Where do you want to go on a Saturday?
How about Beijing? Beijing is 北京 (běijīng). 北 (běi) means north and 京 (jīng) is the capital city.
You don’t like the air in Beijing? How about 南京 (nánjīng)? 南 (nán) is south and 南京 (jīng) means southern capital. It’s known as Nanjing.
Or how about 東京 (dōngjīng)? 東 (dōng) is east and 京 (jīng) is the capital city. It’s known as Tokyo.
Is there a 西京 (xījīng), western capital?
Well, 西安 (xī ān), literally west and safe or secure, known as Xian, is historically known as 西京 (xījīng).
To remember 東 (dōng), meaning east, you can take it apart as 木 (mù), meaning tree or wood, and 日 (rì), meaning sun or day. Picture seeing the sun rise over the woods in the east.
To remember 南 (nán), meaning south, imagine it resembles the shape of Australia, which is in the southern hemisphere.
To remember 西 (xī), meaning west, imagine it look like it has a W in the middle.
To remember 北 (běi), meaning north, I picture it as arrows pointing north. In fact, the ancient Chinese character for north does look like an arrow pointing up.
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