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Beijing Traveler’s Guide

Posted by in Regional: Countries: China  ~  May 29, 2012 08:23:06 PM

Beijing is the capital city of the People’s Republic of China and was historically the center of both the Qing and Ming dynasties. Much of its historical sites and past institutions are still preserved and is available for the tourists to see. Beijing is a great place to learn more of the rich and colorful Chinese tradition. If ever you are in Beijing, you should make the most of your trip and visit the following must sees.

The Forbidden City, which is also known as the Palace Museum, is the best place to feel the remnants of Imperial China’s past grandeur especially during the Qing and Ming Empires. The People’s Republic of China chose to preserve the integrity of the Forbidden City by allowing only a few gift shops and cafes to be built there. It is advised that tourists get there as early as 8:30 am to enjoy the Forbidden City in peace and tranquility.

Who can forget the Tiananmen Square which was built by the famous Mao. The Tiananmen Square is site to one of history’s most unforgettable events: the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989. In fact one of the marble lions that is in the Tiananmen Square still bear the bullet from that tragic day in 1989. The Tiananmen Square is surrounded by government buildings and monuments as well as home to the mausoleum of China’s dictator Mao.

If you are looking for some peace and solitude after a visit to these historical places you may want to drop by at the Temple of Heaven located at the south east of the Tiananmen Square and Qianmen. It has been said that the temple was the place where a Chinese emperor prayed every year for fair weather and good harvest. The Temple of Heaven is an outstanding site, being Beijing’s greenest place where natives are used to dancing and doing tai chi in the morning at the public park. Many old trees are still kept alive in the Temple of Heaven.

The Summer Palace is said to be home to the emperors during the Qing dynasty. It offers beautiful gardens and the ruins of the once marvelous palace. Its back hills even offer caves and solitary places for its visitors. If you are interested in capturing some of China’s Buddhist culture you can try and visit the Yonghegong, which is otherwise known as the Palace of Peace or the Lama Temple. The temple was built by Chinese emperors who were fascinated with Buddhism. Mongolian and Tibetan monks lived in the Lama Temple and even today there are still a number of monks that live in the Lama Temple. The Yonghegong is famous for the 18m wooden statue of Maitreya Buddha. It is prohibited for tourists, however, to take pictures of the statue.