Brief Information


One of the ancient capitals of China , Beijing was the capitals of the Jin , Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties after 938AD. Beijing became the capital of the People's Republic of China on October 1,1949.


Total area: 16,800 squar kilometers. Urban area: 1,040 squar kilometers.


The city has a total number of 12 million residents. 

City Flowers
Beijing's city emblem flowers are Chinese rose and chrysanthemum.
City Trees
Beijing's city emblem trees are Oriental arborvitae and cypress.
Timezone -- Beijing Time 

The time difference between Beijing and the Greenwich Mean Time is 8 hours (Beijing is ahead of GMT). China uses only one standard time, i.e. Beijing time, throughout the country. 
Work hours

Offices in Beijing generally open from 8:30am- 5pm, with a lunch break of about an hour. Government stipulated workdays are from Monday to Friday Shops open seven days a week.


The official language of China is Mandarin Chinese, actually a northern dialect, what the people of Beijing speak. Nowadays, most young people can speak varying degrees of English, so for directions and help, you can most likely get assistance from a younger person.

The standard spoken Chinese is Putonghua. What is Pinyin? - Pinyin is the official romanization system of the Chinese characters. English can be understood by many young people and is used in hotels and big restaurants.

Potable water is available only at a few of the best hotels, so tourists should always ask to make sure. Flasks of hot and cold water in rooms are telltale signs of non-potable water. Bottled mineral water is widely available in all stores. Officially, foreigners can only stay in hotels that are three-star and above.
Voltage 220 electricity is used in China.

Smoking is not allowed in public places in Beijing, such as hospitals, office builidings, theatres, cinemas, museums, planes and trains

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Last modified: Jul 18, 2001

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