Every country has history, but few honor the past while embracing the future like the People’s Republic of China. No matter where you find yourself in this expansive land, you’ll see tributes being paid to the nation’s storied past in every form, from architecture and cuisine to modern customs and holidays. But China’s acclaim for its history shouldn’t suggest it’s turned a blind eye to the future. Take to Beijing, Shanghai or any of the country’s other modern metropolises and you’ll see that it’s these cities that are helping drive the world ever-forward.
Beijing, the capital city of some 11.5 million residents, is a microcosm of the balance and contrast you see throughout this country. Iconic, almost other-worldly skyscrapers (CCTV Headquarters) and stadiums (the Bird’s Nest) clash against 15th century imperial architecture (the Forbidden City) forming a skyline like no other. The city is a jumping off point for many when they visit China. It’s a cultural hub with testaments to empires past like the Temple of Heaven and sections of the Great Wall. But the city remains a modern epicenter of business and technology with its booming financial district. Whatever you’re looking for, chances are you can find it in Beijing. It’s a city that’s thousands of years in the making and there are reminders of that notion on every street corner.
In China there’s as much history in the cuisine as there is in any temple or monument to the nation’s past. For example, roast duck and Mongolian hotpots are as quintessential to China as the Great Wall itself. These dishes date back generations and are as irresistible and authentic today (if you know the right spots) as they ever were.
We could go on and on about the history and diversity this land holds within its borders. From the wide-raging geographic and seasonal changes (be sure to check ahead to know how to prepare) to the people who call this far-reaching country home; the only constant throughout is no matter where you go, you’ll find people who are proud of where they come from and proud of where they’re going. And why shouldn’t they be? Spend any time here at all and you’ll see any of us would be proud to call this place home, even if it’s only for a year on a locum tenens assignment.
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