As the capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is not only China's economic and cultural center but it is also the country's largest transportation hub. In the past year, Beijing has extended its railway and highway systems as well as its subway network. The inner city subway lines are all either new or renovated. The transportation system in Beijing is constantly updated and because of this, daily travel has become more convenient.

The Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) is Beijing's main airport, the city's first international airport and Asia's largest international airport. Almost all of Beijing's domestic and international flights take off from this airport. An Airport Expressway highway connects the airport to Beijing. Without traffic, it is about a 40 minute drive to reach the city from the airport.

In addition, Beijing is also home to Beijing Nanyuan Airport (NAY), Beijing Liangxiang Airport, Beijing Xijiao Airport, Beijing Shahe Airport and Beijing Badaling Airport. Apart from Nanyuan Airport, these airports are used for domestic flights around China. Nanyuan Airport is a military airport and is generally closed to the public.

Beijing currently has four train stations: Beijing Railway Station, Beijing West Railway Station, Beijing South Railway Station and the Beijing North Railway Station. The Beijing Railway station is known was the "Welcoming Gate to the Capital," and is an important door to China's capital for the rest of the nation. The station is a stop on the Beijing-Baotou line, Beijing-Qinhuangdao line, Beijing-Harbin line and the Beijing-Shanghai line. The Beijing Railway Station is also an international terminal for trains bound for Pyongyang, Ulan Bator and Moscow.

The Beijing West Railway Station is a stop for trains heading to the major cities of the south, southeast and northeast regions of China. The Beijing South Railway Station is the world's largest train station and is a stop for intercity trains, a link on Beijing's high-speed rail line, and a docking base for trains. The Beijing North Railway Station transports visitors to the outskirts of Beijing including Badaling and Kangxi Grasslands and sends a few short-haul trains to Inner Mongolia, Hebei and other destinations.

Beijing is surrounded by 12 national highways each connecting to a different city in China. These cities include Shenyang, Tianjin, Harbin, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Nanjing, Fuzhou and Kunming. There are 9 highways within Beijing: Badaling Highway, Beijing Capital International Airport Highway, Beijing-Shenyang Highway, Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu Highway, Beijing-Shijiazhuang Expressway, Beijing-Zhang Highway, Beijing-Chengde Road, Beijing-Harbin Highway and Beijing-Kaifeng Highway. In addition to highways, Beijing has 12 different coach stations which are very convenient for national transportation.

Overall, transportation in Beijing can take you in any direction, whether your destination is foreign or domestic. It is easy to book train tickets or bus tickets in advance. Some good ticket websites to check out are Qunar (www.qunar.com), Ctrip (www.ctrip.com) and eLong (www.elong.net)

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