Beijing Hotels: A Glance of China's History through the Monument to the People's Heroes

By Efrenn Larson

The city of Beijing, as the seat of China's cultural and political affairs, has always witnessed the changes through time. Born in mystery, she has risen from the problems of the past, continues to live with purpose and is looking forward to a more optimistic future.

Beijing has a lot of scenic attractions that leave a positive impression in its visitors. This has resulted into huge tourists arrivals from anywhere around the world. Potentially, it caused the proliferation of dozens of Beijing Hotels, spanning north to south and east to west. The variety of hotel rooms offer you splendid choices, ranging from the subtle bedrooms to the magnificent suites. That's why when in Beijing, you are sure to find a room that is tailored to your budget.

In the past, Beijing has experienced a number of wars and upheavals that eventually gave rise to the People's Republic. A number of monuments have been erected to signify the importance of these events and to remember the people who have fought for Chinese freedom. Probably the most well-known of these structures is the Monument to the People's Heroes. Located within minutes from some of the hotels in Beijing, this is a ten-storey obelisk which was built in memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the revolutionary struggles of the Chinese people during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The monument is strategically located at the southern edge of Tiananmen Square. Designed by architects Liang Sicheng and his wife, Lin Huiyin, it has a height of about 37.94 meters and covers an area of 32,000 square feet.

17,000 pieces of granite and marble were taken from the provinces of Qingdao and Shandong and from Fangshan District just to construct this 10,000 metric ton obelisk.

Eight large bas relieves can be seen on the tablet's pedestal which portray scenes from the revolution which can be read in a clockwise direction, starting from the east. A number of these scenes include the burning of opium in the Opium War in 1840, the Jintian Village Uprising in the Taiping Revolution in 1851 and crossing the Yangtze River Campaign or Successful Crossing of the Yangtze River in 1949.

An inscription in Mao Zedong's handwriting can be seen on the front of the monument, which reads "Eternal glory to the people's heroes!" A message which was drafted by Mao Zedong and written by Zhou Enlai, which also revered the efforts of the heroes of the past, can be seen at the back.

The Monument to the People's Heroes is truly a sight to behold, especially for tourists who are staying in different Beijing hotels. They should not miss this chance because the monument is a symbol of national pride for the Chinese. Traveling to this place from many Beijing hotels can be done within minutes since transportation is readily accessible. The best time to visit is in the morning so that you can truly explore this landmark because many people come in the afternoon. So what are you waiting for? This wonderful piece of history is ready to welcome you! - 30680

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Shopping for Souvenirs with your Shopping Assistant after a Restful Stay at Beijing Hotels

By Efrenn Larson

After a good night's sleep from your Beijing hotel's room, it is again time for a shopping adventure. If you are looking for a unique Asian souvenir to give to your family and friends at home, then a shopping assistant can help you find a souvenir that is not only beautiful, but affordable as well. Silk figurines and "Sha Yan" kites are some of the most popular choices.

Silk figurines are one of China's most popular gift items. Wrapped in gorgeous silk costumes, these dolls will surely put a smile on everyone's faces.

Silk figurines are representation of the classical splendor of the Chinese women, showcasing their innate poise and modesty. Every figurine is individually made and crafted by hand to portray unique expressions of the face and posture of the body. You may find dolls in all sorts of positions and forms such as dancing, sitting, and playing an instrument.

The figurines are also accessorized with musical instruments, umbrellas, mini plates, and straw hats, hence, making it more pleasing to the eyes.

Since these silk figurines are completely hand crafted, making a single doll could take the craftsman a couple of weeks to finish. The steps involve painting, sculpturing, designing the dresses, and arranging the hair. One shop that specializes in these silk doll figurines can be easily accessed from most Beijing hotels.

Another brilliant gift idea for your friends at home is the traditional Beijing kite known as "Sha Yan". A Kite shop located at the You An Men Wai street offers the most variety of kites, from the large dragon kites that span to a 100 ft in length, to the small miniature kites that measures only at around 0.33 ft.

