Why Beijing Is Such a Slick City

Beijing is the Capital of the People’s Republic of China and is a highly populated city. It’s actually China’s second largest city and is a busy hub for transportation, politics, education and international trade. It’s as famous for its modern developments as it is for its history and attracts 140 million Chinese tourists and 4.4 million international tourists each year.

Must See Places

You cannot go to Beijing and not visit its Great Wall which was built during the Ming Dynasty. The wall is split into sections and the most popular part is Badaling. It is renowned for its military facilities, deep rooted culture and views. However if you would prefer a quieter section of the wall then you should visit the breathtaking Mutianyu Great Wall which is quite primitive but stunningly beautiful.

At the center of Beijing is Tiananmen Square which features Tiananmen Tower, monument to people’s heroes, Great Hall of People and Mao Zedong Memorial. The tower was built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty and the Square was considered to be the front door to Forbidden City which was used for ceremonial rituals in times gone by. The Monument has sculptures which show people and how they developed and the white marble creates a feeling of respect and a sense of tranquility. Tiananmen Square also houses the Great Hall which is used for diplomatic and political activities. Again it is exquisitely decorated with white marble and crystal lamps and boasts a banqueting hall with 5000 seats.

Popular Tourist Attractions

The National Museum of China was built in 2003 and has a variety of material objects, books and pictures which represent modern China as well as showing cultural relics.

The ‘Gu Gong’ or Forbidden City was the imperial palace for 24 emperors during two dynasties and is now referred to as the Palace Museum. It is located north of Tiananmen Square and is the world’s largest palace complex. It is extraordinary to see the place where the emperors of the past lived and the outside of Forbidden City is surrounded by an enormous moat.

Summer Palace is situated in the Haidian District of Beijing and it is the largest and well-kept royal park in China. This building has had a huge influence on Chinese landscape and horticulture as it is recognized as the Museum of Royal Gardens.

Built in 1420, the Temple of Heaven was created as a sacrifice to Heaven. The emperors referred to themselves as ‘sons of Heaven’ so they ensured that this temple was much larger than the palaces which they lived in as a sign of respect. The temple was cleverly designed to signify both Heaven and Earth using altars and sculptures.

Modern Attractions

The National Stadium or ‘Bird’s Nest’ was built to house the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and is still open to tourists today. As well as attracting travelers it is also used for domestic and international sporting events.

Beijing Zoo is located in the Xicheng district and has a wide range of animals from giraffes and elephants to pandas and polar bears. It also boasts a specially designed gorilla hall and a stunning aquarium which houses man eating fish, sharks and gigantic sea elephants. Children can enjoy watching sea lions, dolphins and whales perform during two shows each day.

There are other historical point of interest such as the Harmony and Peace Palace or the ‘Yonghe Lamasey ‘, the mini tombs which are mausoleums of 13 Chinese emperors and the city’s famous courtyards which are known locally as ‘Hutongs’.

There are numerous restaurants including the world famous ‘Quan Ju De’ or ‘Peking Duck’ which serves deliciously authentic Chinese cuisine. There are also Western restaurants and many vegetarian options to choose from. If you’re looking to go out for a few drinks you can take advantage of one of the many bars such as ‘George’s’ which has black walls and retro furnishings, QBar or China Bar. Some bars specialize in cocktails and others have unusual single malt whiskies.

Hotels such as The Emperor Hotel Park Plaza and The Inner Mongolia Grand Hotel are very affordable and are centrally located so that most of the attractions are within easy reach.

Beijing is certainly a slick city with its eclectic mix of new and old. It is a good place to experience culture and to sample high quality food and the local people offer a warm welcome to all visitors.

Enhance The Value Of Your Property By Making Some Improvements And Additions

Before staging your house for sale, you should sit and decide whether to make any improvements or additions to your house. If there is room for improvement, make a list of the tasks to be done. A house that lacks some basic and important repairs can bring in a lower price and take longer time to sell. To avoid such a situation, it is recommended to make the required improvements and additions to your home before you put it for sale in the market.

The foremost step before you indulge in any kind of improvement is to decide how much you can invest. Choosing low-cost urgent repairs can bring a great impact on the value of your house. Changing out the fused light bulbs and fixing loose nuts can create a big distinction for the buyer. Oil up all noisy doors and window hinges and clean up your garden. This will give the buyer an impression that your property is regularly maintained and well taken care of. The benefits that come along with these repairs is that they are free of cost. Making small improvements on your own can make a big difference.

