China

A mysterious land for thousands of years, a land of vast landscapes and beauty, where every mountain, river, tree and rock tells a story, a land of ancient sites, of legends and of heroes.

Beijing has served as the capital of China since King Wu declared it as such in 1057BC.  The city went by various names until the Ming Dynasty Emperor ChengZu chose the name Beijing in 1421.  However, for many years in the western world the city as known as Peking until returned to Beijing in 1949.
The city has many places of historic interest and scenic beauty, including the Forbidden City, one of the largest and best preserved ancient architectural complexes in the world, also called in Imperial Palace museum it is situated in the heart of Beijing.  It remained the residence of the Emperors for nearly five hundred years, from the 15th century to the early 20th century.  Built in the Ming Dynasty Temple of Heaventhe Temple of Heaven, the most holy of Beijing's Imperial temples is where the Ming and Qing Emperors came every winter solstice to worship heaven and to solemnly pray for a good harvest.  Since his rule was legitimised by a mandate from heaven, a bad harvest could be seen as his fall from heaven's favour and threaten the stability of his reign

The Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Summer PalaceHeritage Site, used to be the summer residence of Qing Dynasty Emperors and is now a public park.  Construction started in 1750 and the imperial garden is famed for its architectural grandeur and stunning natural beauty, the whole garden covers of 290 hectares and includes a lake, Cloud-Dispelling Hall, Hall of Virtuous Brilliance, Pavilion of Buddhist Incense and the Temple of the Sea Wisdom.  Just outside Beijing are the Ming tombs, the general name given to the mausoleums of 13 Ming Dynasty emperors.  Originally built as Changling, the tomb of Emperor Zhuli and his empresses, was the first and is the magnificent of the tombs.  The succeeding 12 emperors had their tombs built around Changling.

Great WallThe world-renowned and genuinely inspiring Great Wall, started as a series of fortifications being joined together.  The Badaling section of the wall, 70 kms northwest of Beijing, was built during the Ming Hong Zhi reign in 1505 and is one of the best preserved sections of the wall.

Beijing and its surrounding area have no shortage of places to go and things to see.  Whether its palaces, temples and halls or shopping, dining out and entertainment, the capital has it all.

Capital Hotel Beijing

Capital HotelA short walk from the historic Imperial Palace and Tiananmen Square, Capital Hotel surrounded by inner and outer landscaped gardens, is located in Beijing's scenic downtown area.  The nine distinctive restaurants serve regional Chinese and international cuisine, such as Italian, Asian, Japanese and Korean.

Ristorante Bologna on the top floor provides authentic Italian food and a relaxed ambience with panoramic city views.  The recreation and health centre provides a well equipped gym, outdoor swimming pool, bowling alley, billiards, sauna and steam bath.  All rooms, including non-smoking, command spectacular views of the city.  Standard amenities include satellite television, electronic room safe and independent shower cubicle.

Howard Johnson Paragon Hotel Beijing

Howard JohnsonThis hotel is located approximately 30 miles from Beijing Airport.  Local attractions include the Forbidden City, Great Wall, Lama Temple, Ming Tombs, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square.  Hotel amenities include exercise facility, sauna, business centre and tennis court.  All rooms include AM/FM alarm clock, coffee makers, safe deposit box and free newspaper.

Qianmen Jianguo Hotel Beijing

Qianmen JianguoBuilt in 1954 and opened to the public in 1956 this hotel is located downtown, close to Culture Street, Liulichang.  It is only a 10 minute walk to Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven.  The hotel, which features European architectural design in the shape of its tastefully decorated lobby and its spacious guestrooms, has attracted a great number of guests mainly from Europe and America.  The Liyuan Theatre, located within the hotel, is well-known world wide.

Please note, while every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, all tours and hotel descriptions and amenities mentioned are subject to change.