Image: Beijing Summer Palace
The Great Wall of China stretches across the northern part of Beijing Municipality, well outside the city. Its builders made use of the rugged topography to defend against nomadic incursions from the steppes. It is one of the true wonders of the world and a must-see sight for anyone visiting Beijing or even anywhere in China.
Another must-see sight is the Forbidden City in the middle of Beijing. The Forbidden City was the Chinese Imperial Palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty.
Built from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8707
bays of rooms. It covers 720,000 square metres.
The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Since 1924, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum.
The Forbidden City is surrounded on three sides by imperial gardens. The the north is Jingshan Park, sometimes known in English as Coal Hill. To the west is Zhongnanhai, a former garden centred on two connected lakes, which now serves as HQ for the Communist Party of China and the State Council of the People's Republic of China. To the north west lies the popular Beihai Park.
To the south of the Forbidden City were two important shrines, the Imperial Shrine of
Family and the Imperial Shrine of State. Today, these are the Beijing Labouring
People's Cultural Hall and Zhongshan Park.
Further to the south stands the Tiananman Gate or Gate of Heavenly Peace and Tiananman Square, at the centre of Beijing, where the famous Gold Water Bridges can be seen.
Other essential tourism sites to visit are the Ming Tombs at Nanjing, the beautiful, tranquil Summer Palace and The Temple of Heaven,built in 1420, with its spectacular Circular Mound Altar.
The best hotels are to be found in the Chaoyang District of Beijing. All the big name international hotels are here.
Don't forget to taste the authentic, delicious Beijing Roast Duck! An unforgettable experience, unlike any meal in a Chinese restaurant in the UK.
There is a series of ring roads all around Beijing, which assist in travelling through this very crowded city. Also, across central Beijing, one of the main thoroughfares, Chang'an Avenue, runs from east to west.
The XXIX Olympiad or 29th Olympic Games, are to be held in Beijing, between August 8th and August 24th 2008.
The main venue, Olympic Green, where the Birds Nest style main stadium is located, is not too far from Beijing International Airport.
It promises to be a fascinating, spectacular Olympic Games! Why not pay a visit to Beijing and enjoy an unforgettable experience?
See also: Beijing Olympic Games