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Weather and Climate

Beijing has a rather dry, monsoon-influenced humid continental climate, characterized by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from the Mongolian steppe, accompanied by rapidly warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn, like spring, sees little rain, but is crisp and short. The monthly daily average temperature in January is −3.7 °C (25.3 °F), while in July it is26.2 °C (79.2 °F). Precipitation averages around 570 mm (22.4 in) annually, with close to three-fourths of that total falling from June to August. Extremes have ranged from −27.4 °C(−17 °F) to 42.6 °C (109 °F).

Food

As for Beijing Cuisine, people also call it the Capital City cuisine. Beijing was the capital city for the Liao, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Except for the Ming Dynasty, all the rulers of these dynasties were from northern nomadic tribes. For those 500- plus years, the dishes available from Beijing's catering trade were dominated by meat dishes, which corresponded to the eating habits of the ruling class. The Mongolian rulers of the Yuan Dynasty were especially fond of mutton, and 80% of the dishes in their palace were made of mutton. These mutton dishes still are made today, such as stewed mutton, instant – boiled mutton, quick – fried mutton tripe, and fried dumplings with minced mutton. The Qing Dynasty rulers mainly ate pork before moving to Beijing from Shenyang which is in northeastern China. Their cooking methods were stewing, roasting, and boiling. Pork and mutton have been equally represented in Beijing cuisine since the Qing Dynasty as a result of the dietetic influence of the Manchus. Roast and stewed pig, pork dishes, and pig's offal stewed in ceramic pots offered by the Shaguoju Restaurant (ceramic pots restaurant) were the first to be offered to suit the eating preferences of the Manchus. Gradually these dishes were accepted by the residents of Beijing and adapted in to the local cuisine.

Beijing Transportation Smart Card

With a little smart card, people can travel around the city easily. The Beijing Transportation Smart Card, like the MetroCard in New York City and the Oyster Card in London, can be used on all of the subway trains, Airport Express Train, city buses and even pay the check. People can get a 50% discounts when paying for the city-bus fare by card. What's more, the Transportation Smart

Card could be used at some designated supermarkets, long-distance bus lines and the expressways in this city. These public telephones set along the Chang'an Avenue also access to the card. Chang'an Avenue also access to the card.

Currency

Chinese currency is called Renminbi (people's money), often abbreviated as RMB. It is issued by The People’s Bank of China and it is the sole legal tender within the People's Republic of China. The symbol for RMB is¥. The unit of Renminbi is called Yuan and with smaller denominations are called jiao and fen. Money exchange facilities for both currency and travelers' checks are available at major airports, hotels, and department stores authorized by government. Please note that hotels may only exchange money for their guests. Main foreign currency such as British Pound, USD, Euro, Japanese Yen, Australian Dollar, Danish Krone, and Singapore dollar, Malaysian Ringgit, HK Dollar and Canadian Dollar can be easily changed in China. The exchange rates are fluctuated along with the international financial market and they are published daily by the State Exchange Control Administration. But the exchange rate is the same in every bank in China at the same time. When you change money you should keep the receipt because you need the receipt when you want to change your surplus Chinese money back to your own currency at the end of the trip.