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As the capital of modern China, Beijing is fast becoming a popular destination. As you fly into the city, the Great Wall rises up beneath, slithering its way like a dragon along the tops of the mountains. Gradually, other city sites are in view, neatly ordered and arranged in a grid.
As the center of 1000 years of imperial rule, Beijing was built to awe the power of the emperor. The central axis of the city is 7.5 km long, cutting through Beijing in a line from north to south.
Beijing is located in the northeastern corner of China. The city limits of Beijing extend some 80km (50mi), including the urban and the suburban areas and the nine counties under its administration - in other words, it's huge. Though it may not appear so in the shambles of arrival, Beijing is a place of very orderly design. Long, straight boulevards and avenues are crisscrossed by a network of lanes. Places of interest are either very easy to find if they're on the avenues, or impossible to find if they're buried down the hutongs (narrow alleys).
Beijing is situated at 40 degrees north latitude and 116 degrees east longitude. It is 43 metres above sea level and 183 kilometres from the sea. Beijing covers an area of 16,800 square kilometres, 38% of it is flat land and 62% mountains.
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