Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, formerly known as Peking.Beijing is China‘s second largest city in terms of population, after Shanghai. It is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways passing through the city, also the focal point of many international flights to China. Beijing is recognized as the political, educational and cultural center of the PRC. The most important tourist site ofBeijing is The Tian’anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace), both by itself and as the main entrance to the Forbidden City. Other world-renowned sites include the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China, the Summer Palace, and the Temple of Heaven.
Moscow is the capital and largest city of Russia, with its metropolitan area ranking among the largest urban areas in the world. Moscow is the country’s economic, financial, educational, and transportation centre. It is located on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia. Moscow is the largest city in Europe. Historically, it was the capital of the former Soviet Union and the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the pre-Imperial Russian state. It is the site of the Kremlin, which now serves as the ceremonial residence of the President of Russia. Moscow is rated as a beta world city for its global influences in media, politics, education, entertainment and fashion. It also remains a major economic centre and is home to a large number of billionaires; in 2007 Moscow was named the world’s most expensive city for the second year in a row. It is home to many scientific and educational institutions, as well as numerous sport facilities. It possesses a complex transport system that includes the world’s busiest metro system, which is famous for its architecture.
Ulaanbaatar, also known as Ulan Bator, is the capital city of Mongolia in north centralMongolia. The city lies on the Tuul River, and situated in a valley at an elevation of about 1310 m (about 4300 ft) and is surrounded by ridges. It is the political, cultural, industrial, and transportation center of the country, connected by highway to all the major towns inMongolia and by rail to the Trans-Siberian and Chinese railroad systems. Ulaanbaatar has a long and mysterious history, and is only now undergoing an industrial revolution.
Yekaterinburg is the 5th largest city in Russia after Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and is the capital of the Urals region. It was founded in 1723 by Peter the Great as the metallurgical factory and by the 20th century it had become one of Russia‘s largest and most important financial, industrial and cultural centers. Between 1924 and 1991, the town was known as Sverdlovsk. The city is often said to be situated on the border of Europe and Asia (on the Asian side) and two symbolic monuments of this can be found near the city.
Novosibirsk is Russia‘s third largest city, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast. It is also the largest city in Siberia and the administrative center of Siberian Federal District, in the southwest of which it is located. It was founded in 1893 as the future site of the Trans-Siberian Railway Bridge crossing the great Siberian River Ob, and was known as Novonikolayevsk after Tsar Nicholas II. The bridge opened for traffic in the spring of 1897. Its importance further increased early in the 20th century with the completion of the Turkestan-Siberia Railway, connecting Novosibirsk to Central Asia and the Caspian Sea.
Irkutsk is one of the largest cities in Siberia and the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, situated 5,185 kilometers (3,222 mi) by rail from Moscow. The city lies on the Angara River, and situated in a landscape of rolling hills within the thick taiga, typical of eastern Siberia, and in contrast to the flat, open steppe of western Siberia. Its main portion of the city is separated from several important landmarks—the monastery, the fort, and the port, as well as its suburbs by another tributary, the Ida, or Ushakovka River. As a Siberian city,Irkutsk experiences a subarctic climate, characterized by extreme variation of temperatures between seasons.
Ulan-Ude, the capital city of the Buryat Republic, is located about 100 km south-east of Lake Baikal. It is located at the foot of the Khamar-Daban and Khrebet Ulan-Burgasy mountain ranges, next to the confluence of the Selenga River and its tributary, the Uda which divides the city into two parts. It is the 3rd largest city in East Siberia and is served by the Ulan-Ude Airport (Mukhino), as well as the smaller Ulan-Ude Vostochny Airport.Ulan-Ude was founded in 1666 by the Russian Cossacks. There are old merchants’ mansions richly decorated with wood and stone carving in the historical center of Ulan-Ude, along the river banks. They represent beautiful examples of Russian classicism.