Welcome to the city of Forbidden city! Yes, this is Beijing and is also the capital that is well known for its concentric ring roads just like the mentioned highlight. In this last decade, much has change the shape of the city in contrast to the largest city Shanghai – modern buildings as well as wide boulevards replacing the ancient hutongs as well as single-storey structures. Talking about the people, they are always keen to talk about the present affairs and are also quite humorous. But be aware as not many know English here.
In fact, I would recommend you to get a list of all Beijing attractions from your hotel in the Chinese characters so that if you want to ask somebody, you can easily do it.
For getting around the city, it is best to be on the bicycle as most of the areas in this vast city are flat as well as offer bike lanes. And that bicycling is comparatively speedy mode of transport than bus, car, or taxi due to traffic congestion problems.
Start your trip with one of the most vital Beijing attractions, the Dongcheng District’s Tiananmen Square that is the largest square in the city. To whomever you ask, she or he will say that is the must see! It is this public square that is edged by the big structures like the Museum of Chinese History, Great Hall of the People, the Qianmen Gate, the Museum of the Chinese Revolution, and the Forbidden City. Inside, you will come across the Monument to the People’s Martyrs as well as Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. In the same district, do also explore the Drum and Bell towers – the relics of the medieval era.
If you are in Beijing, you just cannot go back without visiting the Forbidden City – the abode of the Ming’s as well as Qing’s Imperial Court. And it is really exciting to know that this one has been the most untouched medieval built up. So, you can really see the original works here. In the same district is one of the most vital, but wonderful temples of China called the Yonghegong (Lama Temple). Similarly is the Chongwen District’s Temple of Heaven that has become the city’s symbol. It is well flanked by a thriving green oasis where countless folks simply enjoy drinking tea, learning tai-chi, and practicing calligraphy.
One of the latest Beijing attractions is the popular Bird’s Nest or The National Stadium that is located in the Chaoyang District – the icon of the Olympic Games in 2008. If you are interested in further exploring the modern architecture, do look for the two contemporary structures here, which are also recognized as the notable landmarks: the World Trade Center Tower III and the CCTV Building (Bird Legs).
Can you guess as to what is still left out in my this list? Well, it is the Great Wall of China that is accessible in an hour via train. No matter in which season you come here, you will surely call it as the ‘Great Wall of Travelers’ as it is really crowded. Among all the sections, the Badaling section is popular. Other known sections are Huanghuacheng and Jinshanling that are somewhat remote but ensure an enhanced vista of this great feat. Even Simatai as well as restored Mutianyu are famous, but the former is closed until 2012 while the latter is less crowded. If you cannot hike, consider taking a taxi including round trip as well as waiting time for ¥400-800. In winters, do carry a jacket; while summers encourage you to bring lots of water of your own.
Eating is really recommended in the west of the Lama Temple at the Confucius Temple where vegetarian buffet restaurant serves a plethora of mouth watering delicacies as well as desserts.
It is strictly continental climate with monsoons, hot summers, and dry winters. I would recommend coming here in the Golden Autumn time in September and October as spring is very stormy. Hot summer still manages to get the maximum tourists; while winter is for snow fun.