Beijing Travel Guide
Beijing, also known as Peking, is the historic and modern capital of China, both politically and culturally. It is home, most notably, to the world's largest urban square, Tian'anmen, upon which Mao, the iconic Communist leader, gazes from a gigantic poster, and where, more memorably, in 1989, a million-man pro-democracy protest was brutally crushed, while a lone protester thwarted a speeding tank, blocking its path, as the whole world watched. The city itself is huge, 21 million strong, with vast streets, modern fly-overs, monolithic concrete buildings and stunning skyscrapers fueled by a massive infusion of capitalist cash and backed by the singular will of the Communist Party of China; and, too, in sharp contrast, it is home to the Forbidden City where you could lose yourself in a world apart, together with ancient temples and palaces, lush gardens, and the fabulously atmospheric hutong districts – centuries-old quarters crammed with crude, simple houses crowding impossibly narrow, cobbled lanes. Ultimately, though, Beijing is a city as fascinating as any you're likely to encounter in China, a city that was the seat of emperors for nearly seven centuries, starting with the Ming Dynasty, and the stronghold of China's Communists since the mid 20th-century when Mao Zedong brought his revolution full circle. Indeed, here is a city that continues to transform itself – on a grand, mind-boggling scale!
Beijing is located in northeastern China.
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