Beijing, Jing for short, is a metropolis in northern China and the capital of China. Lying 102km (70miles) west of Bo Hai Sea, it borders Hebei Province to the north, west, south, and for a small section in the east and Tianjin to the southeast. Beijing is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and motorways passing through the city. It is also the destination of many international flights arriving in China. Beijing is regarded as the political, educational, and cultural center of China.
With a history of more than 3,000 years, Beijing has been an integral part of China's history. There is scarcely a major building that doesn't have at least some national historical significance. Being the capital of China for about 850 years, it is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, offering China's most wonderful array of attractions. No other city in the nation attracts more travelers. What's more, Beijing was the host of 2008 Olympic Games.
As the saying goes, one who fails to reach the Great Wall is not a true hero. Without visiting the Great Wall, no trip to Beijing or the country is complete. The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built, rebuilt and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders from Xiongnu attacks during various successive dynasties.
Siheyuan (Courtyard houses) and hutong (alleys) only grow in charm as they decrease in size. Beijing courtyard houses are typical of houses of northern China, a full embodiment of the Chinese philosophy of "the unity of man and nature." Courtyards visitors can see today were mainly built from the Qing Dynasty to 1930s. Hutong is the most typical type of houses in Beijing. More than 7,000 alleys are scattered throughout the city, each has a story to tell. Those narrow lanes twist through older sections and form an open-air museum where you can happily wander aimlessly for hours. To experience the old Beijing, a Hutong tour is a must.
Beijing 798 Art Zone, the exhibition center of modern Chinese art, hosts the annual 798 art festival. Beijing International Music Festival was initiated in 1998 and held in Beijing each year. Beijing boasts more than a hundred shopping malls, including the traditional shopping areas like Wangfujing, Qianmen Dazhalan, and Xidan and the newly emerged business areas like Guomao, Oriental Xin Tian Di and Zhongguancun Square. If you search for international trade clothing, you can not miss Xiushou and Yaxiu.
Want a drink in the evening? Just find a bar and relax. Beijing has many bar streets and bar areas with colorful neon lights calling for those bar lovers of the night. Besides drinking in a bar, visitors can go to listen to Peking Opera at night. Peking Opera is a form of traditional Chinese theatre which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. It is extremely popular in the capital and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China.