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Beijing is the capital city of the most populous country in the world, the People’s Republic of China and is the political, educational and cultural centre of the country. It has been the capital city for the last 850 years, but with a history of more than 3000 years, most major buildings have some national historical significance. At the heart of Beijing is the Forbidden City, home to the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties, now incorporating the Palace Museum with imperial collections of Chinese art. Beijing also has the Great Wall, one of the wonders of the world, stretching 5,500 miles from east to west, visible from space and a major tourist attraction.
The Beijing CBD is on the east side of the city, part of the Chaoyang District and has 44 Fortune 500 company headquarters based there, the 2nd highest amount in the world with Tokyo being the premier. But 490 out of the world’s top 500 companies have invested in various projects in Beijing, most recently including Amazon.com and JPMorgan Chase & Co. More of the world’s biggest multinational companies, entrepreneurs and scholars are moving to Beijing, creating “China’s New Future.”
Entertainment and Dining Out
Beijing presents you with a diverse array of interesting choices, both in the daytime but also when darkness falls. You have the historical and cultural sites to visit, but due to the diversity the city gives you, there are also the business streets and markets, combining the traditional handcrafts of Beijing on Qianmen Street, right next door to modern westernised shopping malls like the Shin Kong Place. In the evening again the choices are vast, whether watching traditional Chinese performers and acrobats in the Tianqiao area, to sampling cuisines from many different cultures, with thousands of restaurants available catering for all budgets, choices are unlimited, you can literally can get food from anywhere in the world here.
Beijing is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and motorways passing through the city. For air passengers, you have the Beijing Capital International airport, located to the northeast of the city centre, vastly becoming one of the busiest airports in the world and the main gateway in and out of China. Beijing is also serviced by three main rail stations, Beijing Railway Station, Beijing South and Beijing West but only Beijing Railway Station is inside the old walled city. Taxis and buses are also easily hired, but if you are more adventurous, try the traditional rickshaw to get round the old Hutong area.