¡¡Home | Attractions | Tour Packages | Booking | Customized Tours | Special interest | Contact us | About Us | Tour Payment
 

BEIJING

Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China, is the country's political, economic and cultural center with a population of over 11 million people. Covering an area of 16,800 square kilometers and having a history of 3,000 years, Beijing has become one of the world's truly imposing cities thanks to the fast development in all aspects since 1980s. Administratively, Beijing municipality equals the status of a province, reporting directly to the central government.
Weather
Useful Info

Flavors
Entertainment
Holidays
Festivals

Rich in history, Beijing has been China's primary capital for more than seven centuries. The former Imperial Palace, known as the Forbidden City was the place where the emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties lived and ruled the whole country for nearly 500 years since 1420. Beijing was also the most important cradles of Chinese people's revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-san, which had eventually brought to the end of the Qing dynasty in 1911.

Beijing is now a gateway city to the world and a city of broad boulevards with busy traffics as well as the newly emerged modern markets of commerce and entertainment. Museums and parks abound in the city, the old antique shop street and the famous Silk Alley are all known by foreign visitors, the performances of Peking Opera and acrobatics have kept the traditional entertainment vital, while the contemporary music clubs and discos thrive in an era of liberalization and prosperity. China's ancient past and the modern history are well combined and fully viewed at the grand Tiananmen Square, the largest one in the world. Beijing has now become the most popular and attractive city for all the foreign tourists.

Tian'an men Square


Large enough to hold 1 million people, the 440,000-square-metre Tian'anmen Square in the center of Beijing is the world's largest city square, where sunrises and sunsets are observed solemnly with national flag hoisting and lowering ceremonies. Tian'an men, means the Gate of Heavenly Peace is located on the northern part of the square, used to be the front gate of the Imperial Palace. The rostrum atop the gate is now open to tourists, where the national leaders review mass rallies or gala celebrations on important occasions. The Monument to the People's Heroes stands in the center of the square. To the north of Zhengyang Gate (or Front Gate), is the late Chairman Mao Zedong's Memorial Hall built up in 1976, and to the east of the square is the building complex of the Museum of Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History while the Great Hall of the People stands right on the western side. The magnificent scene of Tian'anmen Square is definitely a Must-see program for all visitors to Beijing.

Forbidden City ( Former Imperial Palace)


The 720,000-square-metre Palace Museum, well known as "Forbidden City", was the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasties. Built during the 1406-1420 period, it is the largest royal palatial complex in existence in China; ranging from the majestic to the exquisite and containing numerous palaces and living courtyards, they bear the witness to the nation's history in transition. Other tourist attractions on the premises include a huge marble stone ramp carved with intricate dragon and cloud patterns, three major palaces, Imperial Garden and Nine-Dragon Screen Wall. An immense trove of cultural artifacts and treasures of various dynasties, some of them on display in the Treasure Hall with the ceramics, paintings, bronze ware galleries, are reason enough for UNESCO to adopt the Former Imperial Palace as a world cultural heritage site.

Summer Palace

The Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) in the northwestern suburb of Beijing was built in 1750, so far the best-preserved imperial garden in China, and was endorsed by the UNESCO in 1998 as a world cultural heritage site. As a paragon of Chinese gardens, this huge garden includes Longevity Hill, whose beauty is set off by a multitude of halls, kiosks and trees, and Kunming Lake, a vast man-made construction with water filled by a large reservoir north of Beijing. Major tourist attractions are Tower of Buddhist Incense, 17- Arch Bridge, Long Gallery, Cloud Dispelling Hall, Marble Boat, Beamless Hall, Garden of Harmonious Delights, the theatre in the Garden of Moral Harmony, and Suzhou Street. The entire place is a de facto museum of China's classical architecture. Housed in these buildings are an immense collection of treasures and cultural artifacts.

