Literally the "Northern Capital," Beijing has been the seat of power in China since the days of Kublai Khan. At the heart of this immense, fascinating metropolis is the Forbidden City, a 250-acre complex of palaces, pavilions and courtyards where the Emperor ruled from his Dragon Throne. Even the most seasoned travelers will experience a sense of awe as they approach the Forbidden City's 25-feet high walls and enter through the magnificent Meridian Gate, a symbol of the sun at its zenith - and of imperial power and splendor.
The capital of The People's Republic of China covers a staggering area of some 6,870 square miles and boasts a population of over 11 million people.
This 720,000-square mile complex of intricate pavilions, gardens, buildings and courtyards is the largest imperial palace in China, and was home to 24 emperors between 1420 and 1923.
Dating back to 453 B.C., the largest wall in the world is really comprised of several walls made of varying materials and stretches from the Bo Hai Sea to the Gobi Desert.
This world's largest public square holds 300,000 people and is equal to 90 football fields. A 121-foot pillar called the Monument to the People's Heroes stands in the center of the square.
This round temple with black-tiled roof features a huge park built to promote bountiful harvests and favor with heaven. Opposite sections of the park symbolize Earth and heaven.
Stately gardens, walking paths and promenades surround pavilions and temples along a massive lake. Built from 1749 to 1764, the palace was twice destroyed in the next century, and made public in 1924.
Second only to the Temple of Heaven, this complex has an impressive structure of buildings with bright gold-tiled roofs. Built in 1694, today it is a place of worship for Tibetan Buddhism.
This giant flea market sells everything: jewelry, furniture, antiques and reproductions, paintings and calligraphy, Buddhist statues, porcelain and ceramics, and more. It's the place to bargain.