Beijing is the capital of People's Republic of China. It is also the political and cultural capital of the country. The name Beijing means 'Northern Capital'. Before1949, the city was known as 'Peking'. Later in the year, the city was named Beijing. It is also a center of international activity and an important socialist base. King Wu declared the city the capital of China in 1057 BC. Beijing was the largest city in the world from 1425 to 1650 and from 1710 to 1825. It is now an independently administered municipal district. Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.
Area & Location:
Situated in the northeastern part of China, Beijing covers a total area of 16,808 sq km. The city, which stretches 160 km from east to west and over 180 km north to south, has 18 districts and counties. The urban area of the city is located at 39º54'20? Latitude North and 116º23'29? Longitude East. Being the second largest city in terms of population, it is home to 14,930,000 people.
Buildings, monuments, parks, gardens and museums constitute the tourist attractive places in Beijing.
Beijing is has an extensive transportation facility. It has dozens of railways, ring roads and expressways providing access to the city from all directions. Beijing Railway Station and Beijing West Railway Station are the two major railway stations that serve the city. It has railway lines from Beijing to Guangzhou, Shanghai, Harbin, Baotou, Taiyuan, Chengde and Qinhuangdao. Beijing-Tianjin high-speed rail, which is on the anvil, will be an added advantage for the transportation facility in Beijing. Beijing Capital International Airport in the heart of the city act as the major link to the city from other parts of the world. The city also has many other airports including Liangxiang Airport, Nanyuan Airport, Xijiao Airport, Shahe Airport and Badaling Airport. Beijing subway with four lines and 599 bus and trolleybus routes are the other modes of transportation in the city.
Beijing has many international hotels that are mostly meant for tourists. The state-owned Beijing Hotel is the well-known hotel in the city. Great Wall Sheraton Hotel, the Jianguo Hotel, the China World Hotel, the St. Regis, Grand Hyatt at Oriental Plaza and the Peninsula Palace Hotel are the other famous hotels that have enough amenities to satisfy the tourists. Youth hotels are also common in the city. The city also offers nightclubs where people can enjoy themselves in night.
Places of Attraction:
The Tian'anmen-Gate of Heavenly Peace is one of the most important tourist sites of Beijing. Badaling section of the Great Wall of China
, the Summer
Palace, the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Great Hall of the People, National Museum of China, Monument to the People's Heroes, Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, The Summer Palace, Ruins of the Old Summer Palace, Bell Tower and Drum Tower, Historic Hutongs and Siheyuans, Lugou Bridge and Prince Gong Mansion are the other historical places often lure the attention of the tourists. Several temples in the city like Temple of Heaven, Temple of Earth, Temple of Sun and Temple of Moon also draw in pilgrims from all parts of the world. Beihai Park, Shichahai, Jingshan Park, The Fragrant Hills and Beijing Botanical Garden provide an opportunity for the visitors to enjoy and relax themselves in the windy atmosphere.