Temple of Heaven

China's largest temple and altar are found here in the Temple of Heaven, now serves as a popular park covering area of 273 hectares in the south of Beijing. Built in 1420, it was where Ming and Qing emperors prayed Heaven for good harvests. Major structures are hall of Prayer for good Harvest, Imperial Vault of Heaven, Circular Mound Altar, and Abstinence Palace. UNESCO endorsed Temple of Heaven as a world cultural heritage site in December 1998.

In the ancient times, the emperor, as Son of Heaven, performed priestly with all kinds of the traditional formalities. Each year on the day of the winter solstice, following three days of fasting and meditation, the emperor would offer sacrifices and pray for a good harvest at the Altar of Heaven, a round three-tiered, white marble structure, built in 1530 and reconstructed in 1740. The altar is surrounded by a square shaped wall which symbolized the ancient believe that the heaven is round and the earth is square.

Just north of the Circular Mound Altar of Heaven is the octagonal Imperial Vault of Heaven, which contained tablets of the imperial ancestors and astronomical plaques. The circular wall of the Vault of Heaven is known as the Echo Wall, and even whispered voices can travel around in far length. Further north is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, originally built in 1420, remodeled in 1545, destroyed by lightning in 1889, and rebuilt in the following year with 24 huge supporting pillars, all made of single piece of trunk. The Hall is about 38 meters high, the tallest building in this park. Today, it is one of the most popular parks in Beijing with many retired local people doing exercise of Taiji or singing Peking Opera every morning.

Great Wall

As a symbol of Chinese civilization, a cultural phenomenon of world caliber, and another UNESCO endorsed world cultural heritage site, the Great Wall was in China's feudal years a mammoth defense bulwark that serpentines its way across mountains and valleys in the northern part of the country.

The Great Wall is perhaps China's most famous and most mythologized manmade works. Several sections are conveniently visited from Beijing, including at Badaling, the most popular site, about 75 km northwest of Beijing and at Mutianyu, 80 km northeast of Beijing. These impressive brick and earth structures date from the Ming dynasty, when the wall was fortified against Mongol forces from the north. The Ming wall is about 26 feet tall and 23 feet wide at the base, and could accommodate up to six horsemen riding abreast. Watch towers were built on high points every 200-300 meters or so with small garrison forces that could communicate with fire signals or fireworks. These stretches of the wall are part of a system that extends from the Shanhaiguan fortress on the Bohai Gulf about 320 km in the east of Beijing to the Jiayuguan fortress in far northwest, altogether in length of some 6000 km (3700 mi).

The Ming sections of the wall are only a late stage in a long history, much of which has little to do with the present structures. The wall is most often associated with the First Emperor of China (Qin Shi Huang, reigned 221-210 BC), who after unifying China by conquest undertook to link up previously existing sections of walls belonging to 6 conquered states, but on a course far to the north of the present wall. The First Emperor mobilized massive conscripted labor forces, including convicts and prisoners that up to a million people worked hardly for over decades to complete it. In Chinese history, the Great Wall in its various versions had indeed acted as the military defense and also served with great symbolic purposes.

Ming Tombs


The Ming Tombs are scattered over an area of 40 square km in circumference in Changping County. Thirteen Ming emperors who ruled China after they moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing were buried there. The largest and earliest tomb is Changling, built in 1413 for the remains of Zhu Di, Emperor Chengzu. Burial objects on display are from the underground palace of the Dingling, the tomb of the 13th Ming emperor, Zhu Yijun, and his two empresses. The Holy Way, leading to the Ming Tombs area and well known as the Sacred Road is flanked on both sides with 24 huge stone carved animals and guards that was supposed to have the special power to protect this tomb area. Visitors can stroll along the Sacred Road and take pictures with these animals and guards.

Yonghegong Lamasery

Yonghegong Lamasery (Palace of Harmony and Peace) in northeast of Beijing was originally built in 1694 as the mansion of Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing dynasty during his younger age as the crown prince. It was converted into a lamasery a few years after his death in 1744, and that had remained as such up to the present. Influences of Han, Manchurian, Mongolian and Tibetan architecture are palpable in this complex that consists of three finely crafted archways and five imposing halls laid out tastefully over an area of 66,400 square meters. Among the treasures in these halls is a 26-metre-tall statue of Maitreya (the Smiling Buddha), which is carved out of a single sandalwood trunk. About 70 monks from Inna Mongolia and Tibet have lived and kept services here for many years.

