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About Beijing

Beijing: A city of numerous attractions

Tours of any kind in Beijing can never let you down. The city is ancient and modern, traditional and open, serene and buoyant. Its multidimensionality appeals to all…

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Beijing at a glance:

Beijing lies in northern China, which belongs to the continental monsoon region in the warm temperature zone. Mountains snake round the city's north, west and northeast, while the southeast part of the city is a plain.

Since 1949, Beijing has been the national capital, the country's political and cultural center and center of the country's international exchange. The Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace are on the UNESCO List of World Heritage.

A city of history

Historic records and archeological findings prove that as a city, Beijing dates back to more than 3,000 years ago. It was the capital of five feudal dynasties-the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing.

The city has a great many historical scenic spots of various types. They will present you snapshots of Chinese history. For instance, the Palace Museum, also known as the Purple Forbidden City, is the largest and most well preserved imperial residence in China today. Its construction was completed in 1420, and 24 emperors since then had lived in it.

A city of culture

Beijing has its own folk culture. Peking Opera is a graceful and consummate art which combines the best elements of literature, music and dance. One of the unique features of Beijing is its numerous Hutongs which means small lanes. The residences of local Beijingers used to spread along Hutongs. Dwelling compounds or quadrangles (Siheyuan) in Beijing are also one important aspect of the city's architectural heritage.

Apart from Beijing local culture, you cannot miss the opportunity to experience authentic Chinese culture such as Chinese tea culture, Chinese calligraphy, silk, and Chinese cloisonne.

A city of food

In Beijing, people are now able to enjoy delicacies of any kind of Chinese cuisines and from any parts of the world. Beijing Roast duck is thought to be one of the most delicious dishes all over the world; most visitors coming to Beijing will never forget to have a try. Imperial Court Cuisine and Medicinal Cuisine are also special in Beijing.

Besides dishes, there are a great variety of Beijing snacks. Restaurants of Chinese regional characteristics and foreign restaurants provide more options for gourmets.

A city of modernity

Beijing has arranged its commerce layout and developed its service facilities to meet the standards of a modern cosmopolitan city. Its airport, the Capital International Airport has the first-class service facilities and more than 5,000 scheduled flights are available to 88 cities in China and 69 cities abroad. In order to get ready for the 2008 Olympic Games, great efforts have been made to improve transportation, especially high ways and inner-city railways.

Beijing also features many shopping compounds with comfortable shopping environment and many theaters where both eastern and western arts present themselves.

Travel Information
Beijing International Airport locates in the northeast suburb of Beijing and has a 18 kilometer long express way connection to downtown area of Beijing. It takes about a 20 minute drive from the airport to the conference hotels. Please make sure to get a copy of your hotel's name in Chinese characters so that you can show it to the driver. We have address cards available for all conference hotels on our Lodging page.

Banks and Currency
Major Credit Cards like Master, Visa and American Express are acceptable in most big shopping centers and hotels. Major foreign currencies can be changed to the Chinese currency RMB at the airport, the Bank of China or hotels.

8 hours ahead of GMT.

The local voltage is 200-240 volts AC, 50 cycles. Transformers reducing the voltage to 110-120 volts, 60 cycles are available in some hotels. There are a variety of plug types used in China, therefore you may need plug converters. Please check the Electricity Around the World site for the various plug types.

Drinking Water
Only a few luxury hotels provide drinkable tap water. Bottled water is always recommended.

Beijing enjoys a moderate continental climate. The average yearly rainfall is about 600 to 700 millimetres. Much of it falls in late June, July and August. Spring in Beijing is dry and dusty, summer rainy, winter long, sunny and day. The average temperature in June is 25.2 Centigrade/77 Fahrenheit.

Chinese is the native language in China. However, English is more and more popular in China nowadays. Many young people speak good English, however most store owners and taxi drivers do not.

Tipping or gratuities are not common in most sectors of Chinese life, although it has become norm to tip the tour guide and driver, hotel bellboy in recognition of their good service. It is not customary to leave tips at local restaurants. The appropriate tip amount is around USD$2/ for tour guides and USD$1/ for drivers. In Western style hotels, waiters at restaurants may expect a tip of 15 percent. Note that it is part of the polite ritual that any gift or tip initially will be firmly rejected.

Business Hours
Most office hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.