Beijing (Peking), the capital city of the People’s Republic of China, is the center of politics, economy, culture, education, science and technology of China. With rich cultural heritage, it is a fast-growing and dynamic metropolis that is one of the four great ancient capitals of China. It is the second largest city in China next only to Shanghai. The 2008 Olympic Games were held in Beijing.
Despite the high-rise buildings, shopping malls and vast international hotels connected by an intricate freeway system crisscrossing the city, Beijing has served as both the political and cultural center for centuries. Among the modern buildings, there are countless palaces, traditional Hutongs and numerous other architectural treasures and exquisite temples. And most importantly, when mentioned Beijing, the Great Wall unconsciously comes to one’s mind, as it is the essence of the wisdom and diligence of the ancient Chinese people.
Local people in Beijing speak the Beijing dialect which is the most standard mandarin Chinese. While listening to standard mandarin, you can enjoy various historical and cultural places of interest and taste a variety of local delicacies like Beijing Roast Duck.
The Forbidden City (palace of the Emperors of the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty), imperial gardens such as the Beihai Park and the Summer Palace (summer retreat for Emperors of the Qing Dynasty), and the Temple of Heaven (Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties prayed to Heaven for good harvest, and so on are popular tourist destinations that embrace significant historical importance. There are also the Tiananmen Square, the Great Hall of the People, National Museum of China, Monument to the People’s Heroes, and Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Beijing is also known for its Hutongs (alleys) and Siheyuan (a compound with houses around a courtyard).