Travel Guide to Beijing
When in Beijing, don’t forget to…
Rise early to see the locals exercising, performing tai chi and singing revolutionary songs in Jingshan Park. Then clamber up the slope to Wangchun Pavilion and gaze out over the Forbidden City, an amber sea of arching rooftops and pavilions stretching into the haze toward Tiananmen Square.
Get lost in the alleyways of Dongcheng District, and discover some of Beijing’s best-preserved hutongs. Along tree-shaded lanes, fruit sellers, knife-sharpeners and coal merchants still hawk their wares from roving bicycle carts. And these days you’re just as likely to chance upon hip boutiques and hidden cocktail bars.
Walk the watchtowers at Jiankou, a crumbling stretch of the Great Wall in remote mountainous countryside. Climb through woodland to Zhengbeilou, a tower popular with amateur photographers for its epic views. From there it’s a two-hour downhill trek to the tourist-friendly restored stretch at Mutianyu.
Discover the best of Chinese contemporary art at the 798 Art District. A former munitions factory complex, China’s up-and-coming art superstars colonised its disused Bauhaus-style warehouses in the 1990s. Today it’s a bustling enclave of world-class galleries, installations, shops and cafes.
Discover your inner sage with a visit to the serene Temple of Confucius. Wander between banks of four metre-tall stone slabs inscribed with the names of scholars from centuries past, or sit on a bench to contemplate the Analects, the collected wisdom of Confucius which has influenced Chinese thought for millennia.
Capital city specifics: Beijing
Population: 1,339,190,000 approx.
Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, and Hakka dialects, as well as minority languages.
Electricity: 220V, 50HZ
Timezone (GMT):GMT +8
Average temp (celsius):26 deg celcius
Distance to town (km):35 km
Coach/Taxi fare:CNY 16 / CNY 100 approx.