Travel Tips

Background on Beijing

The capital city during the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, Beijing has long been the political, cultural, and diplomatic centre of China. It is now an international city, home to more than 11 million people from all walks of life.

Alongside 7300 cultural relics and historic sites and more than 200 scenic spots — including the world’s largest palace, the Forbidden City, as well as the Great Wall, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven — Beijing boasts an impressive modern skyline, a reflection of its rapid economic development.

Beijing is divided into 14 urban and suburban districts and two rural counties. Beijing is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and motorways passing through the city. It is also the destination of many international flights arriving in China. Beijing is recognised as the political, educational, and cultural centre of the People’s Republic of China.

The recently expanded Beijing Capital International Airport is China’s largest and most advanced airport.

Background on China

Situated in eastern Asia and on the western shore of the Pacific Ocean, the People’s Republic of China covers a land area of 9.6 million square kilometres, with an inland and coastal water area of more than 4.7 million square kilometres and an eastern and southern continental coastline extending for about 18,000 kilometres.

China shares common borders with 14 countries and is adjacent to 8 nations on the ocean. There are 4 municipalities directly under central government administration, 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions and 2 special administrative regions. The capital city is Beijing.

  • Name: The People’s Republic of China, commonly known as China
  • Capital: Beijing
  • Population: 1.3 Billion
  • Land Area: Approximately 9.6 million square kilometers
  • Languages and characters: Fifty-three ethnic groups speak their own distinct languages and 23 ethnic groups have their own writing scripts.
  • Religions: Religions represented in China include Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism and other Christian groups.
  • Major Holidays: National Day: October 1; International Labor Day: May 1; New Year’s Day: January 1; Spring Festival: January 1 of the lunar calendar – this is the biggest festival in China
  • Currency: RMB
  • Time Difference: 8 hours earlier than GMT
  • Climate: The city’s climate is a rather dry, monsoon-influenced humid continental climate, characterised by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone.

Climate data for Beijing in October (1971/2000)

  • Month – October
  • Average high °C (°F) -  19.1 (66.4)
  • Average low °C (°F) -  7.9 (46.2)
  • Precipitation mm (inches) – 21.8 (0.858)
  • % Humidity – 61
  • Avg. precipitation days (0.1 mm) – 5.0
  • Sunshine hours – 226.5

Source: China Meteorological Administration