Beijing-Ancient and Modern Capital
Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China and the world's third most populous city proper. It is also one of the world's most populous capital cities. The city, located in northern China, is governed as a direct-controlled municipality under the national government with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts. Beijing Municipality is surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighbouring Tianjin Municipality to the southeast; together the three divisions form the Jingjinji metropolitan region and the national capital region of China.
Beijing is situated at the northern tip of the roughly triangular North China Plain, which opens to the south and east of the city. Mountains to the north, northwest and west shield the city and northern China's agricultural heartland from the encroaching desert steppes. The northwestern part of the municipality, especially Yanqing County and Huairou District, are dominated by the Jundu Mountains, while the western part is framed by Xishan or the Western Hills. The Great Wall of China across the northern part of Beijing Municipality was built on the rugged topography to defend against nomadic incursions from the steppes. Mount Dongling, in the Western Hills and on the border with Hebei, is the municipality's highest point, with an altitude of 2,303 metres (7,556 ft). Major rivers flowing through the municipality, including the Chaobai, Yongding, Juma, are all tributaries in the Hai River system, and flow in a southeasterly direction.
Winter lasts 120 Days from November 15 to March 15.
Winter is long and cold. In winter Beijing has short days, dark 5pm. The ticket selling for major attractions is closed after 4.30pm. The sights stay open all year round. The advantage going in winter is that there are fewer tourists around, you can have great wall photos.
In winter, make sure to take some warm clothes with you. It is a good idea to dress in layers: long underwear and jeans, sweater and down jacket. If you want to travel to the outskirts of Beijing in the cold monthes, you can buy a thick cotton army coat and a fur hat from local markets.
Spring lasts 60 days from March 15 to May 15;
Each year, March 15th is the official day of turning off the heating system in Beijing. This special date indicates the dry, harsh cold of Beijing's winter is coming to an end though Beijingers will still have some chilly days in March.
Summer lasts 120 days from May 15 to Spetember 15;
Beijing is hot and rainy in summer, especially in July and August - the two months are the hottest and most plentiful in rain for a year. May and June are more comfortable than July and August. In the hot months of summer, T-shirts and light pants or shorts are the best choice. Don't forget to bring sunglasses, suncream and umbrella.
Autumn lasts 60 days from September 05 to November 15.
The foggy and cloudy days in Beijing's oppressive summer are leaving us, coming with Beijing's cooling autumn, with a blue sky, comfortable sunshine and the colourful leaves in and around Beijing.Beijing autumn, specifically the two months from the mid-Setempber to mid-November are the ideal season to visit Beijing in a year. It's always comfortably cool outside, exploring the city's streets and hutong, killing your time in the numerous outdoor cafes and restaurants, climbing the suburban mountains, being a hero by hiking the great wall and enjoying the best autumn hues feasting your eyes.
Municipal government is regulated by the local Communist Party of China (CPC), led by the Beijing CPC Secretary. The local CPC issues administrative orders, collects taxes, manages the economy, and directs a standing committee of the Municipal People's Congress in making policy decisions and overseeing the local government. Government officials include the mayor and vice-mayor. Numerous bureaus focus on law, public security, and other affairs. Additionally, as the capital of China, Beijing houses all of the important national governmental and political institutions, including the National People's Congress.
Beijing's economy ranks among the most developed and prosperous in China. In 2013, the municipality's nominal gross domestic product (GDP) was CN￥1.95 trillion (US$314 billion), about 3.43% of the country's total output, and ranked 13th among province-level administrative units. Per capita GDP, at CN￥93,213 (US$15,051) in nominal terms and Int$21,948 at purchasing power parity, was 2.2 times the national average and ranked second among province-level administrative units. The economy tripled in size from 2004 to 2012, and grew at an annual rate of 7.7% in 2013. Due to the concentration of state owned enterprises in the national capital, Beijing in 2013 had more Fortune Global 500 Company headquarters than any other city in the world.
People native to urban Beijing speak the Beijing dialect, which belongs to the Mandarin subdivision of spoken Chinese. This speech is the basis for putonghua, the standard spoken language used in mainland China and Taiwan, and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Rural areas of Beijing Municipality have their own dialects akin to those of Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing Municipality.
Beijing or Peking opera is a traditional form of Chinese theater well known throughout the nation. Commonly lauded as one of the highest achievements of Chinese culture, Beijing opera is performed through a combination of song, spoken dialogue, and codified action sequences involving gestures, movement, fighting and acrobatics. Much of Beijing opera is carried out in an archaic stage dialect quite different from Modern Standard Chinese and from the modern Beijing dialect.
The cloisonné (or Jingtailan, literally "Blue of Jingtai") metalworking technique and tradition is a Beijing art speciality, and is one of the most revered traditional crafts in China. Cloisonné making requires elaborate and complicated processes which include base-hammering, copper-strip inlay, soldering, enamel-filling, enamel-firing, surface polishing and gilding. Beijing's lacquerware is also well known for its sophisticated and intrinsic patterns and images carved into its surface, and the various decoration techniques of lacquer include "carved lacquer" and "engraved gold".
Beijing cuisine is the local style of cooking. Peking Roast Duck is perhaps the best known dish. Fuling Jiabing, a traditional Beijing snack food, is a pancake (bing) resembling a flat disk with a filling made from fu ling, a fungus used in traditional Chinese medicine. Teahouses are common in Beijing.
Younger residents of Beijing have become more attracted to the nightlife, which has flourished in recent decades, breaking prior cultural traditions that had practically restricted it to the upper class. Today, Houhai, Sanlitun and Wudaokou are Beijing's nightlife hotspots.
Beijing is an important transport hub in North China with five ring roads, nine expressways, eleven National Highways, nine conventional railways, and two high-speed railways converging on the city.