|Mid range bottle of wine||$13.65|
|Loaf of white bread||$1.62|
|One-way ticket (local transport)||$0.32|
|Monthly Pass (local transport)||$18.47|
|Fitness club, monthly fee for 1 adult||$46.95|
For most travelers, the most important city to visit in any country is its capital. This is especially true for Beijing, the capital of the People's Republic of China. Beijing has been the capital city on and off for the greater part of the last 3,000 years. It is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, and the name literally means “Northern Capital”.
There is a lot to see in Beijing. There is of course, the Forbidden City, which was the imperial of the emperors of China from the Ming Dynasty up to the Qing Dynasty. Also called the “Purple Forbidden City” and “Forbidden Palace,” it is a massive complex of structures, which was a veritable city on its own. UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site due to the significant impact it had on the architecture of China.
Just outside of the Forbidden City's south gate through Tiananmen Gate lies the famous Tiananmen Square. This is the ceremonial center of the People's Republic of China. It is where the Chinese hold their official parades.
One recent addition to China's cityscape is the various buildings built for the Beijing Olympics. These include the famous Bird's Nest building where the track and field competitions and the Aquatic competition building. Other important places of interest in Beijing are the Summer Palace, Silk Market, Lama Temple, National Grand Theater, and the Panda House. If the visitor does not have the time, it would be better if they sign up for guided tours, prior to going to Beijing.
Since English is not usually spoken in China, it would also help the traveler if he brought along a friend who knows how to speak Mandarin, the Chinese dialect/language used in Beijing. This would help save money on expenses and purchases. To save money on food, try the food stalls and the street vendors, just like the locals do.
For those who want to see historical residences, the various Hutongs around the city are the place to see. These are old enclosed neighborhoods which have been standing for centuries. Unfortunately, due to the city's modernization, these pockets of old neighborhoods are slowly being torn down and replaced by high-rises.
Outside of the city, and worthy of a day trip is the Badalung section of the Great Wall of China. This part of the trip to Beijing is the reason for most trips to China. It also needs some physical fortitude as it is a long walk up and down the wall which stands on top of several hills. Admittedly, even elderly visitors to China try to make the long climb just for the experience.
Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is considered to be one of the holiest sites in China, particularly for Taoists who believe in Heaven worship. The Temple of Heaven is located south of the Forbidden City and is the place of worship for the monarchs of China. The Chinese royalty (primarily of the Qing and Ming dynasties) go to the temple to pray for good harvest via elaborate ceremonies and sacrifices.
Tiananmen Square is not just your ordinary park. It is replete with history, history that shook not only China but the whole world. Tiananmen Square (which literally means "Gate of Heavenly Peace") sits right at the heart of the city of Beijing and is an important tourist spot. Built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty, it was the site where ceremonies of state were celebrated. Here, emperors made their important pronouncements and edicts before the people of China.
orbidden to outsiders no longer, enter the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing, China, and see the former imperial palace, which now houses the Palace Museum. For almost five hundred years, from the mid-Ming Dynasty until the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Forbidden City was the home of the Emperor and the Emperor's household, and was the political and ceremonial center of the Chinese government.Source