts: compound and garden, with many kinds of different architecture styles. Witnessing prosperity to decline, the Prince Gong Mansion carries a wealth of historical and cultural connotation.
National Stadium (Bird’s Nest)
The National Stadium served as the main venue for Olympic Games 2008. It is also known as the Bird’s Nest because of its shape. Steel outlook makes it firm and beautiful and ingenious design is very eye-catching at night when the lights are on.
It is the resting place for 13 emperors of Ming Dynasty. Totally there are 13 tombs and among them, Changling Tomb, Zhaoling Tomb, Dingling Tomb and the Sacred Road are open to the public.
The park is not far away from the Forbidden City and it is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved ancient imperial gardens in China and a representative of ancient Chinese gardens.
It covers an area of 86 hectares, of which 8.6 hectares is covered by water.It has existed for more than 100 years since 1906.More than 490 kinds of animals, the entire quantity of which reaches 5000, are kept here at present. It is one of the largest zoos in China now.
As the main venue for the swimming competition of the 2008 Summer Olympic, the official name of water cube is the National Aquatics Center.The inspiration of this design was based on the way soap bubbles come together in a 12 or 14 side cell structure.
Hutong is a typical building with local architectural style in northern China, particularly in Beijing. It originally dated from Yuan dynasty. Generally, it is expressed to be flat and small houses. Most of northern culture is originated from Hutong.
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