When planning a tour in China there really isn't an itinerary that isn't going to include the capital city of Beijing. Despite the rapid growth it has undergone in recent years it has managed to preserve a sense of it's history and if you were only going to visit one place in China then this really would be it. The Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven are just a few of the world famous sites this city has to offer those who choose it for their China holiday destination.
Ancient and Modern China
These days it isn't just the ancient architecture that is of interest, due to a facelift that most aging Hollywood actresses would be proud of, there is plenty for the follower of great modern buildings to check out. The National Centre of performing Arts, the CCTV tower and, most famously, the Olympic venues of the Bird's Nest and Water Cube have left the new city at the cutting edge of modern architecture as well.
The Forbidden City
For most people, the Forbidden City is going to be the main draw. It is the most visited tourist site in China and harks back to a time long before skyscrapers and shopping centers had become the new symbols of power in this ancient city. Yet despite their imposing presence on new Beijing, the power and presence of the Forbidden City still holds sway, covering over 180 acres at the very center of the city, as it has for around 600 years. For nearly 500 of those years it housed the emperors and their households and has been the very centre of Chinese political life.
The Great Wall
No trip to Beijing is complete though without a trip to the Great Wall. In fact more of a joined up collection of walls that were built with the idea of keeping the marauding forces of the Mongols out to the North. When you move along it, you really get an idea of how feared the Mongols must have been and how great a length the powers that be were willing to go to keep them out. A quite extraordinary feat of building that ultimately failed in it's attempt to keep the visitors from the North out.