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  • Alex Gillam

Where in the World: Beijing

Both the ancient capital of Imperial China as well as the capital of modern-day China, Beijing has for centuries reigned as the country’s political and cultural center.

Because of this, the Beijing Capital International Airport has quickly become the 2nd busiest airport in the world, with over 100 million passengers a year passing through the airport as a stop-over, or the starting point of their journey.

Mind boggling as it is, that level of traffic is nothing compared to the congestion one Chinese highway once experienced: in 2010, drivers along the Beijing – Tibet expressway were stuck along the 74 mile road for a staggering 12 days. The traffic jam was so bad that drivers would routinely fall asleep in their vehicles, cars would breakdown, and locals even began to sell food to hungry drivers on the side of the road.

And while the 2008 Summer Olympics cemented Beijing’s status on the global stage, its next achievement is something no other city has ever managed; if the 2022 Winter Olympics continue as planned, Beijing will become the first city in the world to host both the Summer & Winter Olympics, as its extreme climate gives it the rare ability to host both events.

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