"Sha Yans" are kites that have a swallow like head attached to four wings of different animals such as dragons, bats and fishes. "Sha Yan" is a popular choice among the Chinese because it represents wealth, luck, and happiness. It is believed that flying this kite brings luck and wealth to the place or person it flies over.

There are a lot more designs to choose from aside from the "Sha Yan". Triangle kites made of iron frame and ninon covering is a good choice for people who are still novice in flying kites. There are also miniature kites that sells for only RMB 20 each, but you can always bargain with the help of your shopping assistant. These miniature kites are great souvenirs since they embody cute animals and folk figures. Other beautifully crafted kites are shaped as dragonflies, eagles, fish, and a lot more.

After a day of shopping with the help of your shopping assistant, you might want to spend the rest of the day in the comfort of your Beijing hotel's facilities and rooms. To know more about the shopping assistants, you can go to your hotel lobby's reception desk or visit myshoppingbeijing.com. - 30680

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Beijing Hotels as Seen from the City's Drum and Bell Towers

By Efrenn Larson

As the seat of the country's power, Beijing has been filled with many interesting imperial structures which serve both as defenses and as grand halls used to welcome different guests from foreign lands. The emperor was very important in the daily affairs of the state since under him, the Chinese people fulfilled their duties. Known as the "Son of Heaven," he does most of the responsibilities needed to protect the empire.

At present, we could see a number of Beijing hotels standing alongside these man-made marvels. These structures are testaments on how old world charm harmoniously blends with new-age improvements. Truly, we should understand our past for us to fulfill our future. The country's image as an emerging power in the world stage was due to the efforts of great Chinese men in the past.

It is essential for you not to forget these wonderful ancient structures when you are staying in Beijing hotels. Among these, you should visit the Drum and Bell Towers, aside from the already famous Great Wall.

The Gulou, or the city's drum tower, can be found at the northern end of the central axis of the Inner City. Originally built for musical reasons, then a time-telling edifice, it is now a famous tourist attraction. It is made up of two storeys and stands at 47 meters. Only one out of the 24 drums used in the ancient times can be seen today.

The bell tower, in Chinese terms, called Zhonglou, is very proximal to the drum tower. It stands 33 meters adorned with gray walls and a green glazed roof. Since they were the tallest structures in the city before, the people can see the amazing landscape without obstructions.

The Drum tower was built during the reign of Kublai Khan in 1272. The building was reconstructed to the east of the original site in 1420, and extensive renovations were carried out in 1800. The Bell and Drum towers were finally opened to tourists more than a century later, in the 1980s.

In ancient China, bells and drums were musical instruments which were later used to tell time and became watches for both officials and commoners. During the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, these two towers became the center for time telling. What's amazing is that until now, you can still hear the rings of these ancient timepieces. Nowadays, people already have clocks and wristwatches and wherever they may be, be it in Beijing hotels or in their respective homes, they can easily follow their daily schedules and routines.

These two structures are truly important pieces in Beijing's history. We can definitely say that time is very important. This is the reason why it is vital to book your capacious rooms in any of the Beijing hotels for you to start an experience that you'll never forget! - 30680

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Beijing Hotels from the Bridge's and the Fortress' Vantage Points

By Efrenn Larson

Beijing, China's capital, has been home to many of the country's most wonderful tourist spots. From grand palaces to magnificent monuments to awe-inspiring bridges and towers, the historical buff will surely find this place his very own wonderland.

Beijing hotels are always open and are ready to serve tourists from all over the world. You can find almost any type of accommodation that will fit your budget. Traveling from one place to another is never a hassle since a multitude of cabs, buses and trains are widely available, even as you step outside your hotel.

When in the city, you should not miss the Lugou Bridge and the Wanping Fortress. They are attractions worth visiting because they give you a glimpse of the city's wonderful history, specifically its relations to the outside world during the dynastic era. These two sites are located near world-class Beijing hotels.

The Lugou Bridge, which is also called the Marco Polo Bridge, is situated 15 kilometers southwest of the city center across the Yongding River. Located at the city's Fengtai District, you can readily see a number of Beijing hotels in the area.