You can also paint your house to give it a new look. It will not only cover the minor cracks and holes, but also increase the beauty of your house. Do not forget to fill the holes with sand and cement before painting. Home buyers just do not buy a house to have a roof upon their heads, but to have a roof that does not leak. Check if you have a leaky roof and fix it on time. The buyer is going to deduct the price of a new roof from the value of your roof if the same is not fixed.

Nobody will be pleased to buy a house that has awful odor. It is suggested to use fragrance in your home before active buyers come to see it. If you have pets in your house, remove the beds and boxes of your pet from your house. If someone smokes in your family, ask him to go out and smoke from now. It may sound ridiculous, but smell is the first thing that a buyer will witness and a bad smell is nearly impossible to hide.

If something is broken, fix it at once. Leaky valve, missing shingles or broken locks are among the few things that will not be hidden from the eyes of the potential buyer. Fix these problems as these all give a bad impression.

A well-maintained house speaks for itself. To get good price for your property, you must do these repairs. It saves you from spending more time in the market to sell your house. If these repairs are not done, you may lose potential buyers and face buyers who ask for more money than what an actual repair might need.

Fountains Through All Ages – An Overview of Landscaping Wonders

Fountains never fail to entice wonder and excitement among people. The sight of water sprouting and dancing is simply amazing for all ages, especially kids and the kids-at-heart. The earliest appearance of fountains may be traced back to around 3000 BC where Egyptian tomb paintings show enclosed home gardens with fountains. Traditional Persian carpet designs depict formal walled gardens with irrigated pools and canals depicting those found in the high lands of Mesopotamia where Persians and Assyrians enjoy fountains. The Romans, whose waterworks were quite advanced for their time, also enjoyed gardens and public baths that have fountains installed on them.

The Eastern world is not to be left out in the spectacle of fountains. The Moorish forces that conquered Spain around the 14th century were known to have installed pools and fountains with lively-colored tilework in gardens such as those in Cordoba and Toledo, as well as in Granada. Indians on the other hand built gardens of great splendor with fountains as prominent features. Prime examples are the world-renowned Taj Mahal and the Shalimar Gardens. Chinese palaces, temples and houses also had great gardens with pools and fountains of varying sizes. Beijing’s Imperial City features artificial lakes and other impressive waterworks. Kyoto is also famous for its gardens with carefully crafted pools and waterfalls designed by Zen monks.

Monasteries in middle-age Europe featured large gardens that fountains and wells. designed to enhance meditation in addition to several rows of herbs, fruits, flowers, and vegetables. Palaces and villas in renaissance Italy were very reminiscent of the grandeur of ancient Rome. 15th century palaces were decorated with gardens such as those of Palmieri, La Pietra, and Medici. The villas in Bagnaia, Caprarola, Rome, and Tivoli also featured fountains that were elegantly elaborate. As the baroque period approaches, designs became more grandiose and complex. Spouting fountains and waterfalls were used extensively to enhance serpentine lines. French chateaus in the Loire valley also had extensive gardens and parks with great fountains for everyone to enjoy. By the 17th century, the prime of French design and architecture, fountains and gardens became endlessly grand embellishing the grand estates such as those in Versailles.

The rise of romanticism in the 18th century led to the unleashing of passion which was well translated into architecture, including fountain designs. Exotic and picturesque fountains and ponds served as punctuation marks to the profound statements showed through architecture in this period. Some years after, a prominent landmark, the Central Park in New York spouted.

In contemporary times, the magnificence of fountains has been integrated into homes of the common people. A lot of gardens, especially in the sunny states such as California, have falls and fountains as their focal points. Even condominiums and small apartments have incorporated the natural ambience provided by fountains with miniature versions of the outdoor waterworks. Malls and office buildings now also have indoor fountains installed which helps bring about a sense of calmness in such a bustling setting, serving the same purpose as those of the oases in the ancient times.

Fountains can prove to be great investments in any landscape or garden. Their ability to instill peace and tranquility is what many people find in this hectic age. One need not to install elaborate fountains to enjoy the calming quality of water as there are many available fountains most anywhere.