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Cities in China

Peking ist die Hauptstadt der Volksrepublik China und hat eine über dreitausendjährige Geschichte. Der Name bedeutet Nördliche Hauptstadt. Peking ist heute eine Regierungsunmittelbare Stadt, das heißt, sie ist direkt der Zentralregierung unterstellt und damit Provinzen, autonomen Gebieten und Sonderverwaltungszonen gleichgestellt.
Das gesamte Verwaltungsgebiet Pekings hat 15,5 Millionen Einwohner (2007). Wird das geographische Stadtgebiet (hohe Bebauungsdichte und geschlossene Ortsform) als Grundlage genommen, leben in Peking 7,7 Millionen Menschen mit Hauptwohnsitz (2007). Der Ballungsraum (einschließlich Vororte) hat 11,8 Millionen Einwohner (2007).
Das 16.807,8 Quadratkilometer große Verwaltungsgebiet Pekings – das entspricht ungefähr der Fläche von Thüringen oder der Steiermark – stellt kein zusammenhängendes Stadtgebiet dar. Es wäre mit seiner dominierenden ländlichen Siedlungsstruktur eher mit einer kleinen Provinz vergleichbar.
Peking stellt als Hauptstadt das politische Zentrum Chinas dar. Aufgrund der langen Geschichte beherbergt Peking ein imposantes Kulturerbe. Sehenswert sind der Tiananmen-Platz (chinesisch Platz des Tors des himmlischen Friedens), die Verbotene Stadt mit dem 1987 von der UNESCO zum Weltkulturerbe erklärten ehemaligen Kaiserpalast, der neue und alte Sommerpalast und verschiedene Tempel, wie z. B. der Himmelstempel, der Lamatempel und der Konfuziustempel. Peking war Austragungsort der Olympischen Sommerspiele 2008.

Beijing is a metropolis in northern China and the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the four municipalities of the PRC, which are equivalent to provinces in China's administrative structure. The municipality of Beijing borders Hebei Province to the north, west, south, and for a small section in the east, and Tianjin Municipality to the southeast. Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.
Beijing is China's second largest city after Shanghai, with more than 17 million people live in Beijing municipality, a province-level administrative unit with 16 urban and suburban districts and two rural counties; the city's urban area has about 13 million residents. Beijing is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and motorways passing through the city. It is also the focal point of many international flights to China. Beijing is recognized as the political, educational, and cultural center of the People's Republic of China, while Shanghai and Hong Kong predominate in economic fields. The city hosted the 2008 Olympic Games.
Few cities in the world besides Beijing have served as the political and cultural centre of an area as immense as China for so long. The Encyclopædia Britannica describes it as, "One of the world's great cities," and declares that the city has been an integral part of China's history for centuries, there is scarcely a major building of any age in Beijing that doesn't have at least some national historical significance. Beijing is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates. Its art treasures and universities have long made the city a centre of culture and art in China.

Beijing is a nice city but has no real city center. Everything is very far apart and you need your own car (but driving in Beijing is worse than Shanghai) or go by Taxi.
You can feel that this city host the goverment. People a bit more reserved compared to other cities and areas.

Sightseeing is fine, many place to see, but if you are not with a group you better rent a sightseeing trip at the hotel - recommended for the Great Wall and Summer Palace - a must see. Other places you can go on your own by Taxi. I'm sure you have a guide book already for the standard sightseeing spot, so I safe my recommentations. Also you get them at your Hotel for free.

Famous food is of course the
Bejing duck which tastes fine but sometimes a bit too fat. Better don't miss this dish. A second recommendation are the dumplings. They taste fine and come with vegetable only and with meat. Better try the meaty onces.

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