Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most densely populated cities in the world, home to approximately 21 million people. The city's impressive history dates back three millennia and, as the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political and cultural centre of the country for the majority of the past eight centuries.
Today, it is the central point for the country's scientific and technological development. Ground-breaking advancements are continuously made in science, technology, transportation and communication.
Recently, Beijing was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Previously home to the 2008 Summer Olympics, it will become the first city to host both events.
Beijing is located in northeastChina, at the northern tip of the North China Plain. The city itself lies on flat land that opens up to the east and the 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 2,000m (6,600ft) tall.
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 the sole official language of both mainland China and Taiwan.
Overall, Beijing has a rather dry climate, characterised by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon and colder winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Yet, during the winter winds from the northwest cross the mountains that shield the city, keeping Beijing warmer than other locations of a similar latitude in China.
During spring sandstorms blow in from the Mongolian steppe, which is often accompanied by rapidly warmer, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn, is cool and crisp but often only short.
Beijing's air pollution and traffic congestion are being addressed with improved public transport, restrictions on the use of vehicles, and the relocation of factories.
Daily and localized variations in airborne particle levels are now good, with some days below the WHO's strictest targets. Breathing Beijing's air for six days is the equivalent of smoking just one cigarette, which is respectable for a large, developing metropolis.
Aside from pollutants, Beijing's air quality is occasionally affected by dust storms in the spring. Humidity levels contribute greatly to the haze in the summer too, which happens to be the worst time of year for visibility and air quality.
As the capital of China for centuries, Beijing's cuisine has been greatly influenced by culinary traditions from all over the country, and also by the imperial cuisine, a style of cookery that originated from the royal kitchens of China's successive emperors.
Beijing Roast Duck
Jiaozi — Chinese Dumplings
Jing Jiang Rou Si — Shredded Pork in Beijing Sauce
Zhajiangmian – Noodles with Soybean Paste
Since June 2015,China has had a ban on smoking in all public places. Our hotel offers a smoke-free environment in all guest rooms as well as restaurants, bars and all public areas within the hotel building.You are most welcome to smoke outside the hotel complex and on our terraces.
China is a country that has long been known for its ceremonies and etiquette throughout the ages. However, it can be something of a culture shock when it comes to the differences between the social customs in Beijing and in the west. Chinese people are very positive towards foreigners, and you don’t need to worry about offending people, but they will appreciate you making an effort to fit in, and it will also make your stay more enjoyable.
Basic points on Chinese etiquette
• Stay calm and collected
• Bring a gift when visiting someone's home
• Accept name cards with two hands
• Share cigarettes
• Dress smartly
• Don't interpret stares or even pointing as rudeness - it is just a sign of curiosity
• Spitting is not intended as an insult
• Relax and have a good time - enjoy the cultural differences!
Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA: PEK) is the main international airport serving Beijing. It is located 32 km (20 minutes) northeast of Beijing's city centre. 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 efficient railways make it easy for visitors to reach Beijing. Once in the capital, a grid-based road layout makes urban transportation generally fast and convenient, however, you may sometimes encounter traffic jams due to the millions of vehicles operating in the city
Beijing also 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 of transport in China for locals, however pedicabs are still available in certain parts of the city.