Memories of Beijing

Beijing (北 京, alternatively Romanized as Peking), the capital of the People’s Republic of China, is also the world’s most populous national capital city, with over 21 million residents. Like Shanghai, it is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of the State.  Geographically, it is surrounded almost entirely by Hebei Province, with the exception of Tianjin which borders it to the southeast. The city’s name, from the Chinese characters for “north” (北) and “capital” (京), was applied to the city in 1403 during the Ming Dynasty in order to distinguish the city from Nanjing, which was the nation’s “Southern Capital”.

As a “global city”, Beijing is considered to be one of the world’s leading centers for culture, diplomacy &  politics, business & economics,  education, language, and science & technology. It is also home to the largest number of Fortune Global 500 companies in the world and serves as the headquarters of most of China’s largest state-owned companies. In addition, Beijing is known as the “billionaire capital of the world”, with the highest number of billionaires living in the city (namely 100, as of 2021).

The Beijing Capital International Airport has been the 2nd-busiest in the world by passenger traffic since 2010, and the Beijing Daxing International Airport, the city’s 2nd international airport, is the largest single-structure airport terminal in the world. The city’s  subway network has been the busiest and longest in the world since 2016.

Dating back over 3000 years, Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world, as well as the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. As such, it is made up of a blend of both modern and traditional architectural styles. It was also the most populated city in the world for much of the 2nd millennium AD.

The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls, and gates and contains seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including:

  1. The Forbidden City:
  2. Temple of Heaven
  3. Summer Palace
  4. Ming Tombs
  5. The Great Wall:
  6. Zhoukoudian (the “Peking Man” site)
  7. The Grand Canal

My other recommended sites include:

In 2022, Beijing will become the first city ever to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics (as well as the Summer and Winter Paralympics).

  • Visited: 1996, 1997, 1998

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