Its the season to visit Beijing. A month ago would have been unbearably hot. By December, it will be too cold. Autumn is also the time of year when the skies clear - or, at least, as much as they can in a city that is growing at breakneck speed. Thanks to China Southern Airlines, the Marriott Beijing West and the Hilton Beijing, you can visit the city in the utmost comfort. Hong Kong's Four Seas Travel agency has arranged a special package that is impossible to beat. Fly in business class and stay in an executive room at either of the two five-star hotels for just $5,680. It is not just about price, however. A key attraction of the trip is the new business class seats on China Southern's new Airbus A330, which flies the Hong Kong-Beijing route. A fully reclining seat makes the three-hour trip a real pleasure. You can watch a film, read a book, or just do what most Hong Kong business travellers would probably do - take a well-earned nap. The reason why the weather is so important in planning a trip to Beijing should be obvious, but it is only when you walk into the Forbidden City that you realise just how important it is. The massive former palace of China's emperors, which was occupied until 1911, takes some walking. In summer or winter, it would be unbearable. It is well worth the effort, though, as there is no place quite like it in Asia. Bangkok's palace may be more aesthetically sumptuous, and Angkor Wat may be more intricately designed, but none can stand next to the Forbidden City as a symbol of historical grandeur. Beijing has many other historical landmarks that are worth visiting, and can be packed into a weekend's itinerary if necessary. The Temple of Heaven is behind the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace is a short drive away. A stroll through the hutongs - quiet old lanes with ancient courtyard houses - is a must. If you have half a day to spare, a trip to the Great Wall at Badaling is a treat. That is assuming that you don't intend to spend all your time indulging in the city's culinary attractions. There is so much more to Beijing food than Peking Duck, as the Marriott and Hilton hotels demonstrate. Both hotels have superb restaurants, but we found the Hilton's Sui Yuan restaurant to be particularly good. The hotel's recently refurbished rooms were also very comfortable. The Marriott Beijing West has in-room jacuzzis, and that is hard to match. Butlers are on hand to suggest places to eat and shop, and will even accompany you if you need someone to translate and haggle over prices. Sanlitun is the main bar street in the city, but for how much longer is uncertain as the city's development in preparation for the 2008 Olympics is going ahead with unrelenting vigour. Perhaps that is another reason to visit Beijing this autumn - it may not be the same place this time next year. For details, contact Bobby Chan at Four Seas Travel, 2200 7848, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Daily flights from Hong Kong to Beijing depart at 1.50pm and arrive at 4.50pm. Visit www.cs-air.com/en for online bookings.