Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hot Tourist Attractions MUST visits in Beijing, CHINA

Niujie Mosque (Ox Street) in Beijing's Xuanwu District, the spritual centre for the 10,000 Muslims living in the vicinity, is the biggest and oldest in Beijing. The mosque is a mixture of Islamic and Chinese cultures. The outside shows the Beijing influence while the inside decoration is rich in Islamic flavour. Founded in 996 during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the mosque was rebuilt in 1442 in the Ming Dynasty and expanded in 1696 under the Qing Dynasty. It consists of an observation tower, prayer hall, and minaret with a pavilion on each side. The observation tower is just behind the entrance. It was built and originally used for astronomical observations needed for drawing up the Islamic calender. The hexagonal wooden structure is also Chinese but Islamic inside, with Arabic designs on the ceiling and the beams.

The Great Wall of China, which was first built in the Warring States period (475-221BC) as a series of earthworks erected by individual kingdoms as a defense against the Ming dynasty.

Tian An Men Square, which is the largest city square in the world, bordered by the Great Hall of the People and Chairman Mao's Mausoleum.

Summer Palace, being the larges imperial garden in China, the Summer Palace was first built in the Qing emperor Qianlong's time in 1751 and burned down in 1860 by the French and British army and restored by the Dowager empress Cixi for her own enjoyment. It became a favorite haunt of Cixi, who preferred it to the Forbidden City, and named it Yihe Yuan meaning the garden of the health and harmony.

Beijing Zoo was built in 1906 and opened to the public in 1908 with an area of only about 10 hectares and a few humble pavilions to the house of the animals. At that time only several dozens of species were shown such as lions, tigers. leopards and monkeys. Now the Beijing Zoo covers an area of about 50 hectares. The animal houses and enclosures, with a total floor space of 40,000 square meters, include those for pandas, elephants, brown bear, polar bears, tigers hippopotami, rhinoceros, antelopes, giraffes and reptiles. More than 6,000 animals of over 500 species are on the show. Among them are giant pandas, golden monkeys, addaxes, tigers from Northeast China, elks, yaks, precious birds and gold fish. Also on show are rare animals from various continents, such as hippopotami, zebras, giraffes, chimpanzees, lions and antelopes from Africa, parrots from South America, birds and kangaroos from Australia, polar bears from the Arctic, bison from Europe and Asian apes.

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