Beijing 北京

Location

Beijing has a whole area of 16808 sq. km (about 6500 sq. mi), stretching 160 kilometers from east to west and over 180 kilometers north to south. 38% of it is flat land and 62% mountains. Beijing has 16 districts and 2 counties with Dongcheng, Xicheng, Xuanwu, Chongwen, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan in or close to the Beijing city proper and Fangshan, Mengtougou, Changping, Tongxian, Shunyi, Daxing, Huairou, Miyun, Pinggu and Yianqing in the outer suburbs.

 

 

General information

 

Beijing (formerly called Peking, Beiping, Dadu, Jingcheng, and Yanjing in different periods of Chinese history) is the capital city of the People’s Republic of China.

 

Beijing is a massive and modern city with high-rise buildings, shopping malls, and ever expanding high-end housing, restaurants, shops, entertainment, and schools.

 

The city’s roads cannot support the sheer volume of cars and so during rush hour, traffic jams rival those of any major city around the world. However, there is a lot of charm and hidden treasures in Beijing including hutongs, parks, temples, and historic sites.

 

Beijing’s subway system is clean and efficient and many expatriates in Beijing drive themselves.

 

There are a number of areas where expatriates reside but very broadly speaking they tend to live either ‘downtown’ or in the ‘Shunyi’ area.

 

Population

Beijing is one the most populous cities in china. The exact number of inhabitants is unclear, but it hovers somewhere around 22 million.

 

Language

People native to urban Beijing speak the Beijing dialect, which belongs to the Mandarin subdivision of spoken Chinese. Beijing dialect is the basis for Standard Mandarin, the language used in mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Rural areas of Beijing Municipality have their own dialects akin to those of Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing Municipality.

 

Climate

China is a massive country and as such there is a wide diversity of temperatures and atmospheres from tropical and subtropical zones in the south to the Frigid Zone in the north. The climate in Beijing is of the continental type, with cold and dry winters and hot summers. January is the coldest month (-4 Celsius), while July the warmest (26 Celsius). During the spring there are annual sandstorms from the Gobi Desert. The summers can be very hot and humid where as the winters are rather long, cold and very dry as winds come in from Siberia. To give you an example the average temperatures in January are -10°C (14°F).

 

Useful Links

Beijing Metro Map