Beijing: Fascinating, giant, scary place
Despite growing Shanghai, Beijing is undoubtedly still the center of China, by far the most important and valuable hub of the country. It is top destination in China, regardless of the reason for your trip. Description of the cultural heritage and the various tourist attractions of Beijing and surrounding areas are far beyond the scope of this little travelogue. UNESCO listed sites as the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Ming Tombs, Great Wall of China ... These are all first-rate attractions of world ranking.
Hard and rough place
Beijing, however, probably will never be crowded with tourists because, honestly, it`s not romantic at all, it is rather a hard and rough, "male" place. Everything is directed toward the expression of power - from political institutions of Communist China to the vast palace of Chinese emperors. The Forbidden City was named after the custom to immediately kill anyone uninvited. Interestingly, Beijing is located far to the north, on the edge of traditional Chinese space. The capital city was first selected by Mongols, as conquerors of China. For some reason, this northern position excepted later Chinese emperors, then logically Mao Tse Tung, the founder of communist China. The continuity of the concentration of power is fascinating in the city of the old tower, the center of the capital of the Mongolian state, and straight south to the Forbidden City, a giant complex of palaces of two most powerful dynasties of Chinese emperors, to the largest square in the world, Tianmen, the center of modern China and the scene of dramatic events in 1989. year.
Giant city without end
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Today, Beijing is quite an unpleasant place. Air pollution is terrible and it is not pleasant. The winters are very cold, and summers are humid. Naturally, because of pollution, it is constantly covered with fog. The sky is gloomy gray. Apparently, only in September and October Beijing is covered by the sun and blue sky. And it`s a giant city - mostly mentioned by the figure of 15 million inhabitants. For millimeter displacement on the map, you must walk for hours, so without subway or cab you are really helpless. Everything in Beijing is fascinating, giant, scary, and without any romance. Love it or hate it, Beijing is a huge concentration of political power from ancient times to the present.
Desperate attempt of defense
Only a great torment and despair could make Chinese people and their rulers to build defensive wall for centuries. Wall stretches from the Yellow Sea to the east, thousands of kilometers into the interior. But there was no the other solutions - infinite Mongolian and Siberian steppes open up to the north, with warrior nomads, often ruthless and savage invaders. If even Europe feared them throughout the history, we can imagine what it was like for their first neighbors. However, even the wall did not helped China. It`s too large space for effective defense, and the conquerors still penetrated into China. Finally, the Great Wall of China was mostly used as a road through the mountains and ravines straight into Central Asia. Today, it is "only" a symbol of China, Wonder of the World, a monument to human work and struggle for survival.