Beijing, China

Beijing is the prominent city in China, hosting more travellers than any other city. The city offers so many attractions for ancient and modern. There is nowhere in the world like Beijing city that you can gorge yourself on crispy Peking duck, walk the Great Wall, crisscross the Tiananmen Square, and freely explore the splendours of the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, all in a day or two? Might be three?

From the Ming to the Qing, Beijing was serving as the capital for imperial dynasties. The city has had its pick of the empires glorious creations, many of which it has guarded over the centuries. In the 13th century, Kublai Khan built his palace there and Marco Polo first paid a visit to Beijing as the capital of China. It reigned supreme from the 15th century, when the Ming rulers built the Forbidden City, to the 18th century, when the Manchu rulers built the Summer Palace. The city remains as capital of China until 1923 when the last of the Chinese emperor was evicted from the Forbidden City. When Mao Zedong declared the establishment of the People Republic of China, Beijing City was reappointed as the city of China again in 1949.

The Forbidden City still stands at the centre of Beijing right by the far end of the Tiananmen Square. Its golden tiled roofs and vast white courtyards glittering in the sun like an ancient giant crown. The Summer Palace also survived too at the northwest edge of the city. To the south has the Temple of Heaven, along with dozens of delicate monuments, old temples, and the courtyard houses in little alleyways (called Hutongs) that were once the hallmark of ordinary city life.
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