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Beijing
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Beijing

Beijing or Peking, as it is also called, is located on the northern side of China, about 60 miles from the gulf of Bo Hai. The capital city of the nation for almost 700 years, with a history going back 3000 years, it is China's major political and industrial center.
Skyscrapers keep appearing across the skyline in today's Beijing, slowly replacing ancient buildings, yet most citizens will never lay their heads on the posh pillows behind their concrete walls. The upper-class resident rests in modern apartment buildings outside the city center next to the commoner's tenement and the transients shacks. Few people can afford vehicles, either, still, traffic is congested, smoggy and noisy, as more and more commercial ventures flourish and millionaires are born.
Bicycles are still the main transportation for the majority: young girls dressed in skirts and nylon stockings pedal to work past withered seniors stretching their limbs in the ancient practice of tai chi in the green parks scattered throughout the city ... venders hauling Peking ducks to the market, maneuvering their 3-wheelers between buses, smelly transport trucks and Cadillacs, past McDonald's and construction workers shacks. Totally discombobulating, witnessing such a wide gap in social standing.
The surrounding area (the district of Beijing is about 6490 square miles in size), has been developing slowly since 1949. However, farmland still exists in parts of the rural areas, and provides the city dwellers with grain, vegetable, fruit and water.
The four season temperature, with very warm summers and extreme cold in the winter, ranges from 100 degrees Fahrenheit in July to minus 15 in January.
The main visitor attraction to Beijing is the Forbidden City, built five hundred years ago and once surrounded by a 14-mile wall to keep the public out. When the Communist party took over in 1949, the wall came down and the ordinary citizen was allowed to enter. A few gates were rebuilt, including the Gate of Heavenly Peace, which stands in Tiananmen Square. The Forbidden City is also the location of the Palace Museum, build in 1925.
The next attraction in Beijing is the Great Wall. Stretching as far as the eye can see, it is a testimony to the fact that anything can be accomplished once the idea takes shape.





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