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Beijing Travel Guide

Beijing is a city that Marco Polo visited and served at the Imperial Court. Beijing is a city with 6 World Heritage Sites, including the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Beijing is a city where the East meets the West. Beijing is the city where the past and present merge in a special way. 

Beijing is the capital of People's Republic of China. It is located in the northern part of the North China Plain and surrounded by the mountains on its three sides - east, north and west. So its terrain is high in the northwest and low in the southeast. 
Area: 16,800 sq km 

Administrative Districts
Beijing governs 14 districts and 2 rural counties. Among the 16 districts, 8 are in the downtown Beijing. The other 8 districts are in the suburban areas. The 6 downtown districts are Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai, Shijingshan. The 8 suburban districts are Mentougou, Changping, Shunyi, Huairou, Tongzhou, Daxing, Fangshan, Pinggu. The 2 counties are Yanqing and Miyun. 

Climate: Climate
The climate in Beijing features the continental type. It is cold and dry in winter, mainly because of the Siberian cold wind that moves southward across the Mongolian Plateau. The summers here in Beijing are quite hot due to warm and humid monsoon winds coming from the southeast which brings much rain to Beijing. July and August are the raining season for Beijing. January and December are the coldest two months while July and August are the hottest two months. 

Beijing Population:
Beijing's population is over 20 millions. Population figures include a floating or migrant-workers population thatis estimated at about 4 million. 

Ethnic groups:
Ethnic groupsEthnic groups and the permanent residents of Beijing are comprised of all of China's 56 ethnic groups. The Han nationality makes for 96.5% of the total pupolation in Beijing. The other 55 ethnic minorities has a population of over 300,000, most of them are from Hui, Manchu, and Mongolian nationalities. 

Since the early 1990s, Beijing' gross domestic product (GDP) has been developing at an annual rate of 9%, with the comprehensive economic strength increased greatly. Beijing has set up an economy covering multi-sectors, which consist of State-run and collectively-operated companies and also include Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign cooperative ventures and totally foreign-managed enterprises as well as individual private businesses. It has adopted an advnaced industrial system, under which urban industries are conected to township industries and capital and technology are connected to labor-intensive industries. At the same time large, medium and small-sized companies compete with one another. Among the 164 industrial sectors classified by China on an uniform basis, Beijing has 149. The city has gradually turned into an industrial structure, which consists of the eight sectors: building materials, light industry and textiles, metallurgy, chemicals, automobiles, electronics, machinery. 

Commerce and Catering:Commerce
Beijing has developed its commerce sector and greatly pushed its service facilities to satisfy the standards of a modern international metropolitan city. It boasts of many fast and convenient shopping facilities with comfortable shopping environment. Local people are now able to taste delicacies of many kind of Chinese food and from all over the world. 
Gross retail sales revenue for Beijing's consumer goods reached RMB 175 billion Yuan ( approx. 21 billion U.S. dollars) in 2002, which found a riseof 11 % over the last year.} 

The main cereals are rice, wheat, and corn. The total amount of grain output was 2,761 million tons, and per-hectare yield was 6,420 kilograms. There are over 540 farms where each farmer is held responsible for over 6.6 hectares. Mechanization in agriculture has been basically realized in plain areas, and various kinds of areas can provide abundant sideline products. 

Tourism Tourism
Beijing boasts of abundant tourist resources. The city has some 200 scenic attractions open to tourists. It prides itself of the Forbidden City, the world's largest imperial papalce, the Temple of Heaven where Chinese emperors prayed for good harvest, the Summer Place, the largest imperial garden, the Great Wall and more... 
There are altogether over 600 star hotels and apartment buildings available for foreign tourists that would house over 100,000 hotel rooms. Till 2008, the city's star hotels will reach 800. Beijing also has about 160 international travel services that can offer more than 5,000 tourist guides. Each year since 2002 ( except 2003 ), Beijing has received over 3 million overseas tourists per year. Beijing was selected by the national tourist authority as one of the most charming tourist destinations in China. 

Beijing HistoryBeijing History
Beijing was half million years in the making. Some 600,000 years ago, Peking Man, man's earliest residents lived at Zhoukoudian, about 50 kms southwest of Beijing. The history of Beijing as a city may date back to about 3000 years ago when a small town was formed on the present place of southwestern Beijing. It was later called Ji and then renamed Yan. It became the second capital of the Liao Dynasty at the early stage of the 10th century. From then on, the city had served as the capital of the Jin , Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties until 1911. 

City trees:
Cypress and scholar trees are Beijing's city trees. The cypress represent the courage and strength of the Chinese people. You can find some of the old cypresses in Zhongshan Park planted as long as 1,000 years ago during the Liao Dynasty.City trees The scholar tree is symbolic of of good fortune,and happiness. In The Temple of Heaven, you could see many scholar trees. 

City Flowers
In the spring of 1987, Chinese rose and the chrysanthemum were selected as Beijing's official city flowers. The rose, a Chinese native, is also known as Monthly Red. It grows fast. The chrysanthemum has many names and varieties. In Beijing potted chrysanthemums may be found all year round. They flower in summer and fall naturally. 

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