The Bridge is well-known because of the high praise it received from the Venetian traveler Marco Polo during his visit 13th century visit to the city and for the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which was the start of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Marco Polo, in his diary, described the bridge as "a very fine stone bridge, so fine indeed, that it has very few equals in the world." It was an architectural marvel since it was made from solid granite.

You will be greeted by hundreds of artistically unique stone lions from different eras as you cross the bridge. An important feature of these creatures is that there are more lions hiding on the head, back or under the belly or on the paws of each of the big lions.

At the end of the bridge, you will see the Wanping Fortress. Also known as the Wanping Castle, it was built to defend the city against Li Zicheng and the peasant uprising during the Ming Dynasty. The Majestic Gate on the east and the Favorably Govern Gate on the west are the two gates of the fortress.

The Lugou Bridge and the Wanping Fortress are indeed architectural masterpieces of China's olden years. When staying in any of the hotels in Beijing, we encourage you to visit these ancient wonders because they serve as memories of a colorful past. So don't waste time, and book your room today so that you can experience our world-class hospitality that you've been long wanting to experience. - 30680

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Beijing Hotels: Modern Structures beside Charming Villages

By Efrenn Larson

Amidst the glitter and glamour of Beijing hotels are the city's old residences: the Hutongs and Siheyuans. What are hutongs? These are alleys made by rows of siheyuans or conventional courtyard residences. A number of neighborhoods were completed by connecting one siheyuan to another and one hutong to another.

Believed to be of Mongolian origin, the word "hutong," meaning "water wells," was first used during the Yuan Dynasty.

Under the sovereignty of the Ming dynasty, the roads of the capital were formed into concentric rings surrounding the Forbidden City. Higher class citizens were permitted to live nearer the center and their hutongs were bigger, more orderly and more beautiful. On the other hand, merchants, artisans, commoners and laborers had smaller and simpler hutongs, where they lived farther from the circle. The hutong was historically considered to be China's simplest level of administrative division, compared to that of villages in some countries.

Fueling more interest, the hutongs are christened with unique names. These include places, plants such as Liushu (willow) Hutong, directions, markets, temples, and even words having positive attributes, like Xiqing (happy) Hutong. This play of words can already make you smile even though you haven't gone to the place yet.

Major changes took place in the 20th century, especially when China's age of dynasties has ended. The sequence of the hutongs was affected because many new ones were built without previous planning. A number have been built outside the city while older ones already lost their grandeur.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, the old hutongs were destroyed and were replaced with more spacious highways and tall structures, some of which are well-known hotels in Beijing. This left no choice for generations of families and had to leave their hutongs in search for newer residences.

Luckily, a number of Beijing's ancient hutongs can presently be found, some of them have been made as protected areas. These older neighborhoods provide the modern man a glimpse of how life once was in this rustic yet charming capital. Tourists who stay in nearby Beijing hotels can explore the wonders of these small communities through pedicabs.

Contrary to the extravagant court life of the elite and the sophistication of the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City, the hutongs reveal the culture of common Beijingers. Many people still consider the hutongs the heart of the city. From the windows inside their Beijing hotels, tourists can marvel on how the hutongs reflect the dreams and desires of the historical Chinese who had never thought that someday, they can even soar higher and reach their full potentials. - 30680

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Beijing Hotels and the Summer Palace: Homes for Important People

By Efrenn Larson

Beijing, China's vibrant cosmopolitan and ancient capital has been home to some of the world's many wonders. You may have already heard of the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, but there are still more places to see and things to do when you're in town. What's more promising is that Beijing hotels are located within considerable walking and driving distances, making them more accessible to locals and tourists alike.

Under the imperial rule, the emperor, his family and subordinates lived inside the Forbidden City. This was where the emperors disposed their duties as the 'Sons of Heaven,' where they were subjected to many pressures of their tasks. To calm themselves from the magnanimous jobs they were facing, the emperors built the Summer Palace.

