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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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|
|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|
Following is a list of all the cities:
The Silk Road