In literary language, the Chinese also refer to Beijing as “Jingcheng,” which simply means “the capital.” In older government and departmental papers, another name for Beijing—Shunyi Fu—is also found.

The province of Hebei is washed by the Bohai Gulf to the east and bordered by the Taihang Mountains to the west. Hebei extends like a long inlet between the provinces of Henan and Shandong and slightly crosses over to the right bank of the Yellow River.

To the west, Hebei is framed by a complex chain of mountains: Gulushan, Huanyanshan, and Wutaishan, the latter reaching into the western part of Gansu province, near the city of Jiayuguan, slightly north of the administrative center of that province, the city of Lanzhou. The Great Wall of China passes just 56 kilometers north of Beijing. Its total length is about 4,000 kilometers.

The administrative center of Hebei province is the city of Baoding, which is connected to Beijing by rail. The plain where Beijing is located is well protected from the north and west by mountains, and washed by the Bohai Gulf to the east. Rich fertile soils, natural protection (mountains to the north and west) from enemy troop raids, favorable climatic conditions, ancient trade routes running through this valley from west to east and from south to north—all this undoubtedly contributed to the development of Beijing.

To the east (towards the Bohai Gulf), the North China Plain gradually descends. Its elevation above sea level here does not even reach ten meters. In this part of the plain, swamps are common, and during the rainy season, floods are quite frequent. The population tended to settle along riverbanks, where it is easier to use irrigation systems and less fertilizer is required for the land. Floods often lead to significant losses and casualties.

To the north and west of Beijing, the plain noticeably rises. Already 30 kilometers north and 40 kilometers west of the city, the average elevations on it reach 800 meters and more above sea level.

The vast plain, bordered to the north and west by mountains, and to the south and east by bodies of water, has a climate that is usually referred to as monsoonal. In the summer, there is a lot of moisture and a “rainy season,” while in the winter, it is dry and sunny.

Dry and sharp winds blow from the north and northwest in winter, and soft and moist ones from the south and southwest in summer. The Chinese often say that the change of winds follows the seasons. They even have a folk proverb: “In spring, the wind blows from the east, in summer from the south, in autumn from the west, and in winter from the north.”

Cheap flights to Beijing, China


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here