Beijing is a city of contrasts where modern skyscrapers stand majesticly near small traditional houses located in the old city hutongs. It is a city shrouded in myths and legends that leaves behind a past marked by emperors of divine descent tale palaces and luxurious. The Far East is a magical place and unique in every detail everyday curious visitor.
Realistically, Beijing is not only red lanterns, small temples, traditional houses and some skyscrapers. The capital has a face and a cross, expressed by some people who have the habit of spitting, screaming, pushing and sneak. In any case, these details also define Beijing. Currently, the PRC uses exclusively the form "Beijing" for the official transcription system hanyu pinyin.
Winters are cold and dry, with minimum easily descend to -5°C or less, during this season dominated foggy days and little chance of rain. Spring and autumn are transitional seasons with low precipitation relative. Summer is hot and humid with highs usually reach 30°C, and when coincide with the largest amounts of precipitation, on stormy days or due to monsoon rain.
- New Year - Yuandan - (January 1). one day.
- Spring Festival - Chunjie - (1st day of the Chinese lunar calendar, can fall in January or February). Seven days of official holidays. It is the most important celebration of the Chinese, something like Chinese Christmas.
- Feast of Lanterns-Yuanxiaojie - (the 15th of the first lunar month, February or March). The main tradition of this festival is to admire the lanterns and eat rice balls (or yuanxiao tangyuan calls in Mandarin).
- International Women's Day - Sanbafunvjie - (March 8).
- Festival of Pure Brightness - Qinmingjie - (between 4 and 6 April). It is the day that honors the memory of the dead. That day they do not cook, and they only eat cold food.
- International Labour Day - Laodongjie - (May 1). Seven days of official holidays. It's Golden Week tourism during the spring.
- Youth Festival - Qingnianjie - (May 4). It commemorates the May 4th Movement of 1919.
- Festival Dragon Boat - Duanwujie - (the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, around June). During this festival, in all regions are organized dragon boat rides and they eat sweet rice or glutinous millet, sugarcane leaf sheaths or other plants (called zongzi in Mandarin).
- International Children's Day - Ertongjie - (1st dejunio). 1 day holiday for children.
- Day of Love - Qixijie - (the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, around August). The 7th day of the 7th lunar month marks the celebration of the legend about the love between a shepherd and a weaver.
- Festival of Ghosts Hambirentos - Zhongyuanjie - (15th of the seventh lunar month, around August). They believe in the return of the ghosts.
- Army Day - Jianjunjie - (August 1). Commemoration of Nanchang uprising on 8 August 1927.
- Elderly Day - Chongyanjie - (9 the ninth lunar month, around October).
- National Day - Guoqingjie - (October 1). Seven days of official holidays. It's Golden Week tourism in the fall.
- Mid-Autumn Festival - Zhongqiujie - (15th of the eighth lunar month, around October).
5 things to see
Temple of Heaven
5 things to do
Visit the Hutong
Eating roast duck
Excursion to the Great Wall
Beijing is a huge city, so getting to different areas is relatively complicated. However, public transport networks, metro and bus work quite well and, for cases in which there is no good combination, taxis are cheap and reliable. Beijing's subway and cabs are the two most fast and convenient to get around town.
It is clean, the ticket is very cheap, the are sings in English and the trains are quite modern, so the ride is quite comfortable. depending on the time of the day there are crowds, but no more than in any other major city in the world.
The bus network is cheap and it doesn´t work bad, although the number of lines can confuse the journey. In addition, the stops are announced aloud, so that can be a problem if you do not know the city and if you have problems to recognize the name in Chinese.
Train stations are one of the most uncomfortable places. Conservation or facilities are not bad, but the crowds in queues to buy tickets or waiting rooms make them extremely uncomfortable. If there is any way to get the ticket out of the station, even paying a reasonable fee, is strongly recommended.
Taxis are the most convenient way to reach one point to another city. Not the fastest, beacuse of the huge traffic jams, but it is useful if you want to reach areas where the metro is somewhat remote. The price is very cheap compared to Western standards. Charged per kilometer, with a top rate of 10 to 12 yuan which includes the first three kilometers and then about 2 yuan per kilometer. Usually, taxi drivers in Beijing are quite honored and connect the meter without problems. Communication with them is difficult because almost none of them can speak or understand English. The solution is to hand in a paper the address or place name written in Chinese characters.