Beijing

Beijing

Beijing City is an independently administered municipal district located in the northeastern part of China at an elevation of 143 feet above sea level. Beijing has a continental climate. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 24 degrees Fahrenheit. At an average temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit, July is the warmest. The best time to visit Beijing is May, September and October.

Beijing has a long history. As early as 500,000 years ago, ancient “Peking Man” lived at Zhoukoudian, 30 miles southwest of Beijing. King Wu was the first to declare Beijing the capital city in 1057 B.C. Established in 1045 B.C., Beijing is an ancient cultural city, serving for 800 years as the capital of the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties.

Beijing was also known as Peking by the Western world before 1949. In the early 1920’s, Beijing became the cradle of China’s new democratic revolution. The May Fourth Movement against imperialism and feudalism began in 1919. On October 1st, 1949, Chairman Mao announced to the world the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Beijing is also known as a tourist city for its many places of interest, including ancient architecture, royal gardens, mansions, towers, temples, palaces, and modern structures. It is a gathering place of artists and other talented people.

Airlines connect Beijing to more than 110 cities at home and abroad while the city boasts a fine railroad and highway system for local travelers. Urban construction has brought new changes to Beijing, building a unique combination of ancient civilization and modern metropolis.

Featured Attractions

Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is also known as the Palace Museum. It is the largest and most well preserved imperial residence in China today. Located in the center of Beijing, The Forbidden City was built between 1406 and 1420 under Ming Emperor Yongle, and served as the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasties. Ming Emperor Zhudi was the first emperor to live there. It is 3,150 feet long from north to south and 2,460 feet wide from east to west. It has 9,900 rooms and halls containing many precious relics. A 170-foot wide moat encircles the Forbidden City along with 32-foot high walls. There are four entrances, the Meridian Gate to the south, the Shenwu Gate (Gate of Military Prowess) to the north, the Xihua Gate (Western Flowery Gate) to the west, and the Donghua Gate (Eastern Flowery Gate) to the east.

The word “forbidden” is quite literal, as the imperial palace was heavily guarded and off-limits to ordinary people. As the residence for emperors and their families, most of the walls of the imperial palace were painted red and roofs were covered with yellow glazed tiles. The red and yellow combination forms a strong color contrast, representing the absolute authority, supremacy, and richness of feudal emperors. In 1987, UNESCO also listed the Forbidden City in the World Heritage List. It is the largest palace in the world.

The Ming Tombs

The Ming Dynasty lasted from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Tombs are a group of mausoleums of 13 Ming emperors, their empresses and their concubines. The tombs are located about 31 miles north of Beijing and are scattered across an area of 25 square miles. Two of the tombs, Changling and the most famous, Dingling, an underground palace, are open to the public.

Tian’anmen Square

Tian’anmen was built in 1417 and renovated in 1981; it was the symbol of New China. On October 1, 1949, Chairman Mao, at Tian’anmen Square, proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Located in the center of Beijing, it is the largest city square in the world. It covers an area of 122 acres and is big enough to hold a half million people. Tian’anmen (the Gate of Heavenly Peace) was the front gateway to the imperial palace in the Ming and Qing dynasties. A picture of Tian’anmen is at the center of the Chinese national emblem.

The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 during the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty, and is located in the southern part of the city. It was the place where emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties would pray to heaven for good harvests. It was one of the most strictly protected and preserved cultural heritages of China. It is the largest temple complex in China with 12 million people visiting the temple every year.

The Summer Palace

The Summer Palace was a grand imperial palace and a royal garden of the Qing Dynasty. Construction began in 1750, and today remains an outstanding example of imperial gardens in classical Chinese style. The Summer Palace contains tens of thousands of precious cultural relics. This imperial garden features 3,000 rooms and covers an expanse of 17.3 acres, with more than 100 picturesque sites of interest.

Beihai Park

Beihai Park was the imperial garden of the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties, and is one of the oldest of the Chinese gardens. Beihai Park is located on the west side of the Forbidden City, and is a wide expanse of Tai Ye Chi. Tai Ye Chi is divided into three parts: Beihai Lake (in Beihai Park) in the north, Zhonghai Lake in the middle, and Nanhai Lake in the south. Beihai, the best known of the three, was turned into a royal garden as early as 1,000 years ago.

Jingshan Park

A royal garden of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 – 1911), Jingshan Park is located adjacent to the Palace Museum. The main purpose of Jingshan Park was for the emperors’ enjoyment, climbing hills, admiring the scenery and eating and drinking. Within the park, Jingshan Hill covers an area of approximately 57 acres and rises to a height of 144 feet, from which visitors can oversee the entire city of Beijing. It is considered the best place for a panoramic view of the whole city.

