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The capital of the most populous country in the world, Beijing is a powerhouse city with a vast history and a promising future. Fast paced and forward thinking, Beijing is very much a modern city where technology and new money is booming. As the city's social transformation continues, many consider Beijing to be the 'one to watch' both economically and culturally. Since the 2008 Olympics, Bejing has continued to grow from strength to strength. World class restaurants, luxury hotels and designer malls targeted towards China's new elite are tourist attractions in themselves.
But not all of the city has a new and shiny exterior and there is still much evidence of Bejing's diverse past. The Forbidden City, the previous imperial palace used by the Ming and Qing Dynasties, stands strong in the middle of Beijing and shows little sign of its 500 years of age. An hours drive beyond the futuristic office buildings and digital billboards lies the country's most famous icon, The Great Wall of China. Between ancient temples such as the Temple of Heaven and sights of great cultural significance like Tiananmen Square, Beijing's history alone is sure to keep you captivated and enthralled.
Timelines and wealth aside, at the heart of Beijing is an enduring and proud culture with simple pleasures at heart. Steamed dumplings bought from a street booth, a bike ride through the city's remaining Hutongs, a night of so bad it's good karaoke; these are the priceless moments that keep travellers coming back for more.