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Although most of it is influenced by its rich history, Beijing is a city that is in the process of reinventing its culture. Since receiving the honor of host to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, the city has worked hard to modernize itself but still show the world the rich culture of China.
There are many religions practiced in Beijing, although not always freely. Freedom of religion is actually in the Chinese constitution, but throughout recent history, suspensions have occurred that have made it hard to practice certain faiths. With all of this, the religious diversity within Beijing is vast, encompassing Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.
With many temples throughout the city, visitors can get a real feeling of some of the area’s practiced religions. The largest Buddhist temple in Beijing is Tanzhe Temple whose history dates back to the Jin Dynasty (3rd century AD). The White Cloud Temple is the largest Taoist temple in the city, which was once the religious center of Northern China.
The Great Wall of China is something that shouldn’t be missed with a visit to Beijing. Built during the Qin Dynasty, it truly is a wonder of the world. There are many sections of the wall that have been restored, the most popular (and close to Beijing) is the Great Wall at Badaling. Many tourists are put off by how popular Badaling has become, however the views are still spectacular from this section of the wall and the atmosphere is almost market like with hawkers and artisans along the route.
The Beijing Opera is the area’s most famous opera house. Theatre restaurants are of high quality, and shows such as the Kung-Fu shows and acrobatics play frequently in BeijingAll visitors should have a grasp of the core topics of Beijing culture, language, food, art, and Confucianism, before they travel to the capital city.