Stop–start capital ever since the Mongol Yuan dynasty, BÄ›ijÄ«ng is one of China’s authentic ancient fortresses. It is also a contender, secure and contemporary city that seems guaranteed of its fortune to rule over China ad infinitum.
History may have been trodden in BÄ›ijÄ«ng over the past half century, but there’s still much more stuff here than in China’s other dynastic capitals, bar NánjÄ«ng or KÄifÄ“ng. It’s also essential to sieve the unadulterated from the phony: some of BÄ›ijÄ«ng’s once-famous history has been sporadically revived in the trompe-l’oeil of reconstructed testimonials. Huge overpass and multilane avenues haul with more than three million cars but plenty pockets of past allure survive. It’s the city’s heroic royally splendor, however, that is in fact awe-inspiring.