by Michael J. Shapiro | November 01, 2013
No fewer than five ring roads, or concentric expressways, loop around China's sprawling capital, helping motorists navigate the city and its environs - including lots of infrastructure for meetings.

To wit: The China National Convention Center, in the Olympic Green, is a stone's throw from the National Stadium and National Aquatics Center. Those facilities, built for the 2008 Olympics, can be used as group venues.

A total of more than 10,000 hotel rooms can be found within three miles of the convention center.


  • beijing2
    A sense of order prevails amidst the crowds and traffic chaos of Beijing: On many roads traffic fences separate cars, two-wheeled vehicles and pedestrians. All photos by Michael J. Shapiro. Thanks to the organizers of CIBTM.
  • tiananmen
    Tiananmen Square, the world’s third-largest public square, is an enormous open meeting space and the city’s hub for both parades and protests. It is flanked by a number of important buildings, including the Tiananmen Gate to the Forbidden City and the National Museum of China.
  • museum
    The massive National Museum of China, reopened in March 2011, is one of the world’s largest. The museum features more than a million pieces of art and historical artifacts in its collection, displayed throughout 40 halls.
  • forbiddencity
    Tourists flock to the Forbidden City, especially on Sundays. For nearly 500 years, from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty, the complex was the home to emperors and the political hub of China.
  • insidefc
    Inside the Forbidden City, visitors are treated to ornate traditional architecture and sculpture. The complex has nearly 1,000 buildings, covering close to 8 million square feet.
  • palace
    For traditional Chinese palaces, the importance of the building (and the people inside) is reflected by the number of creatures decorating the rooftop corners. The nine seated creatures on each corner here indicate this palace was as important as they come.
  • houhai
    Beijing’s Houhai Lake provides a tranquil respite for tourists and city dwellers. A variety of boats are available for rent, including traditional wooden vessels that can seat up to 16 passengers.
  • streets
    Surrounding Houhai Lake are many of Beijing’s traditional hutongs, labyrinths of narrow streets and alleyways that are lined with restaurants and shops, many converted from former residences.
  • beijing1
    Beijing’s 798 Art Zone is a series of Soviet-era factory buildings from the 1950s that artists began to reclaim as lofts and studios in the late 1990s. Now, the hip destination is a mix of deteriorating, graffiti-covered factories and industrial equipment with designer boutiques, cafés and art shops.