Scenery, history, technology - Haidian has it all

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A festival highlighting Haidian District’s educational and high-tech tourist sights opened in Beijing on Friday.

Haidian District, located in the heart of Beijing, is home to many well-known retreats, including the Summer Palace, Yuanmingyuan and the Fragrant Hills. However, besides the regular visits to these must-see sights, tourists are becoming more and more interested in the high-tech power of Zhongguancun, the capital’s technology hub, and tours to China’s top educational institutions, like Peking and Tsinghua Universities.

“Haidian really represents some of the best aspects of Beijing. Except for the Forbidden City and some of the shopping centers in Guomao, Haidian is really, in my eyes, the center of Beijing. From the travel perspective, it is one of the richest areas,” said Forrest Fabian Jesse from New York, who was invited to the opening ceremony. He is now doing a Ph.D. program at Beijing Jiaotong University and has been in China for four years.

Co-hosted by the government of Haidian District and the Beijing Tourism Administration, the festival features a series of events. On June 26 and 27, 800 citizens will go on one-day tours to Zhongguancun’s A-list technology companies, including Lenovo and UFIDA Software, as well as Haidian District’s educational bases, such as the training venues for Olympic athletes at Beijing Sports University.

To encourage tourists to participate in the festival activities, the Haidian Tourist Bureau printed 50,000 pocket-sized travel brochures. Resembling a passport, the brochure includes information on major tourist sights in the district and at the same time serves as coupons granting discounts as large as half off at select resorts, restaurants and hotels.

The festival lasts from June 18 to August 28.

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