Beijing Zoo

Built in 1906 and opened to the public in 1908, The Beijing Zoo is the oldest zoo in China, and covers an area of approximately 124 acres. The zoo’s residents consist of more than 6,000 animals of over 500 species including giant pandas, golden monkeys, and brown bears. The zoo also houses many rare animals from other parts of the world: hippopotami, zebras, giraffes, chimpanzees, lions and antelopes from Africa, parrots from South America, birds and polar bears from the Arctic, bison from Europe and apes from Asia.

Hutongs

Hutongs are a special feature of downtown Beijing, where there are 4,550 of them. A hutong means street, lane and alley lined on both sides by courtyards containing different kinds of houses. The best-preserved hutongs are those around the Mansion of Prince Yixin. Riding in old-fashioned pedicabs through these hutongs is something special for your Beijing trip.

 

5 Star Hotels

Beijing Hotel 33 East Chang’an Avenue, Beijing 010-65137766
China World Hotel 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Beijing 010-65052266
Grand Hotel Beijing 35 East Chang’an Avenue, Beijing 010-65137788
Jing Guang New World Hotel Hu Jia Lou, Chaoyang District, Beijing 010-65978888
Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center 50 Liangmaqiao road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 010-64653388
Hotel Kunlun Beijing 2 South Xinyuan road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 010-65903388
Shangri-La Hotel Beijing 29 Zizhuyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 010-68412211
Beijing New Century Hotel 6 South Shouti Road, Haidian District, Beijing 010-68492001
Swissotel Beijing Hongkong Macau Center 2 Beidajie Street, Chao Yang Men, Beijing 010-65012288
Hotel New Otani Changfugong 26 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Beijing 010-65125555
The Palace Hotel Beijing 8 Jinyu Lane, Wangfujing, Beijing 010-65128899
The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel Beijing 10 North Dongsanhuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 010-65905566
Prime Hotel 2 Wangfujing Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 010-65136666
Hot Spring King Wing Hotel 1 Dongfang Rd., N. Dongsanhuanlu, Beijing 010-64662288

4 Star Hotels

Beijing Continental Grand Hotel 8 East Beichen Street, Andingmenwai, Beijing 010-64915588
Tianlun dynasty Hotel 50 Wangfujing Street, Beijing 010-65138888
Beijing Grace Hotel 8 Jiangtai Road West, Chaoyang District, Beijing 010-64362288
Beijing Friendship Hotel 3 Bai Shi Qiao Road, Beijing 010-68498888
Beijing International Hotel 9 Jianguomennei Street, Beijing 010-65126688
Holiday Inn Lido Beijing Jiang Tai Road, Shoudu Jichang, Beijing 010-64376688
Jinglun Hotel 3 Jianguo Men Wai Street, Beijing 010-65002266
Zhaolong Hotel 2 Worker’s Stadium Road (N), Chaoyang District, Beijing 010-65972299
Xiyuan Hotel 1 Sanlihe Road, Haidian District, Beijing 010-68313388
Jianguo Hotel 5 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Chaoyang District, Beijing 010-65002233
The Beijing Mandarin Hotel 21 Chegongzhuang Road, Xicheng District, Beijing 010-68319988
Minzu Hotel Beijing 51 Fuxingmennei Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing 010-66014466

3 Star Hotels

Taiwan Hotel Beijing 5 Jinyu Hutong, Wangfujing Street, Beijing 010-65136688
Yanjing Hotel Beijing 19 Fuxingmenwai Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing 010-68536688
Xinqiao Hotel Beijing 2 Dongjiaominxiang, Dongcheng District, Beijing 010-65133366
Qianmen Hotel Beijing 175 Yong’an Road, Beijing 010-63016688
Poly Plaza 14 Dongzhimen Nandajie, Dongcheng District, Beijing 010-65001188
Media Hotel Beijing B11 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing 010-68514422
Beijing Songhe Hotel 88 Dengshikou, Dongcheng District, Beijing 010-65138822
Huadu Hotel Beijing 8 South Xinyuan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 010-65971166
Jinjiang Asia Hotel Beijing 8 Xinzhongxi Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 010-65007788

Restaurants

CCTV Tower Revolving Restaurant 11 West Third ring road Central 010-68437755
International Hotel Star Light Revolving Restaurant 9 Jianguomennei Dajie 010-65126688
Kunlun Hotel Peak Revolving Restaurant 2 Xinyuan Road South, Chaoyang District 010-65903388
Xiyuan Hotel Restaurant 1 Sanlihe Road, Xicheng District 010-68313388
Quanjude Peking Duck 14 Qianmen Street 010-65112418
Quanjude at Wangfujing 13 Shuaifuyuan Hutong, Dongcheng District 010-65253310
Bianyifang Peking Duck 2 Chongwenmenwai Dajie 010-67120505
Fangshan Restaurant Inside Beihai Park 010-64011879
Tingliguan Restaurant Inside Summer Palace 010-62881955
Donglaishun Restaurant 198 Wangfujing Street 010-65253562
Shunfeng Yucun Restaurant 34 Dong’an men Street 010-65245833
Gongdelin Vegetarians 158 Qianmen Street South 010-67020867