Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China, and it is the second largest Chinese city. Its name itself means the “Northern Capital” and Beijing has also been called Peking in the past. One of the most famous recent events that has taken place in this city is the 2008 Summer Olympics, which were held in Beijing’s National Stadium, also called “the Bird’s Nest”. Beijing consists of sixteen districts and two counties. The city flower is the China Rose, and the Chinese Arborvitae and the Pagoda tree are the city trees.

            Beijing is known for being a transportation hotspot across the world. There are several airports including Beijing Capital International Airport, Nanyuan Airport, Liangxiang Airport, Xiajo Airport, and Badaling Airport. Many Chinese people bike throughout Beijing, as biking is one the most prominent forms of transportation. Over 22 million people reside in Beijing, which is 16,801 square kilometers. This city itself is over three thousand years old. Its name was changed to Beiping in 1928, then back to Beijing in 1937. In 1949, it became the official capital of China.

            There are many beautiful sites to see in Beijing. This city holds much Chinese history. You can visit the Forbidden City, which was built during the Mind dynasty. For hundreds of years, Chinese officials lived in this palace. It is a beautiful palace resting on 178 acres that is now open to tourists. Another historic place to visit is the Mausoleum of Mao Tse-tung.            This is where the famous (and notorious) Chinese Communist was buried. Mao was the Chairman of Communist parties in China, and also ushered in the Cultural Revolution, which brought a wave a intense Communism to the country.

            Two other historic sites to see are the Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall. Tiananmen Square is a famous location in Chinese history. It is right in the middle of Beijing and just outside of the Forbidden City, and also near the site of Mao’s tomb. The Great Wall was built after the fifth century as Mongol’s tried to keep out others from entering their territory. The wall has been rebuilt in parts since then. Tourists can find many walking tours that will allow them to walk along the wall. However, it is cautioned because some of the walk is uphill and can be very long.

            Religion has had a significant impact on Beijing culture. Many famous temples can be found here, including the Temple of Heaven and Lama Temple. The Temple of Heaven is a Taoist temple that was constructed in the early fifteenth century. The Lama Temple, also called the Yonghe Temple, is a Buddhist temple and monastery. Students still study here today. Other places to visit in Beijing are the Beijing Zoo, where you will find Panda bears. The Beijing Opera (also called the Peking Opera) is another famous site.