Factually called the 'Gardens of Nurtured Harmony,' the vicinity is hugely occupied by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. Covering an an area of 2.9 square kilometers, the Summer Palace houses a number of imperial edifices, gardens, and other classical-style architectural structures. As a must-visit attraction, your Beijing hotels will take care of your travel itinerary, so you need not worry.

The Kunming Lake, one of the most important features of the complex, was created by extending a present body of water to imitate the West Lake in Hangzhou. Entirely man-made, the lake's excavated soil was used to build Longevity Hill.

When emperor Wnyn Ling moved his capital to the Beijing area, he built a Gold Mountain Palace on the site of the hill. It was renamed from Gold Mountain to Jug Hill (Weng Shan) during the Yuan Dynasty. Finally, the Qianlong emperor of the Qing Dynasty gave the hill its present name.

Standing about 60 meters high, the hill holds many structures that are sequentially positioned to each other. Halls and ornate buildings filled the northern side while the natural scenery was preserved at the back.

The Cloud-Dispelling Hall, the Temple of Buddhist Virtue, and the Sea of Wisdom Temple, all having religious and cultural significance, are some of the notable buildings in the hill's northern side.

In 1998, The Summer Palace was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since it is "a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design," it not only serves as a tourist destination at present but also as a recreational park.

Getting to this favorable destination is made less of a hassle since Beijing hotels are always ready to assist you in this journey. Whether you are to experience the homey rooms of the wonderful hotels in Beijing or marvel at the splendid quarters in the Summer Palace, you will definitely find this city worth remembering! - 30680

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Beijing Hotels and Zhoukoudian: From Caves to Buildings

By Efrenn Larson

Ever heard of the Peking Man? Well if you have probably heard of it, you will definitely find this site alluring. Zhoukoudian or Choukoutien is a system of caves in Beijing where many archaeological findings were unearthed, including the most notable: the Peking Man. It was one of the first specimens of Homo erectus, which was believed to be the oldest species of human beings who lived in the area about 200,000 to 750,000 years ago.

This is a huge draw for tourists staying in nearby Beijing hotels since it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will note that this has already been incorporated in the itinerary. You can also coordinate with Beijing hotels so that they can personalize the tour to your liking.

In 1921, Johan Gunnar Andersson, a Swedish geologist, together with the American paleontologist Walter W. Granger were led by local quarry men to an area called Dragon Bone Hill. There, Johan instantly realized that this is a nice spot to search for human remains.

Since 1926, the cave was continuously excavated, finding about 200 human fossils from forty individuals identified as Homo erectus. Consequently, more than 10,000 pieces of stoneware, several cinder layers, as well as animal fossils from 200 various species were found. In 1949, the archaeologists found more fossils and artifacts, making this as one of the most important sites which yielded evidences from the Middle Pleistocene Era.

At present, Zhoukoudian's Dragon Bone Hill has an exhibition hall, which is subdivided into seven rooms. The first room shows fossil remains of the Peking man and his external appearance, stone tools, general living conditions and evidence of his use of fire. To avoid long queues, it is recommended that you book your tickets in advance or call any of the Beijing hotels where you can be assisted of these reservations.

The second room demonstrates Hilltop Cavemen and animal fossils, bone needles, decorative objects and stone tools.

The third room displays fossils of men discovered in various parts of the country like the Hetao and Dingcun Dingcun Man and other fossil copies of the ancient jungle ape, Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon Man that give us an general appreciation of years of human evolution.

The fourth room shows the geological history of the residence of the Peking Man. It also displays the course of human and animal evolution through different periods of history.

The fifth and sixth rooms exhibit vertebrate fossils discovered in other locations around Zhoukoudian. Fish fossils are also displayed in these rooms.

The final room contains the fossils of some of the animals hunted by Peking man. It was known that the tiger and bear were considered his enemies. Elephant and rhinoceros fossils were also discovered at the site, giving us a clue of the changing climate before.

It is interesting to note that this attraction gives us a glimpse of the simplicity of human life thousands of years ago. Now, in the age of modernity, allow the different hotels in Beijing to pamper you with the comfort you deserve after a day of travel and work. - 30680

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