China, officially known as the People’s Republic of China is World’s 2nd largest (size) with the world’s largest population situated in East Asia. The country’s major urban areas included Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Hong Kong. Geography of China consists of deserts like Gobi and Taklamakan, Mountain ranges like Himalayas, Tian Shan, Rivers like Yangtze and Yellow river. China’s coastline is bounded by Bohai, Yellow, East China and South China seas. China is the home of one of the oldest civilisations of world namely Xia dynasty and Qin Dynasty. It offered varieties of tourism and attract tourists from all over the world. Travellers visit China for many reasons like to enjoy delicious Chinese food, experience its culture, visit Palaces, Monuments, and Museums etc. Natural beauty of China is so amazing and attractive. China has 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in which 35 are Cultural, 11 are Natural 4 are mixed.
Beijing is the capital of the world’s most populous country i.e. China. Beijing is one of the four ancient cities of China, the best preserved, and famous around the world. One of the earliest civilisation i.e. Ming and Qing dynasty emperors were seated here until the formation of a republic in 1911. Beijing is the political, educational and cultural centre of the country and as such it is rich in historical sites, important government and cultural institutions. Beijing is prosperous with historical wealth and has 6 UNESCO world heritage sites, which reflects the glorious history of it. Beijing attracts domestic as well as International tourist all over the year. Other major tourism destinations of the city are National Stadium, Tiananmen Square, National Museum, Yonghe Temple etc. But the places which attracts tourist a lot are their UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
And UNESCO sites are:-
• Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (2003): It represents the 17th century Imperial tombs of Ming Dynasty and Qing dynasty. All these monuments were constructed for founding members of dynasties and their ancestor follow the traditional Chinese and fegshui theory. They replicate the rich culture of China by decorated statues, stone carvings and tiles with dragon motifs. The Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties are masterpieces of human creative genius by reason of their organic integration into nature, and a unique testimony to the cultural and architectural traditions of the last two feudal dynasties in the history of China between the 14th and 20th centuries.
• Temple of Heaven (1998): The temple of Heaven is a religious building situated in the Southeastern part of Beijing. This temple complex was constructed in 1406-1420 during the reign of Yongle Emperor, is a complex of fine cult buildings set in the gardens and surrounded by historic pine woods. The emperor of Ming and Qing dynasties visited Temple of Heaven and prays for the good harvest. This beautiful temple symbolises the relationship between earth and heaven or human and the God. The Temple of Heaven in Beijing is a masterpiece of ancient Chinese culture and is the most representative work of numerous sacrificial buildings in China.
• The Summer Palace (1998): The Summer Palace in Beijing – first built in 1750, largely destroyed in the war of 1860 and restored on its original foundations in 1886 – is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. It is one of the most popular tourism destinations of Beijing which consists of lakes, garden and palaces. The central Kunming Lake, covering 2.2 sq. km. was entirely man-made and the excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill. Longevity Hill is about 60 m. high and has many buildings positioned in sequence. The front hill is rich with splendid halls and pavilions, while the back hill, in sharp contrast, is quiet with natural beauty.
• Peking-man Site at Zhoukoudian (1987): Also known as Peking Man Museum or Zhoukoudian Anthropological Museum situated in the village of Zhoukoudian near Beijing. It is a Pleistocene hominid sites on the North China Plain houses many archaeological discoveries, including one of the first specimens of Homo erects, dubbed Peking-man. The site is not only an exceptional reminder of the pre-historical human societies of the Asian continent, but also illustrates the process of evolution.
• The Forbidden City (1987): Seat of supreme power for over five centuries, the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its landscaped gardens and many buildings, constitutes a priceless testimony to Chinese civilisation during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is a Chinese Imperial Palace constructed between 1406-1420, where it served as the home of emperors of Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty and their households. It consists of 980 buildings and was an epicentre of Chinese politics. The palace complex showcases traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments. The Forbidden City is situated in the centre of Beijing city and now houses the Palace Museum.
• The Great Wall of China (1987): It’s a fortification wall made up of stone, brick, rammed earth, wood, and other materials was constructed under Qin Shi Huang of Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC). The length of wall is 8851 km and initially it was 21,196 km and it consists of walls, watch towers, horse tracks and shelters on the wall. The Great Wall begins in the East at Shanhaiguan in Hebei province and ends at Jiayuguan in Gansu province to the West. It was constructed in the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires from neighbouring enemy dynasties. The Great Wall of China reflects collision and exchanges between civilisations in ancient China.
How to Reach: Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is directly connected with major Indian cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. Going to Beijing via Hong Kong or Shanghai can also be one of the good options.
Where to Stay: In Beijing, all categories of Hotels and Resorts are available. Intercontinental, Four Seasons, Shangri-La, Courtyard, Park Hyatt, JW Marriott etc hotel groups can make your stay comfortable and luxurious.
What to eat: Don’t forget to eat authentic Chinese cuisines like soup, roast ducks, noodles, flat-bread, barbecue skewers etc.
Public Transport: Best way to visiting all UNESCO sites of Beijing are Metro (Beijing Subway) and Beijing Public Bus. Or one of the best way to explore Beijing is on bicycle.
Currency: Chinese Yuan.