China – The Forbidden City

China Travel Destination Spotlight

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The cities of Beijing and Tianjin, along with Hebei province, have increased the visa-free entry for nationals from certain countries and regions from 72 hours to 144 hours. This move is part of the nation’s long-term commitment to modernize and upgrade its service industry. The policy will extend the visa-free time for travelers from 51 countries including the U.S. who want to visit these three areas.

The multibillion dollar Beijing Universal Studios was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in September 2014 and is expected to be completed by 2020. It is being designed to cater to the Chinese way of life, with an estimated 35% of the park’s design based around local culture.

As Beijing continues to develop its reputation as one of the world’s leading destinations, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel has opened a second hotel in this important capital city. Located on the top two floors of the prestigious WF Central, the hotel commands outstanding views of several famous landmarks. All 74 luxurious guestrooms and suites are spacious and elegant, many with views of the Forbidden City. The hotel features two restaurants serving some of the finest cuisine in the city. Both have access to a rooftop garden terrace providing more amazing views. Other amenities include a full-service spa, indoor pool and well-equipped fitness center.

The world-renowned jazz club franchise, Blue Note, has opened a club in Beijing, featuring top notch international entertainment and a platform for emerging local talent. Blue Note Beijing is located on the renovated site of the former U.S. embassy near Tiananmen Square.

Did You Know?

Beijing has been named host city of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. As a result, Beijing will become the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympic Games, following the city’s successful staging of the Summer Games in 2008. China is building six new competition venues for the next games to augment the six existing venues that were built for the 2008 games. Three “game zones” are planned for Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, with the opening and closing ceremonies and ice sports taking place in Beijing.

Beijing subway is the fastest transportation in downtown. Presently there are 21 subway lines plus one airport express line in operation.

Beijing Daxing International Airport, also called Beijing New Airport, is currently under construction. Soon to be the third airport in Beijing, the Beijing Daxing International Airport is in the Daxing District, south of the downtown area. To meet the increasing demand for air travel, Beijing Daxing International Airport will include 9 runways, with long-term capacity to serve 130 million passengers per year. When the airport opens in 2019, it will be one of the largest airports in the world.

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Recipe from China – Minced Pork Noodles-Zha Jiang Mian

China Food

This famous noodle dish is popular across the country; however, you may see many restaurants offer it as Beijing style Zhajiangmian on their menu. The highlight of this recipe is the minced pork sauce or pork gravy, which differs from northern China to Southern China. The two essential sauces stay the same: sweet bean sauce and soybean paste.