Before introducing Beijing, I would like to show an advanced feature of Juicertrip, a media platform for travel agencies. By clicking the marked spots on the map, you will see more advanced features.
Beijing, known as Peking, is the capital of China and a fascinating mixture of the old and new. With an area of 16,808 sq. kilometers, it is today the political, cultural and administrative center of the People’s Republic of China which was founded in 1949, the home of more than 20 million citizens and the seat of government.
The city of Beijing has been in existence as a settlement for more than 3,000years, although the remains of “Peking Man” show that human life existed in this part of China half a million years ago. It has been a center of power under the Mongols, the Ming, the Manchu and now the People’s Republic of China for a period spanning almost seven hundred years. The raise of the five-star red flag on Oct.1st, 1949 on the Tian’anmen Square and the spotting rostrum where Chairman Mao proclaimed the rise of Chinese have marked the fall of the communism curtain, contrasted to the Forbidden City, the passed cosmic center, which was gradually switching its role from the imperial resident to the hottest spot to visitors and tourists. Within the recent 60 years, the city of Beijing has been taking a gigantic change ever more than the past seven centuries.
Being one of the few inland capitals of the world not built on a major river, it owes its long preeminence to its strategic geographical position. Lying on the northwestern fringe of the Great North China Plain, Beijing serves as a gateway to the Inner Mongolian that steppes in the north, the Shanxi plateau in the west and, through the easternmost pass of the Great Wall at Shanhai Pass, to northeast of China. The whole city of Beijing was constructed under the Fengshui theory (geomancy theory) and this was widely believed by Chinese that Beijing was full of vital force(Chinese call that Qi) of imperialism and dignity. The whole city proper and layout were turning to the shape since 1420s, with the central line in the middle and was surrounded by the scattering Hutongs and court-yard house. But such peaceful and harmonious layout were rudely broken and changed in 1950s, when China wanted her Great-Leap forward, Mao and his followers wanted to replace all old and traditional things by the newly-built factories and industrious areas in the downtown. It was a sad experience in Beijing, a cultural shock.
But fortunately, the so-called communist reform had never bothered the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven, and when the Cultural Revolution was over in 1976, when the wise leader Deng xiaoping took over, the city of Beijing, followed the pace when China was re-accepted by the west, then eventually stepped into a new look as well.
Since in this totalitarian country, the political power works more than other powers, as the capital, Beijing was taking great benefit that the policy “leans”, better investment environment, better medication service, better working opportunities and better education, but a lot of betters, at the same time, do create several problems and challenges, for instance, the population growth brought a bigger demand of everything, Beijing now is becoming one of the most crowded cities in the world, and one of the most polluted and most expensive cities in China. A lot of people have joked that in 2008 they said “Welcome to Beijing” (Beijing was holding 29th Olympic Games) and now they may say “Get out of Beijing”.
The best time to Beijing, well, it’s hard to say, if you can have the blue sky, it’s the best time. But generally speaking, Autumn will be the golden time to plan your travel in Beijing, and you are suggested to avoid the October holiday, the seven days off of the first week in October, if you choose travel in Beijing, you will get an unforgettable “I am in China” experience.
As visitors to Beijing, the Wangfujing pedestrian street should be the one you never miss. Maybe you don’t care about the largest Apple store in Asia, but the food market cross over will bring you an astonishing experience. The sea stars, pupas, grasshoppers, scorpions are all in sticks, this will be the place that makes you feel you are in China.
Most of the international visitors are keen on going to the Hong Qiao Pearl Market and the Xiu Shui, the Silk Market. The two largest indoor markets you may want to browse around, electronics, fake iPhones, the genuine imitations lots of different levels of jewelries, and souvenirs. You may find some interesting phenomena when you visit these two places, 1 you will be amazed by how talented the vendors are when they speak multiple languages; 2 you will find how you wish yourself to be born as a better bargainer; 3 you have to know once they agree to sell to you, they have profit, if not, they are not selling—everyone has to make a living. Just enjoy that.
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