Travel guide to China’s city clusters: Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region

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Author’s note: China plans to strengthen its transport sector over the next 15 years. As it forms a new framework for inland transportation, navigating a complex of cities over the weekend becomes easy. The first episode of a series of travel guides in four major clusters of Chinese cities introduces the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Taking the capital Beijing as its center, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in northern China covers an area of ​​216,000 square kilometers, about the size of Great Britain. It is not only of political and economic importance, but also for its rich history and culture.

The dated photo shows the Bird’s Nest, or National Stadium, in Beijing. / CFP

The dated photo shows the Bird’s Nest, or National Stadium, in Beijing. / CFP

Beijing: The capital combines old and new

As the country’s political and cultural center, Beijing was first established as a capital 3,000 years ago, but today, it is best known for housing the imperial palaces and temples of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911). ) dynasties, such as the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven.

The Forbidden City, in the heart of Beijing, is the largest and most complete existing ancient wooden architectural complex in the world and was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1987. Also known as the Palace Museum, it houses over 1.8 million cultural relics. The palace is one of the hottest tourist destinations in China. If you wish to visit it, remember to book your ticket online in advance.

About 10 km north of the Forbidden City is the Bird’s Nest (National Stadium) and the Water Cube (National Water Center). The two boldly designed modern architectures represent Beijing as the host city of the 2008 Olympic Games and have now become venues for major sporting events and performances.

Two men perform a speech show at a tea house in Tianjin Municipality, February 6, 2021. / CFP

Two men perform a crossover show at a tea house in Tianjin Municipality, February 6, 2021. / CFP

Tianjin: Experience exotic and local cultures

It takes half an hour by high-speed train from Beijing to Tianjin Municipality. The major seaport city has traces of foreign concessions from 1860 to 1945. The Five Great Avenues features more than 2,000 buildings with a wide variety of architectural forms, including British, French, Italian, German and Spanish, and is therefore hailed as ” World Building Exhibition. “

Fans of the local culture can watch a cross-talk show at a local tea house, as the town has grown many famous cross-talk artists from Ma Sanli to Guo Degang. You may meet the next generation master cross-talk on the show.

If you want to buy some souvenirs, Chinese New Year paintings or Nianhua, are good choices and can be found in Yangliuqing Ancient Town in the northern suburbs. The Nianhua wood printing boat has been developed for almost 400 years and has been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage. Traditional Chinese gifts will definitely impress your family and friends.

People ski at a ski resort in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, northern China, January 1, 2019. / CFP

People ski at a ski resort in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, northern China, January 1, 2019. / CFP

Hebei Province: Olympic spirit in the air

Hebei Province surrounds Beijing and Tianjin. The mountain resort and its remote temples in Chengde city are a must see in northeastern Hebei. The Imperial Palace, which usually served the emperors of the Qing Dynasty for short summer stays, is the largest of its kind in China and features various gardens, pagodas, temples and palaces from various parts of the country. A visit will help you better understand the history and culture of the feudal dynasty and the lives of the royal family.

The city of Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province will co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics with Beijing, so its ski resorts have been growing in popularity in recent years. With various professional ski slopes and well-equipped facilities, it is an amusement park for winter sports enthusiasts. Why not catch the winter tail and ski?

Read more: Four clusters of cities not to be missed in China 1-2-2 Travel Circle

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