Geography& population

travel to Beijing

Beijing, also called Peking by westerners, is the capital city of People’s Republic of China. “Bei” means north, “jing” means capital. It is in the north edge of Northern China Plateau nearby Inner Mongolian. With an area of 16,800 sq km (3 times bigger than Singapore), Beijing has 16 districts and 2 “satellite counties”. 2/3 of the area is mountains, where Great Wall was built, and only 1/3 of it is flat.

The main traffic lines divided Beijing into “ring road”—inner city high way. In the city center is Forbidden City, around the Forbidden City is the 2nd ring road, which is originally ancient city wall; then surrounded like a “square pancake” are the 3rd ring road, 4th ring road until 6th ring road. Inside the 4th ring road are totally flat. The geography situation is good for running bicycle. That’s why Beijing is also called “Kingdom of Bicycle”.

Beijing has a population of 12 million with 5 million of floating population, together 17 million. Beijing is one of the most crowded cities in the world.


About 600,000 years ago, a group of cave dwellers lived in Beijing. They were able to use fire, and walking upright. These ape man are regarded as the ancestor of modern northern Chinese human beings. The cave on Dragon Bone Hill is now under the list of UNESCO as the historic heritage. As a city, Beijing has a history of 3000 years. From 10th century, Beijing has been the capital city for Liao, Jin ,Yuan ,Ming and Qing five dynasties until 1911. Today most of the old buildings are from Ming and Qing dynasties. Ming Dynasty was founded in 1368, while the Ming emperor Zhu Di moved the capital city from Nanjing to Beijing in 1421. Zhu Di rebuilt Beijing city on the relic of Yuan rulers, setting the foundation for modern Beijing city. Qing rulers continued the Ming urban planning policy. They spent a lot of money in building royal gardens in western suburb. Today, if you travel to Beijing, you can visit all of these palaces and gardens as well as temples.


Since Beijing has been the capital for more than 1000 years, imperial culture is rooted so deeply in this city. From forefather’s generation these artisans worked for the imperial families and high officials, and now their offspring are still working in their special field. Jade carving, porcelain and enamel making are popular in Beijing. Enjoy a Beijing Opera at night and see their brilliant costumes will give you better understanding of the royal culture. If interested in folk culture, you can just go to an old tea house, to sample a cup of jasmine tea and enjoy a “talk show” or a Chinese string performance. Taking a tricycle to visit the local family in traditional quadrangle will be an interesting experience. You will sit on the tricycle running along the narrow gray lane where woman chat in leisure and you could visit their home, the vegetable market, the kindergarten and so on..

If you can get up early, you won’t feel disappointed when you go around a street garden. Men keep katydid as pets in their bosom and show off to others. Sideward hanging on the tree are their bird caves with birds singing inside; Women are dancing, practicing Taiji, or playing balls. A chorus nearby is always surrounded by crowd. They are singing the songs belong to their generation.

If you happened to come to China during Chinese lunar New Year which is usually in January or February, you can not affording missing fun of the temple fare. Here you can see red color dominate the temple fare. Red is believed to be able to keep evil spirits away and bring good luck. Red couplets are put up on each side of the doors; people wear traditional Chinese style silk clothes; children hold red balloon in their hands, the venders huckster their sweet hawkthorn, candy and traditional toys. You will definitely melt yourself in the joy atmosphere.

One thing that can describe Beijing is old meets new. When walking in the old Hutong lanes, maybe you will feel yourself entering a time tunnel and going to the past age. While when you travel along the CBD (Center of Business District) you may wonder weather it is Beijing or Hongkong even New York.!

Beijing is the Amphitryon of 2008 Olympic Games. Moma, World Trade Plaza, CCTV Plaza, as well as the Olympic stadium--Bird Nest, all these modern buildings designed by western architects are showing that Beijing is becoming more and more open to the world. The slogan for Beijing Olympic game is “one world, one dream”.  With the construction of subway and city high way as well as the cloverleaf junction, and lower down 60% of the fee for public transportation, Beijing determined to solve the traffic problem. Medical care covering all rural people; 9 years’ free education for all children; new methods and laws being published nearly every month, all these changes show that Beijing is ready for a new historic episode.

Tour Resource

Beijing is rich in historic sites. Except these famous imperial buildings that are must-see destination for most tourists, there are more than 80 old houses once for those famous litterateurs, ideologists, artists as well as the relatives of the emperor, and now they are memorial house opening to public. Also there are 140 museums with different theme for different interest. If you want to experience the folk culture, there are more than 1300 hutong (Small Street) lanes with quadrangles (a kind of traditional Chinese yard) waiting for you to explore. As a part of old Beijing, some western buildings built in 17 th or 18th century dotted in this old city. If you want something unique, you can go to the suburb to climb up the Great Wall, and you will feel astonished by the 7 floor deep Karst cave, the oldest temples with a history of 1700 years, as well as the oldest village located in the ancient post road.


Airport: Beijing Capital International Airport is 25km from the downtown area. Shuttle bus service charges RMB16.

Taxi: flag-drop rate in Beijing are RMB10 for 3 kilometers.

Subway: Subway is convenient traffic tool in Beijng. Rate for each time is RMB2. And there is also new express line directly to the airport which cost RMB25/ PERSON.


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(2) 国旅 China International Travel Service Limited, Head Office

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