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Beijing Travel Guide

Beijing is the ancient heart of the People's Republic of China and also its capital city. Beijing literally means 'The Northern Capital' and is also one of the four great ancient capitals of China. This rapidly modernizing city has recognized all aspects of Chinese life from commerce to culture to of course, politics. It is also renowned for its wealthy palaces, temples, and huge stone walls, and gates. Some of world known landmarks are the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and the Great Wall of China.

The population of Beijing consists of people holding either Hukou permits (permanent residence) or temporary residence permits. As of February 2010, the combined population of permanent & temporary residents is over 22 million, with unknown number of population for those who have no official residence permit. Beijing is the second largest direct-controlled municipalities in China.

The city's climate is characterized by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and cold, windy, dry winters. The average winter temperature is about -27 degrees F (-3 degrees C) and the average summer temperature is 79 degrees F (26 degrees C). Annual rainfall is about 34.7 inches (890 mm) and it falls majority during the summer months. There were few cases of dust storms, which is accumulating dust from erosion of desert in the northern and northwestern part of China. It artificially induces rainfall to fight such storms.

Beijing is rich with China's history, particularly the political dynasties and its marvelous palaces. One of the most popular landmarks is the Forbidden City, a Chinese imperial palace that resided the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It now currently resides the Palace Museum. Built in 1406 to 1420, it served as the home of Chinese emperors and their household, as well as any ceremonial events of the Chinese government. It is also the world's largest surviving palace complex and still remains the central of Beijing.

Who can forget another famous Chinese landmark Tiananmen Square? It was shown in many Asian films and is one of the iconic spots in China. Tiananmen Square is the large plaza near the center of Beijing. It was named after the Tianenmen (meaning 'Gate of Heavenly Place') that separates it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square if the largest city square in the world and it has been the site of many events, including the Mao Zedong's proclamation of China in 1949 and the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests.

The Great Wall of China is by far the most iconic landmark of China and also one of the greatest wonders of the world. This long wall is a series of stones and fortifications in Northern China built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intruders, particularly in the nomadic regions. This wall stretches at approximately 5,500 miles (8,851 km) from east to west of China. With a more than 2,000 years in history, some of the sections are now in ruins or have disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions due to its magnificent architecture and historical significance.

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