Nowhere in the world are you likely to find a city with such a fascinating mix of ancient and modern as Beijing.
Although you will still come across old men in Mao style uniforms wandering the streets, Beijing is desperately trying to shed its grey, Eastern-bloc coat in favour of a new, shiny image. Springing up all over Beijing are spanking new department stores, hotels and restaurants, enticing people in with the promise of Western designer brands and luxury lifestyles.
Beijing is a great place to come if you like Chinese food, with regional cuisines from the entire country represented in the city, dining out being a favourite pastime with Beijingers.
A visit to Beijing must include the sumptuous buildings of imperial China. Most famous of these is the amazing Forbidden City. With its exquisite furnishings and hidden inner courtyards, the palace provides one of the most fascinating insights into the opulent world of the Emperor, his courtiers and eunuchs. Beijing also boasts some beautiful old temples such as the peaceful Taoist Dong Yue Temple, hidden away in the middle of a busy shopping street.