For visitors on a vacation tour in Beijing China for the first time, a trip to this historic city could be a study in contrast. There are some dazzling ultramodern skylines along with hidden corners of traditional china. One could come across historic neighborhoods that are crisscrossed by fast lanes in this fast changing city. But one thing is for sure. The metropolis with their numerous shops, restaurants and bars, galleries has its own magic as well.
Before the morning coffee starts flowing, the lanes and by-lanes come to life. There are scenes of an aged knife sharpener peddling its way through, a rice seller passing behind him with crammed kernel sacks in the wagon. On summer evenings, there is good betting to be seen on cricket fights as it is watched over beers. Smoking is omnipresent in Beijing and elsewhere. This is the hidden world of Beijing, a metropolis with a rich history of its own and hurtling into the future. Don’t be surprised if you find a Buddhist monk gabbing into his cell phone.
Some couple of centuries ago the feng shui masters of the emperor selected this chose this parched area for its spiritual energy and found the capital that would witness sandstorms and dynasties and create an urban culture where one will find imperial shrine next to indie rock clubs. Apparently authoritarian and optimistic, Beijing is sure to make an impression. Here are some Beijing attractions that are not to be missed.
The Forbidden City is the largest imperial palace complex to be found in the world. The palace has been functioning as the administrative centre of the country for five centuries.
Great Wall in Beijing
The wall is one of the ‘Eight Wonders of the World’ and is enlisted in the world Heritage directory. The wall was initially build to prevent invaders entering the area as well as save its inhabitants. The wall passes through five provinces, passing through Shanhaiguan Pass in the east to Jiayuguan Pass in the west, as it passes through deserts, mountains and grasslands.
Tiananmen Square is the largest city centre in the world. The vast courtyard is surrounded by some magnificent edifices including the Tiananmen Tower, Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, Great Hall of the people, the National Museum and the Monument to the People’s Heroes.
Imperial Gardens and Mausoleums
As the capital city is home to several Dynasties, there are good numbers of royal gardens, along with spectacular imperial palaces. One will also come across some spectacular mausoleums of emperors. The most excellent of these is the Ming Tombs of the 13 emperors.
Religion was always taken as a connection to the supreme imperial power and was the focus of religious life. Hence, there are numerous temples to be found in Beijing. The largest of these temples is the Temple of Heaven and opposite to it is the Altar of Earth.