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China - Beijing

A massive city with an ancient history, Beijing has been the capital of China throughout several centuries and dynasties. Even today, Beijing is centered around the Forbidden City, so-named as only officials, the imperial family, and their servants were permitted within its confines; none could leave or enter without the Emperor's permission. For centuries, war and peace, trade and exchange, and other matters of life and death were debated, discussed, and finally, decreed within its regal structures.

Nowadays, Beijing is organized in concentric, oblong loops, called ring roads. While there is no first ring road, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square are the de facto first ring. Business centers and fashionable restaurants and clubs lie within the second; Beijing's diplomatic community within the third. Universities, such as the internationally respected Beijing and Tsinghua Universities, are in the fourth; and the fifth ring road has been nicknamed Olympic Avenue, as the 2008 Olympic Summer Games' major venues were built within this area.

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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald lived in China for 7 years and returns often. She loves trekking in the rice terraces of Ping An, and hugging baby pandas in Chengdu!
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