Everything Beijing Is Famous For, From Peking Duck to The Hutongs
Try to picture Beijing, what comes to mind? The word may bring up visions of traditional Chinese architecture, modern buildings bathed in neon lights at night, the 2008 summer Olympics, or one of the Wonders of the World. However, Beijing is also home to many other attractions. Foodies visiting the city need to try the many ways roast duck is prepared.
Art enthusiasts may want to investigate gorgeously detailed Cloisonne vases. Finally, everyone needs to experience the haunting melodies and striking visuals of Peking Opera at least once in their lives. Here are the top six things that make Beijing famous for travelers across the world:
1. Beijing Is Famous For The Ancient Chinese Architecture
Beijing is steeped in history and ancient Chinese architecture exists right alongside more modern buildings. Some of the most famous sites include:
- The Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is a short tour bus ride away and a must-see for any visitor.
- The fabulously wealthy dynasties that ruled China centuries ago left behind palaces such as the Forbidden City.
- If you want to experience the beauty and tranquility of nature, drop by the Imperial Garden. This UNESCO Site dates back from the Qing dynasty, offering visitors numerous lakes, gardens, and trails.
- Finally, look in awe at feats of ancient engineering like the Temple of Heaven, a complex that is bigger than the Forbidden city, or Tianning Temple, the tallest pagoda in the world that towers 13 stories high.
2. Beijing Is Famous For The Roast Duck
Peking Duck is world famous, with restaurants around the globe featuring this elaborate dish as the star of their menu. It’s a city institution in Beijing and many restaurants offer their unique spin on it. Be sure to book in advance as it takes hours to prepare.
3. Beijing Is Famous For The Cloisonne
This enamel is a kind of copper craftwork. It first appeared in Beijing in the Yuan Dynasty and remains popular today. You can see examples of historic Cloisonne vases, cups, and more in museums throughout the city. You can also purchase modern Cloisonne items at art galleries and markets. In fact, tourists who really love this unique craftwork can take a tour of Beijing’s own Huairou Cloisonne Factory.
4. Beijing Is Famous For The Hutongs
Hutongs are Beijing’s traditional narrow streets and alleys. These offer you a hint of authentic Chinese culture and a taste of how the locals live. Venture down a Hutong on foot and you’ll find something new around every corner.
5. Beijing Is Famous For The Peking Opera
This form of Chinese Opera is a feast for the senses. It combines many different styles of performance including music, vocals, acrobatics, miming, and dance, all with incredible costumes and spectacular backdrops. No recording could capture even a fraction of the full experience; visitors who see the live shows understand why Peking Opera is world-famous.
6. Beijing Is Famous For The 2008 Summer Olympic Games
Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, which turned athletes like Shawn Johnson and Michael Phelps into international superstars. The city still holds echoes of the Olympics including special buildings that were constructed for the event. Two of the most famous, the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube, look truly spectacular at night.