Why Go to Beijing
“That is a sleeping dragon,” Napoleon once said. “Let him sleep! If he wakes, he will shake the world.” In 1803, the future French emperor recognized China’s potential. Presiding over the greatest military and economic power of his day, Napoleon had an eye for opponents. Less than two centuries later, China’s GDP surpassed that of both Britain and France and continues to steadily climb. If he arrived in Beijing today, Napoleon would undoubtedly say, “I told you so.”
Nowhere is China’s influence more apparent than Beijing. As China’s political and cultural hub, Beijing offers a glimpse into the nation’s expansive history and its rapid modernization. You’ll find preserved palaces rubbing elbows with new subway stations and tranquil lamaseries sharing space with world-class stadiums. Many of the city’s historical sites, like the Forbidden City and the Tiananmen Square, are well-known to the world. Yet, the most popular attraction is located outside Beijing: The Great Wall of China serpentines through the hills north of the city. When you witness this astounding accomplishment of ancient China, you too will sense the immeasurable potential of this modern country.