King Wu was the first to declare Beijing the capital city in 1057 BC. Subsequently, the city has gone by the names of Ji, Zhongdu, Dadu, and finally Beijing when the Ming Dynasty Emperor ChengZu chose the name in 1421. Before 1949, Beijing was known as Peking by the Western world. After 1949, the city's name returned to Beijing, as it is known today. Since the early 1980s when China initiated economic and market reforms under the late Deng Xiaoping, Beijing has become a truly modern, international city.
Beijing City is an independently administered municipal district. She is situated in the northeastern part of China at an elevation of 43.5m above sea level. The climate in Beijing is of the continental type, with cold and dry winters and hot summers. January is the coldest month (-4 Celsius), while July the warmest (26 Celsius).
Beijing has a whole area of 16808 sq km (about 6500 sq mi), stretching 160 kilometres from east to west and over 180 kilometres north to south. 38% of it is flat land and 62% mountains. She has 16 districts and 2 counties with Dongcheng, Xicheng, Xuanwu, Chongwen, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan in or close to the Beijing city proper and Fangshan, Mengtougou, Changping, Tongxian, Shunyi, Daxing, Huairou, Miyun, Pinggu and Yianqing in the outer suburbs. Population in Beijing is about 17 million.
The Tian An Men square, which is probably the biggest one of its kind in the world. With a total area of 440,000 square meters, the Tiananmen Square found in the center of Beijing boasts the largest of its kind. Over a hundred years, many ceremonies and demonstrations have been held.
Forbidden City. The Forbidden
City was the imperial palaces of the Ming and
Qing dynasties, known as the Palace Museum.
consitruction took 14 years and was finished
in 1420. In the following years, the capotal
of the Ming Dynasty was moved from Nanjing to
Beijing. Twenty-four emperors, 14 in the Ming
and 10 in the Qing dynasties ruled from here.
The last dynasty fell in 1911, but Emperor Puyi
still lived in the Inner Court until 1924, when
he was thrown out of the palace by the troops
of General Feng Yuxiang. After that, the palace
was opened to the public as the Palace Museum
and it was no longer forbidden to the common
Introduction to Bayanzag
Bayanzag, which in Mongolian means 'a place of many saxaul bushes', was first called 'The Flaming Cliffs' by Roy Chapman Andrews, the American dinosaur hunter and adventurer who made vital finds of dinosaur eggs and skeletons at the base of the vivid red bluffs, which stand alone in a vast empty expanse of land and sky. Chapman himself was something of a rogue - said by some to be the man on whom the film character 'Indiana Jones' was based. He lived an adventurous, self-aggrandizing life across much of this part of the world. At Bayanzag it is the landscape, in addition to the rich dinosaur history, which is very impressive - an intense evocation of Mongolia's great emptiness.
Yolyn Am - the Vulture's Gorge
Yolyn Am, 'The Vulture's Gorge', commonly called Eagle Canyon by travellers, is a striking gorge in the deep desert, remarkable for the microclimate that its formation creates. Sheer rock walls, up to 660 feet high, keep out the light and the heat, whilst four waterfalls pour into the canyon, chill as they leave the sun, and freeze. Yolyn Am is lined with ice almost year-round and at its narrowest point only two people (or animals - the canyon is a favored haunt of the wild Ibex and Argali) can pass abreast. Descent into the canyon is on foot or on horseback if you'd prefer.