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Beijing is located in northern China, close to Tianjin Municipality and partially surrounded by Hebei Province. The city covers an area of more than 16,800 square kilometers (6,487 square miles) and has a population of 13.82 million people. As the capital of the People's Republic of China,Beijing is one of the world's truly imposing cities, with a 3,000-year history, it is the nation's political, economic, cultural and educational center as well as being the China's most important center for international trade and communications. It has been the heart and soul of politics and society throughout its long history and consequently there is an unparalleled wealth of discovery to delight and intrigue travelers as they explore Beijing's ancient past and enjoy its exciting modern development. Beijing is at its best in late spring and autumn, particularly during the months of May, September, and October when people can enjoy bright sunshine and blue skies.

Tourist Highlights
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. Thousands of people come to the Square every day. It is the must place to visit in Beijing City.
Tian'an men Gate on the northern edge of the square sued to be the front gate of the Ming and Qing Imperial Palace. The rostrum atop the gate, where national leaders review mass rallies or gala celebrations on important occasions, is open to tourists. The Monument to the People's Heroes stands in the center of the square. Behind Zhengyang Gate to the south sprawls Mao Zedong Memorial Hall; to the east is the complex which houses the Museum of Chinese Revolution and the Museum of Chinese History. The Great hall of the People stands on the western side. The night scene of Tian'anmen Square is definitely a MUST for any visitor to Beijing.

Forbidden City
In the heart of Beijing, the 720,000-square-metre Palace Mueum, better known as "Forbidden City",was the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing. Built during the 1406-1420 period, it is the largest royal palatial complex in existence in China; ranging from the majestic to the exquisite, they bear witness to a nation in transition. Other tourist attractions on the premises include a huge stone ramp carved with intricate dragon and cloud patterns, 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 and the ceramics, painting, bronze ware galleries, are reason enough for UNESCO to adopt the Former Imperial Palace as a world cultural heritage site.

Great Wall
As an emblem of Chinese civilization, a cultural phenomenon of world caliber, and another world cultural heritage site, the 6350km 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 came under construction in the 7th century BC. But it was Qinshihuang, the founding emperor of the Qin, who brought itto completion. Repeated extensions were done in later dynasties until the Ming. The 600-year-old Badaling Fortification in Yanqing county in northwest Beijing is representative of Ming sections of the Great Wall. The Great Wall looks equally breathtaking at such sections as Jinshanling, Mutianyu and Simatai.

Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is the most holy of Beijing's Imperial temples. It has an area of about 2,700,000 square meters. Built in 1420, it was where Ming and Qing monarchs prayed for good harvests. Major structures are hall of Prayer for good Harvest, Imperial Vault of Heaven, Circular Altar, and Abstinence Palace. UNESCO endorsed Temple of Heaven as a world cultural heritage site in December 1998.

Thirteen Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs are scattered over an area 40km 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 is the Changling, built in 1413 for the remains for Zhu Di or Emperor Chengzu. Burial objects are on display from the underground palace of the Dingling, the tomb of the last Ming emperor,Zhu Yijun, and his two empresses. The Holy Way leading to the Ming Tombs is flanked on both sides by 30-odd men and horses and other animals carved in graphic images out of massive boulders. In terms of size, this group of stone sculptures is rare anywhere in China.

The Sacred Road
In the front part of the imperial necropolises, there usually is a Sacred Way (or Divine Road) which means the road leading to heaven. The Emperor, known as the Son of the Heaven, who came from Heaven to his country through the Sacred Way, also deservedly would return to Heaven through this road.
The way guarded on both sides with stone statues by which the ancient emperors went to hold a memorial ceremony for the ancestors.
These statues are usually 12 human figures (including the general, civil officials and meritorious officials) and 24 animals which are lion, camel, elephant, xiezhi (a mythological unicorn), qilin (one of the four "divine animals, the other three are dragon, phoenix and tortoise), and horse.

Summer Palace
The Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) in the northwestern suburb of Beijing was built in 1750. By far the best-preserved imperial garden in China, it 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 huge body of liquid silver. Major tourist attractions are Tower of Buddhist Incense, 17-Span 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.

Hutong Tour ( Visit Hutongs by rickshaw )
A hutong is a unique form of community that exists only in China. If you are fed up with high buildings and wide streets, enter Beijing's hutongs then. Here, you will find "Hutong Culture".
The Hutongs are one of the "must see" items in Bejing. They are a wonderful glimpse into the world of yesterday in Beijing. The old narrow paths where common people lived. All the Hutongs crisscross with each other, dotted with the Kindergarten, the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, the Tea House, and the lake, House of Gong Infant and local people's houses among them.

Lama Temple
Yonghegong (Palace of Harmony and Peace) in Eastern District had been the mansion of Emperor Yongzheng during his days as the crown prince. After he ascended the throne he had it converted into a lamasery, which has remained as such to this day. 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.

Beijing Zoo
The largest of its kind in China, the 90-hectare Beijing Zoo is home to 4,000 or so animals in 640 species, quite a few of them from other parts of the world. Among the endangered species are the giant panda, golden-haired monkey, northeast China tiger, antelope, black-necked crane and white-lipped deer, Beijing Aquarium in the zoo is billed as the world's largest continental oceanic aquarium-there are more than 10,000 sea creatures in it.
The Zoo exhibits not only the variety of living places for the animals but also proud of the different rooms, halls, pavilions and luscious trees and plants. It combines the garden arts of the East and West that typically adapts to the environment of the wild animals living here.
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