Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a total population of 21 million. The city's history dates back three millennia. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for much of the past eight centuries. It is also the nation's political and cultural hub. Additionally, it is the focal point for the country's transportation, scientific and technological development, education and communication. Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will make it the first city to ever host both events.
Beijing is located in northeastern China at the northern tip of the North China Plain. The city itself lies on flat land that opens to the east and south. The municipality's outlying districts and counties extend into the mountains that surround the city from the southwest to the northeast. The highest peaks are over 2,000 m (6,600 ft).
The city's climate is a rather dry, monsoon-influenced humid continental climate characterized by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Yet during the winter, winds from the northwest must cross the mountains that shield the city, keeping the city warmer than other locations of similar latitude in China. Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from the Mongolian steppe, accompanied by rapidly warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn, like spring, sees little rain but is crisp and short.
Beijing's air pollution and traffic congestion are being tackled with improved public transport, restrictions on the use of vehicles, and the relocation of factories. Daily and localized variations in airborne particle levels are great, with some days below the WHO's strictest targets. Breathing Beijing's air for six average days is the equivalent of smoking just one cigarette, which is not bad for a large developing world city. Beijing's air quality, apart from pollutants, is greatly affected by occasional dust storms in the spring, and humidity contributes greatly to the haze in summer, which is the worst time of the year for visibility and air quality.
The local currency is the Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY or RMB). Cash is the best method of payment, especially when shopping in markets or using taxis. Credit and debit cards are also widely used as a method of payment.
Standard Chinese, also known as Modern Standard Mandarin, is a standard language that is the sole official language of both mainland China and Taiwan.
As the capital of China for centuries, Beijing cuisines have been largely influenced by culinary traditions from all over China and also by the imperial cuisine which originated from “Emperor’s kitchen”.
Beijing Roast Duck
Jiaozi — Chinese Dumplings
Jing Jiang Rou Si — Shredded Pork in Beijing Sauce
Noodles with Soybean Paste — Zhajiang mian
Since June 2015 our hotel offers a smoke-free environment in all areas as per governmental regulation. This governmental non-smoking regulation includes all guest rooms as well as restaurants and bars and all public areas within the hotel building. You are most welcome to smoke outside the hotel complex and in front of our main entrance. In addition, we are delighted to offer you further alternative venues for smoking in all three of our Restaurants’ terraces located at Dragon Palace, Kranzler’s and Paulaner Bräuhaus.
China is a country that has long been known for its ceremonies and etiquette through the ages. However, it can be something of a culture shock when it comes to the differences between the social niceties between the country and the western world. Chinese people are very positive towards foreigners, and you don’t need to worry about offending people. Having said that, they will appreciate you making an effort to fit in, and it will make your stay more enjoyable.
Basic Pointers on Chinese Etiquette:
• Stay calm
• Bring a gift to people’s homes
• Accept name cards with two hands
• Share cigarettes
• Dress smartly
• Don’t interpret stares or even pointing as rudeness, it is just curiosity
• Spitting is not an intended insult
• Relax and have a good time, revel in the difference
Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA: PEK) is the main international airport serving Beijing. It is located 32 km (20 min) northeast of Beijing's city center. Beijing Capital International Airport is the main hub for Air China, the flag carrier of the People's Republic of China, which flies to around 120 destinations from Beijing.
Frequent flights, modern roads and rail make it easy for visitors to reach. Crisscross roads make the urban transportation generally fast and convenient; however, you may encounter traffic jam sometimes due to the millions of vehicles that the city owns. The city has an extensive public transportation network of taxis, buses, trolleybuses, suburban rail and a rapidly expanding subway system. Taxi-like services, including pedicabs, are also widely used. A motorized or manual bicycle is probably the most commonly seen form, although pedicabs are still available in certain parts of the city.