Beijing is the capital of the People's Republic of China and the world's third most populous city proper. It is also one of the world's most populous capital cities. The city, located in northern China, is governed as a direct-controlled municipality under the national government with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts. Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation's political, cultural, and educational center. It is home to the headquarters of most of China's largest state-owned companies, and is a major hub for the national highway, expressway, railway, and high-speed rail networks. The Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic. The city's subway network is among the longest and busiest in the world.
As Beijing is becoming one of the most important international financial centers in China, Beijing CBD was recently positioned as the secondary core area in Beijing's International Financial Center Development strategic plan published in May, 2008. Beijing CBD is also emerging as China's media center as Beijing Television Station (BTV) just moved in its new headquarters (Beijing TV Centre) in this area and the new CCTV Headquarters was officially opened on 1 January 2008.
The city's history dates back three millennia. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for much of the past eight centuries. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls and gates, and its art treasures and universities have made it a center of culture and art in China. Encyclopædia Britannica notes that "few cities in the world have served for so long as the political headquarters and cultural centre of an area as immense as China." Beijing has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, as well as parts of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal.Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will make it the first city to ever host both events.
Beijing cuisine has salty, rich flavors. Pork and mutton have been represented in Beijing cuisine since the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty especially as a result of the dietetic influence of the Mongol and Manchus. Now Beijing food does not stress strangeness or uniqueness, only delicious food made from common ingredients with tastes that are very agreeable. Beijing Duck is the number one yummy food in Beijing. Of course, Beijing offers more than its local Beijing cuisine. You can find almost all the cuisines here coming from other parts of China or foreign countries - French food, American food, Japanese food, British food, German food, Indian food, Muslim food and much more. Read some descriptions and reviews of local restaurants around Beijing before you start to look for the yummy food you like.
Today there are shops and stores scattered in every corner of Beijing. Beijing has over 10 famous shopping streets and markets including the Wangfujing, Dashilan and New Qianmen Street, Hongqiao Market, Silk Market, Panjiayuan Market, Beijing Curio City, Liulichang Antiques Street, Baoguosi Cultural Market, Yashow Clothing Market, Maliandao Tea Street, Xidan Shopping Area. They provide various kinds of goods.