Holiday in Beijing – the past and the present of China


Created by Mondo for Finnair

Temples and tea rooms, imperial palaces and delicious street food. China’s capital city Beijing is a shopper’s paradise and a culinary heaven for holidaymakers.


The most famous attraction in Beijing is the Forbidden City, the world’s largest imperial palace complex, from where China was ruled for 500 years. Next to the Forbidden City is Tienanmen Square and the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. The National Stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, and the China Central TV headquarters are prime examples of contemporary “wow” architecture.


A visitor can see and experience the ordinary Beijing way of life in the old hutongs, where washing is hung out to dry and people are immersed in their game of mah-jong in the narrow residential alleys. One of the most beautiful hutongs is the listed Dongcheng, where the narrow streets are full of trendy bars, fashion boutiques and souvenir shops.


A spectacular holiday in Beijing won’t be complete without a visit to the Great Wall of China and a dinner of crisp Peking Duck.

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One of the best places to sample the famous Peking Duck is Li Qun restaurant. The duck is roasted in a wood oven, after the chef has rubbed the bird with a secret spice mix. The skin of the duck is roasted until crisp, but it hides the most succulent and tasty meat. The fruit tree logs give the meat an exceptionally good taste.


Large areas of the traditional hutongs with their narrow streets  were demolished to give way to modern Beijing. Now the value of hutongs has been rediscovered and they have been protected. A great example are the hutongs surrounding the trendy Gulou Dongdajie street, with bohemian boutiques, restaurants and bars of all descriptions.


The most entertaining way to shop in Beijing is to go the tea market on Maliandao street, which is lined with houses full of tea shops. The shops sell all varieties of tea and tea paraphernalia at low prices. Customers can taste the different teas to help make up their minds!

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