Beijing

The capital of China - Beijing is next to Shanghai the biggest city in China and at the same time the most important cultural, scientific and political centre in the country. In Beijing there are the most important state universities and the registered office of the authorities of China. It is one of the biggest cities in the world and today centre of world business, while the beginnings of the establishing of Beijing date back to 500 thousand years BC. Beijing is a combination of the traditional Chinese architecture and modern buildings and skyscrapers. The capital of the Middle Country can intimidate and stun us. For those, who will come to the Central Asia for the first time, it can be a challenge, both mental and physical.

Beijing lies in the northern part of Great Chinese Plain. There is a continental climate with admixture of monsoon climate. Winters are fairly frosty and generally snowless and very dry. The summer is very scorching and the hottest month is July. We recommend early Autumn for visiting Beijing, from September to November, in view of pleasant temperature.

In China lives about 1.3 billion people and by the number of residents it equals the whole of Europe. The density of population can be felt every step we take. To the inexperienced travelling tourists or businessmen the crowd can really tire and stun many. Only in Beijing there live about 15 million people. In Beijing it is not easy to find ones way, signs in the streets or in the metro are written in Chinese. The young generation learns English, but rarely we will get a reliable piece of advice in English. You have to be prepared for that. However, you have to admit that for such an enormous city the public transport of Beijing is quite well-organised, everywhere you can get to by bus or metro. The map will help us not to get lost. If we are staying here for longer, it is good to travel by bike. It is the most popular means of transportation in the capital. In the streets of Beijing travel every day 4 million people.

Beijing, just the same as in the case of Moscow, cannot be visited within 1 or 3 days. Below are the most important places and attractions of the capital.
Ritan - one of 8 famous altars built in various parts of the capital;
The Summer Palace - it was a place of rest even for Jin Dynasty emperors. The Park is a phenomenal example of every foundations and principles of Chinese garden, typical of Chinese culture;
Beihai Park - it is a beautiful park of a classical form of Chinese garden with many pavilions, sophisticated rock formations, crooked trees, the favourite place of Chinese people;
The Temple of Heaven - the most important Beijing temple. Formerly here the emperor was praying for the favour of heaven and good harvest;
The Temple of Great Mercy - it is the registered office of the Chinese Association of Buddhism;
Forbidden City - it is one of the biggest and the most beautiful palaces complexes in the world, the abode of emperors Ming and Qing;
Hutongi - are narrow alleys and streets, where in former China went on the daily life of the residents of the city. Today Hutongi is a big tourist attraction and a very popular place, where you can travel by rickshaw, see what Beijing's citizens life used to be and eat a delicious meal;
The Gates of Heavenly Peace Square - Tiananmen - the square is a central point of the city and the most important events take place here. In this enormous square there are: the Great Hall of the People, the Museum of China History and the Museum of Chinese Revolution, the mausoleum of Mao Zedong, the Monuments of People's Heros, the Gates of Heavenly Peace - Tiananmen, Southern Gates - Zhenyangmen and Front Gate - Qianmen;
Great Bell Temple - Dazhongsi - in which is the biggest bell in China. The bell weighs over 46 tons and measures about 7 meters in hight;
Lamai Temple - the seat of the so-called yellow caps, one of the five schools of Tibetan Buddhism;
Temple of Confucius - second after Shandong the most important Confucian temple in China;
Drum Tower and Bell Tower - Bell Tower was formerly used to announce alarming messages in case of any threat to the residents of the city, whereas Bell Tower is a unique wooden and stone construction, about 300 years-old, in which there is about 500 year-old bell of impressive construction and appearance;
The Astronomical Observatory - you can admire here fantastic exhibits and instruments for observing the sky, because astronomy and astrology for ages had were of great importance for Chinese people;
Temple of Attained Wisdom - Zhihuasi - the most beautiful example of Buddhist architecture from the Ming epoch;
St. Jacob Cathedral - one of 4 most important Catholic Churches in Beijing;
The Temple of White Clouds - Baiyunguan - a temple established in 793 AD in times of the Tang dynasty and one of the few Taoist temples in Beijing. It is the seat of Chinese Taoist Association, where in many small clinics traditional methods of herbal treatment are being used;
The Temple of Five Pagoda - Wutasi - it is one of the most beautiful and the greatest Tibetan temples in the capital;
The Temple of Source of Law - Fayuansi - established in 654 to celebrate soldiers killed while fighting Koreans. In the temple's garden you can admire extraordinary natural monuments, some of the trees are even 1500 years-old. The garden was for ages an inspiration for many artists and painters. Today can be met there praying Buddhist monks;
Mosque on Oxen Street - the oldest and the biggest mosque in Beijing built in 966.

While in Beijing, it is worth getting on the bus and riding to one of the greatest and the most intriguing places on our planet. We are talking of course about The Great Wall of China. The wall consists of many parts which were created in various time intervals. The building of the first fortifications in the northern part of the wall had already began in the 5th century BC in the Era of Fighting Kingdoms. The wall's construction covers about 6200 km. For the construction of the wall clay and grass were used, in more strategic parts the wall was built from stone and in these parts it reaches even 10 meters in hight. In fact, till the 80s of the 20th century the construction wasn't appreciated by its own citizens. The wall was rediscovered for Chinese by foreigners, who started to examine the construction and the great reformer of Chinese economy Deng Xiaoping . Today the wall is the pride and glory of China, many of its parts were renovated and every step you take you can buy souvenirs with an image or a drawing of The Great Wall of China. The most popular parts of The Great Wall are: Badaling, Ming Valley with the tombs of emperors of the Ming, Mutianyu, Simatai, Jinshanling and Juyongguan dynasties.