Why you should visit Beijing
- Follow in the footsteps of Emperors past in the Forbidden City
- See a traditional Peking Opera followed by a meal of Peking Duck
- Spend a day exploring the hutongs or traditional courtyard residences
- Visit District 798, the heart of the growing art and culture scene in Beijing
Our specialists 'Must Do'
Visit the Temple of Heaven early in the morning when the locals gather to socialise and exercise in the park. City homes don't tend to have gardens so the parks surrounding this ancient temple provide the perfect place to get out for some fresh air and a work out! Its a wonderful chance to see some of the quirky local pastimes from Tai Chi to Fan dancing, singing, hackisack, badminton and calligraphy with giant paintbrushes! A wonderful atmosphere and a great opportunity to take some unusual photography too.
A little more about Beijing
Beijing is China’s capital city, located in the North of the country it is a veritable metropolis of epic proportions and offers more than just the entrance to The Great Wall and the Forbidden City, although these are magnificent sights in themselves. Although Beijing has many sites to warrant a short visit in its own right, most people combine it with a longer tour of the country. An elaborate display of Chinese architecture at its best, and worth its title as one of the seven wonders of the medieval world, the city is an historian’s delight and a fascinating insight to the bygone era of China.
At the centre of Beijing is Tian'anmen Square, (one of the largest in the world) the scene of many political rallies, where Mao's Mausoleum is located. Continue into the Forbidden City, the former residence of the 24 Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties who lived in this self-contained enclave. Additional sites are the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Lama Temple, the Ancient Observatory, the Great Hall of the People as well as museums, markets and shops, all of which combine to make it a place that appeals to everyone. Travel by motor bike side car or rickshaw for a different experience of the Hutongs (the old residential district).
Not be missed is the spectacular wonder of China’s Great Wall that starts east of the capital and then snakes its way west. The sections at Mutianyu and Badaling are most usually visited, although the section at Simatai and Jinshanling located 60 miles north of the city, are far less visited. The wall itself is a truly remarkable feat of engineering. The views at Simatai and Jinshanling are stunning and it is well worth the time to get beyond the restored sections to see the ancient crumbling parts. This is also a chance to see some of rural China at close hand.
When to go to Beijing
Overall, the best time to visit Beijing is in the Spring (April / May / June) and the Autumn (September / October).
Watch Street Food in Beijing, a YouTube video by Al Jazeera English.