Beijing, the Capital of Republic of China, formerly called Peking, Beiping, Dadu, Jingcheng, and Yanjing in different periods of Chinese history; has become one of the famous tourist destinations in the world. It is a home to nearly 14 millions people, with high rise building, International hotel and extensive suburbs. The modernization process is rapidly taking place. In contrast, Beijing is also a city covered with wide Chinese culture and historical interest.
Things to do in Beijing:
1. The Forbidden City
Visit The Imperial City called Gu Gong in Chinese – must not miss for those visited Beijing. It is one of the best preserved ancient buildings in China. It lies in the heart of Beijing.
For about 5 centuries, Forbidden city, with more than 9000 rooms, has been home to more than 20 great emperors and their families during Qing and Ming dynasties who lived in isolated but luxurious lifestyle and also where emperors lived and ran the administration and ruled the country. For more than 500 years the city was forbidden to the world to enter, except the emperor, his family and court official and selected servants. And now Forbidden City is opened for public!
The Forbidden City was constructed in early 1400s by the Ming Emperor, Yong Le. Upon visiting Forbidden City, one will get idea of how the Emperor and his family lived, surrounded by courtiers and retainers. In addition you can also see the traditional Chinese architecture clearly and amazed with the treasures of the imperial family and its court. It is said that Forbidden City is one of the world-famous palaces, which include the Palace of Versailles in France, Buckingham Palace in England, the White House in the U.S. and the Kremlin in Russia. It is also claimed to be the largest palace complex in the world.
The Forbidden City itself has more than 100 museums and gardens.
2. The Infamous Tiananmen Square
The Infamous Tiananmen Square is the largest square in the world, with total area of 109 acres, can accommodate more than 5 million people at a time. The Tiananmen Square became famous in world eyes and become great political importance because of the 1989 massacre during Mao Zedong period, where many Chinese students and workers surrounded Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and began the largest political protest in China’s history were killed.
There is Monument to the People’s heroes (Inside there are large sculptures which show the development of Chinese modern history, it is devoted to people who died in the struggles to make China an independent nation in the century before the Communists came to power)
Great Hall of the People, Tiananmen tower and Mao Zedong memorial Hall (where Mao’s body lies in a crystal coffin in one of the halls surrounded by fresh bouquets of various famous flowers and grasses) are attractions to visit during your trip Tiananmen. And not to be missed is the raising of National flag ceremony! To see the National flag ceremony, one has to wake up early in the morning and reach the square before sunrise. There are mass of people presence in the ceremony every morning
The square is also the gates to Forbidden city, previously use in the past in the dynasty time as the place holding big ceremony to the common people to declare the emperor and empress.
3. The temple of heaven
The Temple of Heaven is located in the southeast of Beijing. It used to be used by Emperor to pray for good harvest and weather. The Temple of Heaven has been listed as one of the World Cultural Relics by the UNESCO.
4. Beihai park
Beihai Park located in central Beijing, is one of the oldest and most authentically preserved imperial gardens in China. The total park is 69 hectares, including a 39-hectare lake. The plants and the architectures come together creating a paradise on earth. Be sure to visit Round city of Beihai Park and Tibetan style While Dagoba, which was build on the advice of well-known Tibetan Lama priest, NaomuHan.
5. The Summer Palace
The Summer Palace in Beijing is on a lake nearby and includes the longest covered walkway in the world. The Summer Palace in (Yi He Yuan) is the most wonderfully well maintain and largest imperial garden in China. The Palace is surrounded by a huge variety beautiful ancient building, pavilions, pagodas, bridges and Kunming lake area, famous for the longest and most famous corridors in the traditional Chinese gardens. It used to be the summer resort for the emperor. Bring your most comfortable shoes as there is a great deal of walking involved.
6. The Great Wall of China.
The Great Wall is said to be one of the largest and longest man made building ever constructed.
Construction of the Great Wall started in 221 BC by Emperor Qin to defend the Middle Kingdom from Mongol soldiers. Most of the current Great Wall was built during the Ming dynasty, in between 1368 and 1644, resulted the great wall to be 6000 kilometre wall.
Sad but true, this amazing ancient Great wall are holding people’s suffering. The wall was the result of the never ending work day and night by soldiers, civil and criminals. The amazing Great Wall was built with wisdom, dedication, blood, sweat and tears.
Archaeologists have discovered many humans remains buried under the wall. Estimated that more than 1 million people died during the construction of The Great Wall of China
Many locations can be visited by one to have spectacular view of the Great Wall of China. Badaling is one of the places. Badaling is significant for the Ming dynasty contribution to the Great Wall. Other places include Mutianyu, Simatai and Jinshanling
Sleeping in the great wall of China?
Other places to see on Beijing are the “Hutong”. In the old days the word Hutong came from Mongolia language, which means “water well”. It refers to the place where there is water, the place where people gathered together and live in. Today, “hutong” means a small alleyway or lane.
In the old days, people live in Hutong courtyard residences. The alley passageways of Hutong are narrow. One can go through the zig-zag alley by foot or by ricksaw or by bicycle.
If you wonder about Chinese lives, in Hutong you can see old people spending their time playing chess, mah-jong and hear the traditional folk singing. In Hutong, some of the Chinese tradition is still preserved. Private homes in the Hutong can be visited as well so the tourist can see how genuine Chinese people live.
One can visit 300-year old courtyard in the Shichahai area, belong to army officer during Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644).
The lucky tourist will get to visit a school inside one of the Hutong areas where young children are taught from as young as two years of age.
8. Silk Alley
Last but not least. After a lot of walking and sight seeing, its time to do what women likes to do all the time! For shopping at a bargain price, one has to visit “Silk Alley”. “Silk Alley” is a great place to buy souvenir and buy well-known brand such as Nike. Cheap pirated DVD and CD are also sold there. Remember, “Bargaining” is what you must do when visit the “Silk alley”. The price can be discounted until 50%!
Popular hotels to stay in Beijing
The Asia Hotel Beijing is 5 minutes’ walk from the nearest metro stop. The airport is approximately 20 minutes away by car. The Asia Hotel Beijing is an upscale business and leisure property that is part of the Jin Jiang family of hotels. There is a Cantonese restaurant on site, as well as the Cherry Tree Coffee Shop, which serves buffet snacks and drinks throughout the day. There is a banquet hall for up to 1,000 people. For relaxation, the hotel offers guests a sauna, swimming pool, and fitness room. There is a bar, a game room, and a television lounge. Parking is available on site for guests.
The Holiday Inn Central Plaza Beijing is located in the commercial area of the city. Nearby attractions include Wangfujing and the Forbidden City. The Oriental Plaza is also located nearby, making this one of the more conveniently located hotels in Beijing.
Guests of the Holiday Inn Central Plaza Beijing will find themselves situated near many shops and restaurants. The hotel offers multiple restaurants for guests to enjoy as well as a coffee bar. Onsite amenities include meeting rooms, a karaoke area, babysitting service, a tour desk, a car rental, and concierge service.
The InterContinental Financial Street Hotel Beijing is located in the financial and business district of the city. Many attractions, such as the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square are located near the hotel and can be viewed from many of the rooms. Lama Temple and Beihai Park are also located a short distance from this Beijing hotel.