Beijing cultural breaks
Beijing's high-speed physical makeover moves hand-in-hand with a firmly retained grip on China's rich cultural heritage. It is this pairing of faced-paced modernity and cultural richness that make Beijing one of the world’s most exciting cities to visit.
Few cities on earth are changing as fast as Beijing, the sprawling capital of China. New hotels, shopping malls and tourist attractions are springing up at giddying speed across the city.
Tiananmen Square is home to the Great Hall of the People, China's parliament, and the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, where the body of Chairman Mao rests. Just south of Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven (located within Temple of Heaven Park) is China's largest temple complex.
Slip back in time
Built in the 15th century, the Forbidden City (or Palace Museum) is a vast complex of courtyards, halls, pavilions and gardens, which was home to 24 emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties.
To the northwest of the city, the 798 Factory Art District at Dashanzi is gaining global recognition for its portfolio of galleries and art museums showcasing the works of China's much-in-demand new breed of contemporary artists.
Away from the centre, go to Badaling to walk on the majestic and famous Great Wall.
As to be expected from a capital city, Beijing is leading the country's cultural revival, and a crop of teahouses have recently reappeared in the capital which showcase a variety of Beijing opera, martial arts and acrobatics and serve delicious selections of tea and cakes.
The Beijing Concert Hall is dedicated to classical music, with regular concerts by Beijing's resident orchestra, as well as visiting orchestras from the rest of China and overseas.