The largest urban area of Beijing, Chaoyang District is the cultural epicentre of the city, bursting with energy from international diplomats, business tycoons, eclectic artists and world-famous athletes. Spanning an immense area to the east of central Beijing, Chaoyang is home to the highly developed Central Business District and is a striking symbol of contemporary China. It’s also teeming with vibrant nightlife, high-end shopping and an emerging cultural arts scene.
By day, tourists mingle with locals around Chaoyang Park for paddle boating, snacking at family-owned food stalls and admiring new creations in the 798 Art District. Shoppers congregate at Silk Street markets or the open-air Taikoo Li shopping centre, then ease seamlessly into the wildly popular restaurants and nightlife of Sanlitun Bar Street, just east of Worker’s Stadium. Though most of Chaoyang is thoroughly modernised, Beijing Dongyue Temple is the exception, founded during the Yuan dynasty and remaining the largest temple of Zhengyi Taoism in Beijing.
As a sprawling, dense metropolitan district spanning 475 square kilometres stretching from the Second through the Fifth Ring Roads, Chaoyang is best explored via multiple subway lines crisscrossing the area. Metro lines operated by Beijing Subway provide transport between major attractions, while easily accessible buses are good for short hops. The Beijing Capital International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, lies within an enclave of Chaoyang District, with Airport Express transportation into the main neighbourhoods.
Impressive architecture punctuates the skyline of the CBD in Chaoyang, accentuated by the 44-story CCTV building and the 81-story China World Trade Centre Tower III, Beijing’s tallest skyscraper. The district hosts more than 60 percent of foreign businesses operating in Beijing and harbours almost all of the foreign embassies to China, creating a thriving enclave of international culture, cuisine and expat communities. It also serves as the centre state for global sports, with the Olympic Green built for the 2008 Summer Olympics and the five circular roofs of Olympic Park Observation Tower symbolising the sacred Olympic rings.