Beijing Zoo

The largest of its kind in China, the 90-hectare Beijing Zoo is the home of over 4,000 animals in 640 species, quite a few of them from other parts of the world. Among the endangered species are the famous giant panda, golden-haired monkey, northeast China tiger, antelope, black-necked crane and white-lipped deer. The recently built Beijing Aquarium in the zoo is regarded as the world's largest continental oceanic aquarium. There are more than 10,000 sea creatures in it.

Hutong Tour

Hutong in Beijing is the narrow alley mainly built in the Ming and Qing dynasties and is the city's most typical construction layout pattern where old traditions remain very much alive. There are over 4,500 Hutongs in various width and length in Beijing. All of these hutongs were uniquely built in narrow or wide lines according to the living area or the social status of the residents who live in these quadrangle dwellings. Close by prince Gong's Mansion are some of Beijing's best-preserved Hutongs. Touring these Hutongs by the traditional pedicab is a special travel program for exploring the old Beijing. The Hutong tour also includes the visit of the Prince Gong's Mansion and the Drum Tower where one may take the birds' eye views of the entire city.
Prince Gong's Mansion is the best preserved of all princely mansions of the Qing dynasty in Beijing. Attached to the rear of this pompous mansion is a serene garden with well-manicured lawns. A theatre stands on the premises, where traditional ballad-singing and story-telling performances are given every day.

Bell Tower & Drum Tower

In Beijing, there is a north-south axis, which starts in Qianmen in the south, through Tian'anmen Tower, the Palaces in the Forbidden City, the central pavilion on Jingshan Park and finally ends in Bell Tower. It divides the city into two parts, the east part and west part. Bell Tower and Drum Towers are just on this axis.
In the old days, there was no modern clock, the towers built in 1420 were used to tell the time for the official administration and for the common people. The drum was struck every two hours, beginning at 7 p.m. as a signal of the starting point of night hours and the closing of the city gates, till 5 a.m. the next day when the officials began their work. The bell was struck every two hours beginning at 7 a.m. as a signal of a new day. It was said when the bronze bell was struck, the sound could be heard 20 kilometers away. These two traditional Chinese architectures have not yet played the original role but attract more tourists. The views from the Drum Tower down the central axis are remarkable. The Bell Tower was destroyed in a fire and rebuilt in 1747, and the Drum Tower was restored in 1800, both of them have been refurbished in recent years.

Beihai Park

Beihai Park, situated in the northwest of Palace Museum, is a typical imperial garden dating back to more than 800 years. Buildings are clustered around the famed White Pagoda on Qionghua (Jasper Flower) Island on the lake in the park's bosom. The island provides a vantage point for observing the landscape of Beijing. Major attractions are the Circular City, the vast lake, Painted Boat Studio, Studio of the Tranquil Heart, Nine-Dragons Screen Wall and Five-Dragon Pavilions. It has always been the most popular and attractive scenic park for the local people and other visitors.

Liulichang Antique Shop Street

Outside the Peace Gate in downtown Beijing, Liulichang street of ancient Chinese culture is 750 metes long east to west. It is flanked with antique shops of mock ancient architecture of gilded and carved columns and beams. The shops deal in paintings, calligraphy scrolls by famous artists and scholars, potteries, rubbings of inscriptions, writing brush, ink-stick, ink-slab and paper, and works of handicraft and fine art.

Home | Attractions | Tour Packages | About us

BEIJING XINDU INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SERVICE
Tel: 8610 6416 4788
¡¡¡¡8610 6416 9056
Fax: 8610 6416 4786
EMAIL: infotravel@xdtravel.com
http://www.xdtravel.com


2211£¬Huatong International Youth Hostel,
No. 1, Gong Ti Bei Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100027, China
 

Copyright © 2008 xdtravel.inc.All rights reserved