As the capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing is the political, cultural and educational center of the country. It has a total population of more than 21 million on an area of 16410.54 square kilometers. In over 3,000 years’ history, Beijing had different names in different dynasties, such as “Yandu”, “Youzhou”, “Dadu”, and “Beiping”. It was officially called “Beijing” in 1403 during Ming Dynasty.
For the people that travel to China the first time, Beijing is a must place to visit. It boasts 7 UNESCO-listed world cultural heritage sites including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Ming Tombs, and the Grand Canal, among which the Great Wall and the Forbidden City are the most sought-after attractions. There is a saying in China that one who fails to reach the Great Wall is not a hero. This ancient military defensive project embodies the wisdom of the ancient Chinese people and has become one of the symbols of China. Many foreigners first know China because of the Great wall. The Forbidden City served as the royal palaces of Ming and Qing dynasties from 1420 to 1912. This museum has the richest collection in China with one million pieces of cultural relics through which travelers can know more about Chinese history and culture. Another popular site in Beijing is Hutongs. A Hutong tour by rickshaw will lead tourists to have a glimpse of the daily life of local people.
Beijing receives more than 200 million visitors every year. In addition to the charm of the city itself, convenient transportation is also an important factor. Beijing has well-developed road networks extending to the entire country and the second busiest airport in the world — Beijing Capital International Airport. For travelers who want to visit popular Chinese tourist cities or Silk Route cities, Beijing is a great place to start.