TOURS TO CHINA
TOUR TO CHINA
BEIJING, IN & AROUND.
Beijing, capital of the People's Republic of China, covers an area of 16,800 square kilometers with a population of 11.2 million. Beijing has a history of more than
3,000 years. From the 12th century, Beijing had been serving as capitals of several Chinese dynasties for 800 years, leaving behind a great number of famous scenic spots and historical sites in China.
Beijing ranks first in China in terms of the number of imperial palaces and temples of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Its most attractive scenic wonders include the Palace Museum, the Great Wall, the
Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, Ming Tombs, Tian'anmen Square, the East and West Chang'an Avenues which were transformed and expanded after the founding of the People's Republic of China, and a
dozen of museums and memorial halls. In recent years, new tourist attractions have been developed, such as the World Park and the China Ethnic Minority Garden.
- Dingling Underground Palace. Dingling is one of the 13 Ming imperial tombs erected on the southern slopes of Tianshou Mountains, 40 kilometers to the northwest of Beijing. The underground
palace was opened in 1956. Twenty-seven meters below the tumulus and 1,195 square meters in area, the palace was built with rock and stone, solid and formidable. Here buried were Emperor Wanii
(1563-1620), and his two empresses.
- The Great Wall. The world-renowned Great Wall, a symbol of the ancient Chinese civilization, has stood grandly on the land of China for thousands of years. Stretching from the coast of the
Bohai Gulf in the east and terminating at Jiayu Pass in the west, it serpentines among lofty mountains for 6,350 kilometers, hence its Chinese name Wanlichangcheng
(Ten-thousand-H-long wall). It is said to be one of the only two human engineering projects visible to astronauts from space with naked eyes.
- The Temple of Heaven. China's largest temple and altar complex, the Temple of Heaven in the southern part of Beijing occupies an area of 270 hectares. First built in 1420, it was the place
where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshipped heaven and prayed for abundant harvests.
- The Summer Palace. Located in the northwestern suburb of Beijing, the Summer Palace was a summer resort of China's
monarchs during the Qing Dynasty. It can be roughly divided into two parts -
Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake. The total area is 290 hectares, three-fourths of which are waters. It was originally known as Qingyiyuan (Clear Ripples Garden), which was burned down by the
Anglo-French Allied Forces in 1860. In 1888, Empress Dowager Cixi embezzled five million
teals of silver from the navy funds to have it restored and renamed it Yiheyuan (Pleasing Harmony Garden),
otherwise known as the Summer Palace.
- Forbidden City (The Palace Museum). The former Forbidden City, built between 1406 and 1420 in the center of Beijing City proper, had been the imperial palace of 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing (1644-1911)
dynasties. Covering an area of 72 hectares, the Palace has a total floor space of some 160,000 square meters with 9,999 room units. The Throne Hall-Hall of Supreme Harmony—is China's tallest ancient
palace building of timber, where during the reign of the Ming' and Qing emperors all the important national ceremonies took place.
- Yonghe Lamasery. In the northeastern part of Beijing stands Yonghe Lamasery which was built in 1694, the largest of its kind in the capital. The monastery consists of five main buildings
combining the architectural style of Han, Manchu, Mongol and Tibet. On display in the temple are numerous valuable relics, including an 18-meter high Maitreya Buddha statue sculptured out of a
26-meter-long sandalwood log, a niche of sculptured nanmu wood , and a throne of 500 arhats of gold, silver, copper, iron and tin, known as the "three masterpieces of the Yonghe Lamasery."
- Liulichang Street of Chinese Culture. Outside Hepingmen (Peace) Gate in downtown Beijing, Liulichang street of ancient Chinese culture is 750 meters long from east to west. It is flanked
with antique shops of mock ancient architecture of gilded and carved columns and beams. The shops offer paintings, calligraphy scrolls by famous artists and scholars, potteries, rubbings of
inscriptions, writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper, and works of handicraft and fine art.
- Beihai Park. Initially built in the 10th century, Beihai Park is situated to the northwest of the Palace Museum and covers an area of 68.2 hectares. It possesses both a scenic hill (Qionghuadao—Jade
Islet) and beautiful waters (No: Lake). Standing upright in the center of the islet is j towering White Pagoda, 35.9 meters high, and built in 16'
- Hutongs. Hutongs are a special feature of downtown Beijing, where there are 4,550 of them. A hutong is a kind of lane lined on both sides by courtyards containing compound houses. The
best-preserved hutongs are those around the Mansion of Prince Yixin. Riding in old-fashioned
pedicabs through these hutongs is something special for your Beijing trip.
- Jingshan Park. Opposite the northern gate of the Palace Museum is Jingshan (a hill commanding views) Park of 23 hectares, an imperial garden during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Five
pavilions of similar construction stand in a row at regular intervals along the ridge of the small hill. The middle one, the Wanchun (ten-thousand-spring) Pavilion on the hilltop, is on the axis of
the inner city of Beijing.
- Tian'anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) was and is considered as the
centre of Beijing, not only because of its location but also because it is a
symbol of power. Tian'anmen is the front gate of the Forbidden City, the gate
leading to the supreme power in imperial times. The tower over the gate was
used for grand ceremonies in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, for instance,
issuing imperial edicts. In modern China, it is also a symbol of power. From
the tower of Tian'anmen, on October 1, 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed
the founding of the new China. On National Day each year, the tower is used as
a rostrum for reviewing the mass assembly.
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