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About Beijing

Beijing, located in the North, is China's political centre and a busy capital-city with a population of over 15 million people. As the seat of power of Chinese emperors throughout the centuries, Beijing is steeped in history, including the 26 traditions of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911). Reigning as both an ancient capital of Imperial China and the modern capital of a thriving nation, Beijing retains plenty of evidence of its royal past, with aristocratic parks, temples, and palaces (all open to the public). Beijing is home to an incredible cultural display of art and historical artifacts in more than 50 museums. Folk traditions flourish in theaters, delicious dining is available in exotic settings, and cultural centers with fascinating demonstrations of centuries-old art and craft making abound. Nowhere else can you get a more concentrated impression of the old and new China. Beijing is the treasure trove of Chinese culture, where many of the sights that make China a world-class destination are located.

For more on the history of Beijing:

http://china.org.cn/english/features/beijing/30785.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Beijing


Weather

The climate in Beijing is of the continental type, with cold and dry winters, due to the Siberian air massses that move southward across the Mongolian Plateau. The summers are hot owing to warm and humid monsoon winds from the southeast bringing Beijing most of its annual precipitation.

January is the coldest month and July is the warmest. Winter usually begins towards the end of October. The summer months, June to August, are wet and hot with about 40% of the annual precipitation.

Average Data

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High F

33/36

38/42

50/54

67/70

78/82

86/89

87/90

84/88

77/81

66/69

49/52

36/40

Average High C

1/3

3/5

10/12

19/21

26/28

30/32

30/32

29/31

25/27

19/21

9/11

2/4

Average Low F

13/17

18/21

29/33

43/46

54/58

63/67

69/73

67/71

56/60

43/46

29/33

18/21

Average Low C

-10/-8

-8/-6

-2/0

6/8

12/14

17/19

21/23

20/22

13/15

6/8

-2/0

-8/-6

Max ( F)

54

64

82

90

99

104

104

107

92

84

75

66

Max ( C)

12.2

17.8

27.8

32.2

37.2

40.0

40.0

41.7

33.3

28.9

23.9

18.9

Min ( F)

1

5

19

30

39

48

63

54

36

28

10

6

Min ( C)

-17.2

-15

-7.2

-1.1

3.9

8.9

17.2

12.2

2.2

-2.2

-12.2

-14.4

Rain (in)

0.1/0.2

0.2/0.3

0.3/0.4

0.8/0.9

1.4/1.5

2.9/3

8.0/8.1

7.1/7.2

<0.1

0.6/0.7

0.3/0.4

0.1/0.2

Rain (mm)

<5

5/10

5/10

20/25

35/40

75/80

205/210

180/185

<5

15/20

5/10

<5

 Electricity

The electric current used in China is 220V 50Hz. The hotels can provide 220V and 110V (shavers only) power outlets. Please note that plug adapters and converters might be required.

Currency and Exchange

The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (RMB or ¥) and the value is pegged to the US dollar with current exchange rate of US$ 1: RMB 6.2 (April 2012). The Yuan is divided into 10 jiao or 100 fen. Notes come in denominations of ¥100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Make sure you exchange your left over Yuan before returning home because it can be exchanged only within China's borders.

Euro and US Dollar can be exchanged at your hotel or the banks. The exchange rate is more or less the same across China. Travelers cheques might only be exchanged at the Bank of China. Banks usually open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday. Currency exchange services are available for the following foreign currencies: US Dollar, British Pound Sterling, Euro, Japanese Yen, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Swiss Franc, Danish Krone, Norwegian Krone, Swedish Krone, Singapore Dollar, Malaysian Ringgit, and Macao Pataca.

Major credit cards are well accepted at various establishments, such as American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Master Card and Visa.

ATM Machine

Beijing is a very ATM friendly city. There are many banks with many ATMs. Only about 50% of these accept foreign cards. The main foreign friendly ATMs are controlled by the Bank of China. Bank of China ATMs work in both Chinese and English (depending on your card), use the latest equipment, and are pretty easy to find. Also, the connection to the overseas banking network tends to have a high down time.

Insurance

The organizers do not accept any liability for personal accidents or loss or damage to the private property of any participants during the symposium indirectly arising from attending the symposium. It is advisable that participants should take adequate travel and health insurances before leaving their own countries.

Safety and Security

In general China is a very safe country. However be aware of pickpockets and watch out when crossing the streets. Passports should be kept in the hotel safe till the departure day. Also note the serial numbers of your traveler’s checks if you are carrying those. We also recommend having copies of your passport and credit cards with you in case of loss or theft.

Tipping

Gratuities are not customary in China. However, in hotels and during group travels, tipping is practiced for porters and tour guides and drivers

Smoking

Anti-smoking campaigns are becoming stronger and stronger. But you might still find people smoking in the local restaurants and bars.

Time

China covers four time zones. Beijing time is the only official time throughout the country; punctuality is highly appreciated.

Transportation

Public Bus

Buses are the main means of transport in Beijing. Please prepare small bills in case of no-change bus lines. It would be very crowded in rush hours at 0700h-0900h and 1600h-1800h.

Subway

The subway system in Beijing has eight lines. The fare is 2 yuan per entry with free transfer from one line to aonther. Trains run from 5:30 in the morning until 23:00 in the late evening. A ticket can be bought at the ticket office at each station or at an automatic ticketing machine. Subway stops are announced over the train's speaker system in Chinese and English.

Taxi

Taxis in Beijing have several colors. All of them show a taximeter inside. You can easily find them in every part of Beijing. All Taxis will charge 2 yuan per kilometer with a base of RMB10 yuan.

 
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