Unknown Facts About Beijing – Know The Otherside Of The Megapolis

The modern megapolis of Beijing, (earlier known as Peking) China’s capital has a history dating back to the first Millennium. The Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties all had their seats of power here. For a while Beijing lost its position as the Capital City when the Capital was transferred to Nanjing but after a while Beijing regained its position as the Capital of China. It is one of the most populous cities in the world today and is a mixture of the old and new. Old buildings sit cheek-by-jowl with modern shops selling all manner of funky goods. In 2008 Beijing became the cynosure of all eyes when the city hosted the 2008 Olympics. Today, thousands throng to visit, conduct business, shop and sight see in Beijing while it also has an expatriate community working there.

With Beijing being what it is, the need for accommodation is varied and great and there is a high demand for Beijing serviced apartments. For those looking for comfort and convenience the exclusive and luxurious Ascott Raffles City Beijing with its prime location, spacious rooms, elegant décor and state-of-the- art amenities will be an ideal choice.

Beijing’s known attractions like the Great Wall of China and the ‘Forbidden City’ are many and globally known but the other lesser known landmarks and customs are also interesting and intriguing.

Jingshan or ‘Prosepct Park lies just north of the moat around the ‘Forbidden City.’ It is an artificial hill built as an imperial garden. Of the many thousands of visitors who throng the ‘Forbidden City’ very few visit the Jingshan. Magnificent views of Beijing and the ‘Forbidden City can be had from Jingshan and two lakes about the park. Beijing residents who know of Jingshan come to have fun here with singing, dancing and games.

Beijing’s Old Summer Palace is another lesser known attraction of Beijing. The Kangxi Emperor began construction of the Old Summer Palace in 1707 as a Summer Palace for his son, the future Emperor. In 1860 the British destroyed the Palace in retaliation for the Chinese torture and killing of British and Indian prisoners during the Second Opium War. Today too, the Old Summer Palace is in the same state of disrepair but offers a rare glimpse of history and ruins untouched by modern life. The Ancient Observatory with eight ancient astronomical instruments on display offers an insight into ancient Chinese Science.

These and many other relatively lesser known sites will enhance a visit to Beijing and deepen the knowledge of Chinese History and Culture.

Among the unusual customs is the refusal of a gift at first, may be once or twice. In China, the refusal is taken as humility and gratitude and is considered the polite thing to do. Refusing compliments is another polite thing to do.

There are other customs and traditions like this and being aware of some of them at least will make a stay in Beijing more comfortable and relaxing.

Shehera Fioni is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Catalina Forbes. Her content is based on many thrilling escapades offered to travellers across the world.


Get to know about the weather of Xian – Be prepared for the showers that go along with the historic sites

The great city of Xian, capital of the Shaanxi Province, is located in central north western China and has a Continental Monsoon Climate. There is plenty of rain throughout the year but winter seasons are usually dry. Xian isleading the way in China’s Western Development Drive Program, a project to upgrade the country’s Western Region. Progress has been made to promote tourism with modern, convenient facilities, like star class accommodation in Xian.

Beginning June 2014, the city brought in a 72-Hour Visa-Free Policy to allow passport holders from fifty one countries a three day stay without a visa. Passengers transiting through Xianyang Airport can make use of this great opportunity, book a stay at the conveniently located Citadines Gaoxin Xi’an and explore the city’s wonders. Xian bears much evidence of the greatness that lies in the country’s history. Xian was once known as Chang’an, which translates to eternal city. It is believed to be one of the birthplaces of the first Chinese civilization, in the vicinity of the Yellow River. It went on to become the eastern terminal for trade on the Silk Route. The monumental Terracotta Army of the Qin Dynasty can also been seen at the museum here. This type of indoor sightseeing activity is recommended for summer months when the searing heat comes in.

Late spring brings warm sunshine, cool breezes and cherry blossoms that light up Green Dragon Temple. It is also the ideal weather for climbing Lishan Mountain. The City Wall Marathon, which has been an annual event since 1993, is held in early November. Cooler weather during this time calls for long sleeves and layers. In January, the coldest month of the year; look out for a sprinkling of snow, which makes the South Gate of Xian City Wall particularly picturesque. The cold, dry weather requires lots of water to prevent dehydration. The Lantern Festival regularly held on Xian City Wall is truly the highlight of the winter season.

Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Palace of Heavenly Purity – a palace in the Forbidden City

Impressively laid out on a single layer white marble platform and one of the age-old palaces in the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Palace of Heavenly Purity is quite an intriguing sight that draws large crowds to its premises the entire year. Built in 1420 the premises can be easily explored by residing at any of the luxury executive apartments Beijing has to offer. Ascott Raffles City Beijing with its many serviced apartments in Beijing would come across as a suitable means of accommodation.

Qianqing Palace as it is also called by was one of the three halls that formed the Inner Court and was also the audience hall of the emperor during the period of the Qing Dynasty. The area also functioned as the sleeping quarters of the emperors within the premises of the Forbidden City. Those touring the area will come across a platform at the centre of the palace on which a throne and desk stand. It is believed that this place was where the emperor attested documents and wrote down notes when in council with his ministers. Visitors will be able to learn of its significance and role played in the daily routines of the emperors of the past. During the Qing Dynasty it was customary to place the coffin of the late emperor for the purpose of carrying out memorial ceremonies. Explore this cultural landmark in the Chinese capital that will take you back to the days where emperors ruled and kingdoms flourished.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.