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About Beijing
Beijing, Jing for short, is the nation's political, economic, cultural and educational center as well as China's most important center for international trade and communications.
Area: 16,800 sq km (6552 sq mi)

Population:12 million 

Location: Situated in northeast China, Beijing adjoins the Inner Mongolian Highland to the northwest and the Great Northern Plain to the south.
Climate: Beijing's climate is defined as "continental monsoon". The four seasons are distinctly recognizable. Spring and autumn is the best time to be in Beijing, particularly in the months of April, May, September and October. Autumn is considered to be the best time to visit Beijing as the skies are clear and the weather is very comfortable. The four seasons are very clear in Beijing with a temperate spring, rainy summer, clear autumn, and a cold, snowy winter. The average temperature throughout the year is 11.80. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of -4.60 and the hottest month is July at an average temperature of 26.10. Unfortunately, spring and autumn are shorter than summer and winter. Although winter is technically longer, that should not keep you from travelling to Beijing as indoor heating is widely available. Nevertheless, as the indoor/outdoor temperature difference is rather large, travelers should be prepared with warm clothing and a thick coat is recommended for the colder months of the year. In winter, off-season discounts are to be had as well.
Scenery Spots in Beijing
Summer Palace (Yiheyuan)
Situated in the western outskirts of Haidian District, the Summer Palace is 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from central Beijing. Having the largest royal park and being well preserved, it was designated, in 1960 by the State Council, as a Key Cultural Relics Protection Site of China. Containing examples of the ancient arts, it also has graceful landscapes and magnificent constructions. The Summer Palace is the archetypal Chinese garden, and is ranked amongst the most noted and classical gardens of the world. In 1998, it was listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.Constructed in the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), during the succeeding reign of feudal emperors; it was extended continuously. By the time of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it had become a luxurious royal garden providing royal families with rest and entertainment. Originally called 'Qingyi Garden' (Garden of Clear Ripples), it was know as one of the famous 'three hills and five gardens' (Longevity Hill, Jade Spring Mountain, and Fragrant Hill; Garden of Clear Ripples, Garden of Everlasting Spring, Garden of Perfection and Brightness, Garden of Tranquility and Brightness, and Garden of Tranquility and Pleasure).

Shichahai is a famous scenic area that includes three lakes (Qian Hai, meaning Front Sea; Hou Hai, meaning Back Sea and Xi Hai, meaning Western Sea), surrounding places of historic interest and scenic beauty, and remnants of old-style Beijing residences, Hutong and Courtyard. It is located in the northwest part of Beijing, and covers a large area of 146.7 hectares (about 363 acres).The history of Shichahai can be traced to as far back as the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234). During the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368), it was the terminal point of the Great Canal, which was a main reason for its prosperity. In the period of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), when the channels ceased to be as smooth as they used to be, Shichahai changed from a bustling hub to a place of leisure where people could stroll around to admire the vast scenery or enjoy the cool shade under williow trees.
Local Food
Li Jia Cai

Located in a courtyard of Yangfang hutong in Beijing, there is a special restaurant named Li Jia Cai Restaurant (Li Family Restaurant) which is devoted to Imperial Court food. The initiator of Li Jia Cai is Li Shanlin, a retired professor of mathematics, who also has great interest in cooking genuine Beijing Imperial Court Food. The restaurant has no employees. The Li family are owner and employees of the restaurant; and dinner is by set menu. That is to say, a guest can not order the dishes but must wait for whatever they serve; furthermore, one banquet daily, if you want to have a dinner here, you should make a reservation (at least two weeks ahead of time); finally there are no chemical materials in the dishes, all flavorings are natural. This restaurant has welcomed many celebrities including the former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, the former premier of Britain, John Major, and Chinese superstar Jackie Chan. Professor Li speaks English and can discuss Chinese culture while you enjoy your dinner and good wine. If you are a real gourmand, try to find this restaurant hidden in a Beijing hutong.
Address: No.11, Yangfang hutong, Denei Dajie

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