When you’re going on a Beijing trip you’re actually visiting what has been the capital of the region since the Mongol Yuan dynasty – with a few breaks here and there. Beijing is one of the country’s ancient citadels, but it is also a confident and modern city, aspiring for better things, an approach that pretty much assures that it will be the one to lead China in the future as well.
Beijing is a vast place, and symmetrically built, none of the willy-nilly development that many other capitals have seen around the world. This is mostly due to the Communist view and way of doing things, so you can see the architecture tracing all of the shifts in doctrine starting with 1949 to the present. This can have a strange effect on the visitor because you can be looking at a very blank and bland Soviet-style monolith, and in the next spot you see a shimmering tower of glass and steel rising up from the footprints of what used to be a temple.
The Communist leadership has done in Beijing what similar regimes in other countries around the world have done, trampled the history of its cities, however Beijing still benefits from quite a bit of historic substance. However you have to be a very patient explorer and do a bit of destination hunting in order to sift the genuine from the fake – this is China after all. There are parts of the city that has been properly resurrected and you’ll see absolutely colossal flyovers and multilane boulevards that weave through the city.
Even though the city is huge, and an important political and economic centre, it is quite uncomplicated; its inhabitants talk in a Mandarin dialect called Beijinghua and consider themselves very fortunate to be living at the centre of their known world.
Despite all of this Beijing isn’t nearly as hectic or chaotic as Shanghai or Hong Kong, instead here you’ll actually see locals find the time to sit out in front of their flat buildings or shops and play chess or whatever else.
Keep our worldwide car rental services in mind if you plan a Beijing trip.