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The best views in Beijing

2013-09-25 09:38:57



View of the sunset from the Central TV Tower is the highlight of the day.[Photo/]

The Central TV Tower

Although many people believe that the China World Trade Center is the tallest building in Beijing (its China World Summit wing is 330 meters high), simple math shows that the building commonly referred to as the CCTV Tower, built in 1992, is still the tallest building in the capital (at 405 meters tall). The catch is that its public observation deck is nowhere near its high point. Nonetheless, the views from the CCTV Tower are particularly lovely when a rust sun sets over the bronzed mountains at the western edge of the city.

The open observation deck is exhilarating with the wind breezing past. It would be downright romantic if there weren't so many people screaming themselves hoarse off the edge of the balcony. In fact, a sort of yell-o-meter invites visitors to shout themselves hoarse. For couples whispering poems about the onset of twilight, it could be a bit distracting. But for children (and parents) it does offer moments of focus and release.

To the east, views are dominated by the expansive Yuyuantan Park. Visitors line up for the free high-power binocular stations to spy on the strolling lovers below.

"When the building was designed, it wasn't supposed to be a tourist spot," noted the tower's managing editor, Nancy Deng. "It was only meant to send out broadcast signals." Hence the elevators can be particularly inadequate for accommodating crowds on holidays. It is especially during holidays that crowds gather. The restaurant is particularly popular and Deng boasts that of all of Beijing's revolving restaurants, this one is the best. It's true that the popular buffet meal is pretty decent, and its 298 yuan price (entrance included) is quite reasonable.

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