Landing in Beijing

Trip Start Jun 16, 2008
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Trip End Jul 20, 2008


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Flag of China  , Beijing,
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Finally I landed in Beijing after a 14 hour flight from New York.  The time was exactly 12 hours ahead here.  I was picked up at the airport and taken to my hotel.  Unfortunately I made reservations for the next five nights, but I had forgotten to make it for tonight.  It was no big deal other than the fact that they didn't speak any English.  Nobody in this country seems to speak English for that matter.

I was so tired but tried to stay up until the early evening.  I walked along Wangfujing and later had dinner at a nearby restaurant.








Beijing, Jing for short, is the nation's political, economic, cultural and educational center as well as China's most important center for international trade and communications. Together with Xian, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Nanjing and Hangzhou, Beijing is one of the six ancient cities in China. It has been the heart and soul of politics and society throughout its long history and consequently there is an unparalleled wealth of discovery to delight and intrigue travelers as they explore Beijing's ancient past and enjoy its exciting modern development. As the capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is located in northern China, close to Tianjin Municipality and partially surrounded by Hebei Province. The city covers an area of more than 16,410 square kilometers (6336 square miles) and has a population of 14.93 million people.

How can one city boast so many phenomenal places? Beijing's long and illustrious history started some 500,000 years ago. It is here that the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens, Peking men, lived in caves. Records show that Beijing has been an inhabited city for more than three thousand years and has endured invasions by warlords and foreign powers, devastating fires, the rise and fall of powerful imperial dynasties and has emerged each time as a strong and vibrant city. For more than 800 years, Beijing was a capital city - from the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368) to the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties. Thirty-four emperors have lived and ruled the nation in Beijing and it has been an important trading city from its earliest days.

It has the biggest central square in the world - Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City that is the largest and best-preserved imperial palace complex, a superbly preserved section of the Great Wall,as well as the largest sacrificial complex in the world - the Temple of Heaven
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