Many different routes go through Beijing. Whether your visiting for a while or on a stopover it is good to immerse yourself into everything Beijing so that you can make the most out of your trip. Below our some interesting and cultural facts about Beijing that help you get to know the place before you go. If you also want to learn more about the entire country check out our interesting facts about China article.
Interesting Facts About Beijing
1. One Million people live underneath Beijing in an underground bomb shelter
Built-in 1969. 33 square miles of a bomb shelter was built underground from tensions with the Soviet Union. Entire towns were made in the underground city, including markets, such as industry, needs and housing. The project took 10 years to build, but after it was done, it was never used for its purpose because tensions with the soviet union had diminished.
In 1979, the underground city was commercialized, and about 5% of the Bejing population lives underground. There are 90 doors scattered around Beijing to get to the underground city.
It costs about 400 Yuen or USD 56 to live in a room for a month. The inhabitants are known as "The Rat Tribe."
2. Beijing built a new airport finished in 2019 cost 12 Billion dollars
The second international airport for Beijing was proposed in 2008 when building an extension to the current international airport. With the growth of travel in China, the extension would be at capacity in only a few years after completion. In 2012, it reached 100 million passengers, which was over its total capacity of 83 million.
Zaha Hadid Architects designed the airport with innovative design selected and with the latest technology. The airport is connected by high-speed trains, which put it just 20 min from Bejing. It was built to withstand an earthquake of 8. Its the first large airport to have vertically stacked dual departure and arrival floors. It will use state of the art technology, including facial recognition software and Israeli AI software to monitor birds and drones.
3. One of Beijing's newest buildings has the world's largest Atrium
Beijing's Leeza SOHO is a new building that was designed by Zaha Hadid. The building rises in 193m, 46 stories high and is composed of two twisting towers.
Leeza SOHO was built with a large atrium because of the underlying subway tunnels. One building is on one side of the tracks and the other building on the other side of the tracks. The building is connected together with 4 sky bridges.
It's a Leed certified building that uses grey water, is installed with energy-efficient technology and is angled in a way to bring in light throughout the building.
4. The city of Beijing and its surrounding areas are Beautiful
An awesome Montage of Beijing and the areas around Beijing
5. Beijing is trying to keep its population under 23 million, and Migrants are being pushed out
Beijing's growth has been rapid and fast. Moving into Bejing in the early 2000's you could come in with only USD 15, which could be enough money to find a job and connections to make a life in Bejing. However, the government is now removing the housing that makes this transition possible. This may leave these migrants with little options.
6. Chinese cheese tea is the latest drink sensation
Cheese tea breaks away from traditional tea, and it is exactly what it sounds like. It is tea topped with Cheese. One of the largest cheese tea companies that are expanding worldwide is HEYTEA. Depending on the location, the wait can belong!
7. In 2008 Beijing held the first Olympics hosted in Chain
Highlights from the 2008 Olympic games
Historical Facts About Beijing
8. The Imperial Palace - the worlds largest - has survived natures elements including earthquakes and fire
The Imperial Palace has survived so long because it was built to withstand the elements, and it has had a bit of luck. It only took 4 years to build and involved 100,000 artisans and 1 Million labourers.
There have been multiple earthquakes and fires that the Palace has had to withstand. Still, techniques to mitigate those risks were built into the construction, including having water accessible everywhere by collecting rainwater and building using a duohong method.
9. The Emperor was heaven's earthly representative, but in reality, the role was more bureaucratic than holy
Each day the Emperor would follow a strict schedule of meetings and obligations. The times in-between were for meals, a break or reading reports from across the kingdom.
10. All women living in imperial China's Forbidden City were carefully sequestered in quarters deep inside the Palace
There were 100 sometimes 1000 women serving and bearing children for just one man. These women spent their time in the imperial quarters.
During the Ming dynasty, it was mandatory to go through the selection process to work for the emperor. During the Qing Dynasty, Manchu lineage became the most important criterion for selection.
11. An Army of Eunuchs ran Forbidden City
The Eunuchs worked as personal servants, spies and watchdogs for the imperial family. 1 in 8 boys was given to the Palace by their parents. By 1644 there was a peak of 70,00 eunuchs in the imperial court. The last Eunuch to serve was in 1924.
12. The Forbidden treasure survived modern China's bloody beginning by moving the treasures away from conflict.
One of the most interesting facts about Beijing is how this Forbidden city's cultural treasures survived the modern times. The museum collections journey of escaping conflict would last 14 years and cover over 75,000km. Not a single artifact was lost or damaged. The treasures are now in both Beijing and Taiwan.