Memos from Asia

The Most Spectacular Places to Visit in Beijing

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Did you know that Beijing is China’s largest gateway city? That means that they have the biggest airport in the country. The capital of China also has a history of over 3000 years, and it’s the second biggest city there. Wow!

With a population of 21.5 million that stretches over 17,000 kilometers squared, Beijing offers many attractions, whether it be modern or historical. For example, some of the most spectacular places you should visit include the Great Wall of China, the Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the World Park.

In this article, we will explore all of these places and tell you special insider tips and tricks to the best vacation in Beijing, China!

Tiananmen Square

Beijing, Сhina: Tiananmen Square, one of the world’s largest city square

The Tiananmen Square may just look like an average plaza to an outsider, but it is actually a historical landmark with countless events that happened there marking the change of an era. Some of these events include the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, the Second Opium War where they burned down the Old Summer Palace, and the large military parade at the square every October 1st. Millions of people visit the square every month.

Some physical features of this place include its long, flat cobblestone ground, and the Chinese-styled buildings that date back to 100 years. People visit this place to take selfies, to pay their respects at the Monument to the People’s Heroes, and to enter the other attractions nearby.

Beside the Tianmen Square, you will find the famous Forbidden City, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. It truly is a historical, and therefore spectacular, place.

Imperial Palace and Forbidden City

A moat runs through the center of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.

You will find the Forbidden City located next to the Tiananmen Square. It is a palace complex stretching 180 acres or 72 hectares and consisting of more than 90 palaces and 8,728 rooms. The prominent colors you will find are yellow and red.

This place has loooads of history. That’s right; it was built in 1406, and has gone many changes since then. Some of the most notable events that has occurred there include a gathering to proclaim the young Shunzi Emperor as the ruler of all China, and a building taken hostage during the Second Opium War. After housing 24 emperors, it is definitely safe to say that this place is one you won’t find anywhere else.

It’s really amazing to see what a place of over 3,000 years has turned into in the modern days. You’re looking right at the buildings where many things happened, much longer before you were even born!

Summer Palace

Kunming lake landscape in Summer Palace

The Summer Palace was an imperial garden in the Qing Dynasty. Now, in modern times, it is one of the most memorable places to visit in Beijing. Surrounded by ensembles of lakes, palaces, and hills, this can easily become your favorite place.

Built in 1750, it was destroyed in the war of 1860 and rebuilt in 1886. It is a Chinese landmark of dedication, preservation, and the strength of the people. It is also said to be “the best-preserved imperial garden in the world.”

In the Summer Palace, you will find incredible architecture and scenery, like Kunming Lake, The Long Corridor, Longevity Hill, The Marble Boat, and the Garden of Virtue and Harmony.

If you’re dropping by Beijing, this is the one place you MUST go to!

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven, the landmark of Beijing, China

Another MUST VISIT in Beijing is the Temple of Heaven Park. The Temple of Heaven is a circular temple that highlights Chinese history and of ancient Chinese architecture. When you reach this building, you will see marble-white stairs leading you up to the comically shaped building, three protruding layers on top of the red, round walls.

The Temple of Heaven was built in 1406 by Emporer Yongle’s re-establishment of Beijing as China’s capital. It was also one of the most important imperial temples; this place was where “emperors worshipped the god of heaven and prayed for good harvests.”

Apart from this one building, there are many other places to explore in the Temple of Heaven Park. All of these places have astounding backstories behind them. It’s a truly unique sight.

Beijing Zoo

Panda at Beijing Zoo, China.

The Beijing Zoo is renowned to be the oldest park and zoo opened in China. It stretches over 90 hectares and it contains over 5,000 animals and 450 species. Some of its unique animals feature the giant pandas, the red panda, the golden snub-nosed monkey, the South China tiger, and the white-lipped deer.

Some of their animals are even extinct or endangered in the wild, so it is definitely worthwhile if you want to see some exotic animals!

Lastly, it has a cheap entrance fee. A few dollars for a whole day of fun, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China at Jinshanling

The Great Wall of China is a huge classic.

Its long, robust walls are comprised of rocks, clay, and cement. Stretching over 21,000 kilometers long, it finished building in 1878. Now it is 9 meters wide and 15 meters tall. Imagine carrying heavy rocks to build this massive thing!

Well, their work sure paid off; it’s renowned as the longest structure to be built by men, and it will go down in history as one of the most impressive feats by people. Of course, everything has a price; it is said that over 400,000 people have died building this wall.

If you come across this historical beauty, make sure to check it out! It’s honestly a symbol of dedication, hard work, and strength.

No matter where you go, just remember to have fun! All of these places mentioned above are definitely worthwhile, though, so at least visit 2-3 on your vacation.

Beijing is a truly exotic place with a history of over 3,000 years old. Which will you visit in Asia next? Check out my article on Shanghai, Japan, or Dubai!

Thank you for reading.

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