Beijing is the second-largest and capital city of the People’s Republic of China, and can be described as the nation’s political, educational, and cultural hub.

As one of the oldest cities in the world, Beijing hosts an impressive seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, and parts of the Great Wall and Grand Canal. The city combines both modern development and historical architecture, providing visitors with an unparalleled wealth of intrigue and delight as they tour its renowned palaces, temples, parks, gardens, walls, the siheyuan housing style, and gates.

The Beijing central business district (CBD), located in the the Guomao area, is the center of the city’s economic expansion and home to a variety of corporate regional headquarters, many of its modern skyscrapers, shopping precincts, and high-end housing. Beijing Financial Street, in the Fuxingmen and Fuchengmen area, is a traditional financial center. The Wangfujing and Xidan areas are major shopping districts. Zhongguancun, dubbed “China’s Silicon Valley,” is a major center in electronics and computer-related industries, as well as pharmaceuticals-related research. Yizhuang, located to the southeast of the urban area, is becoming a new center in pharmaceuticals, information technology, and materials engineering.

Beijing has a rather dry, monsoon-influenced humid continental climate, characterized by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Spring can bring sandstorms blowing in from the Gobi desert, accompanied by warm and generally dry conditions. Autumn is typically crisp and short. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from −3.7 °C (25.3 °F) in January, to 26.2 °C (79.2 °F) in July. Precipitation averages around 570 mm (22.4 in) annually, with close to a quarter of that total falling from June to August.

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