|Beijing 2008: This event has closed and is no longer open to the public.|
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games, the 2008 Paralympics and the 2008 World Mind Sports Games was held in Beijing, the first time the games were held in China. The Olympic Games took place between August 8-24, 2008, the Paralympic Games took place between September 5-16, 2008, and the World Mind Sports Games took place between October 3-18, 2008.
Beijing is the biggest transport hub in Northern China with suitable transportation links extending in all directions. The modern international airport and road and rail network ensures ease of access.
If travelling to the south of China, however, Shanghai and Hong Kong are the easiest ports of entry.
Most international flights will arrive at Beijing Capital Airport, Shanghai Pu Dong International Airport, or Hong Kong International Airport, depending on your destination. Many other cities have airports with domestic flights at reasonable rates.
Beijing is the railway hub of the nation and a major station in the Far East, with the trains to most provincial capitals and all the neighboring cities. There are a number of stations in Beijing, the Beijing Railway Station, Beijing West Railway Station, and Beijing South Railway Station are the most important. The former is mainly for long-haul trips, such as Beijing to Shanghai or the international trains directly to Moscow, Ulan Bator and Pyongyang, etc. Beijing South is for fast EMU trains to Tianjin, Shanghai, Qingdao, Jinan and etc. Beijing West is for trains run on Jingguang and JingJiu lines. Tourists can attend the capitals of each province, the majority of large and medium-sized cities, autonomous regions in China. The other two stations offer short-haul trains to the neighbouring provinces.
Beijing is without doubt the largest intersection of the main roads in China, with twelve national highways in the north-east, south-east, south-west and south, and eight major highways around the city, a total of twenty thousand kilometers.
Nineteen bus stations in Beijing service thousands of buses daily, to the neighboring cities such as Datong, Chengde, Tianjin, some departure every hour.
Visas and Documentation
China and Hong Kong, while officially the same country, are under different administrations and immigration regimes.
Many foreign nationals do not require a visa to enter Hong Kong, where the equestrian events are held. However, you do need a visa to enter China proper.
At the present time, visas are normally issued for a single entry and for a stay of 30 days. If you intend to travel to Hong Kong from China and back into the mainland, however, a double-entry visa is required.
The Chinese government has, as of late, required proof of air travel and hotel room or accommodations before the visa is issued. Make certain that all of your paperwork is in order before you travel, as you will be deported if you do not comply with the regulations.
There are many interesting tourist attractions in Beijing for visitor to get around the city during Olympic Games 2008. Among the must-see attractions, such as the famous Forbidden City – where visitors can stroll through the residences of China’s former emperors – and the monolithic Great Wall of China, the Beijing tourism authority has suggested a number of culinary and nightlife hotspots too.
On the list, include the happening Houhai Bar Street and famous restaurants Kaorou Ji and Dasanyuan. But tourists looking for a taste off the beaten track, should aim for restaurants recommended or populated by locals
Other recommendations include visiting the Drum Tower, Beijing’s ‘Big Ben’ and original time-keeper. Around the tower is an antique market worth exploring and the bustling Hutong fruit market. Other interesting parts of Beijing include the Underground City near Tiananmen Square, a subterranean network built when the country feared Soviet invasion in the 1960s and the Ancient Observatory, an incredibly preserved Tibetan temple.
- National Olympic Stadium (The Birds Nest). The main sports arena, shaped like a bird's nest. Venue for the Opening and Closing ceremonies, the main track and field events and the football events.
- Beijing National Aquatics Centre (Water Cube). Venue for swimming, diving, water polo, and synchronized swimming. After the 2008 Games, about half of the interior was converted into a water park. The venue will host curling at the 2022 Winter Games.
- Beijing National Indoor Stadium. Venue for the artistic gymnastics, trampolining, and handball events. Will host ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Games.
- Beijing Shooting Range Hall. Venue for the qualifications and the finals of the 10-, 25-, and 50-meter range shooting events.
- Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center. An indoor stadium, it was used for the basketball competitions. Now known as LeSports Center, it remains Beijing's premier indoor venue, hosting many national and international music acts, as well as the Beijing Ducks (basketball), Kunlun Red Star (ice hockey, playing in the Russia-based KHL), and Beijing Lions (indoor American football). It will also host ice hockey at the 2022 Winter Games.
- Laoshan Velodrome, Laoshan, Beijing. Venue for the track cycling events.
- Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park. Venue for the rowing, and the canoe and kayak events (both flat-water racing and Slalom Racing).
- China Agricultural University Gymnasium. Venue of the wrestling competitions.
- Peking University Gymnasium, south-eastern Peking University, Beijing. Venue for the Table Tennis events.
- Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium. Venue for the judo and taekwondo events.
- Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium. Venue for the badminton and rhythmic gymnastics.
- Olympic Sports Centre. Venue for the football, modern pentathlon (running and equestrian).
- Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium. Venue for the handball.
- Workers Stadium. Venue for the football.
- Workers Indoor Arena. Venue for the boxing.
- Capital Indoor Stadium. Venue for volleyball. Will host figure skating and short track speed skating at the 2022 Winter Games.
- Fengtai Softball Field. Venue for softball.
- Ying Tung Natatorium. Venue for water polo and modern pentathlon (swimming).
- Laoshan Mountain Bike Course. Venue for cycling (mountain bike).
- Beijing Shooting Range Clay Target Field. Venue for shooting.
- Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium. Venue for volleyball.
- Beihang University Gymnasium. Venue for weightlifting.
- Olympic Green Convention Centre. Venue for the Fencing preliminaries and finals, and Modern Pentathlon (fencing and shooting).
- Olympic Green Hockey Field. Venue for the Hockey.
- Olympic Green Archery Field. Venue for the Archery.
- Olympic Green Tennis Centre. Venue for the Tennis.
- Wukesong Baseball Field. Venue for baseball; located next to the venue now known as LeSports Center. It was planned from the beginning as a temporary venue, and was demolished immediately after the Games. A shopping mall now stands on the site.
- Beach Volleyball Ground. Venue for beach volleyball.
- BMX Field. Venue for cycling (BMX).
- Triathlon Venue. Venue for triathlon.
- Urban Road Cycling Course. Venue for cycling (road race).
- Qingdao International Sailing Centre. Venue for the Sailing.
- Shanghai Stadium. Venue for football preliminaries.
- Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Centre Stadium. Venue for football preliminaries.
- Hong Kong Equestrian Venues. Venue for the Equestrian.
-Warning: Not legally inside Mainland China.
- Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium. Venue for football preliminaries.
- Shenyang Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, Shenyang. Venue for football preliminaries.