Weekend trip around Beijing
Top 10 things to do around Beijing
Juyongguan Great Wall (居庸关长城)
Juyongguan Great Wall is one of famous ancient sections of the Great Wall and an AAAA scenic destination. It is a great choice for Great Wall hiking lovers. Beautiful natural landscapes along the section are enjoyable when travelers climb the Great Wall. Located in Changping District, it is 60 kilometers away from Beijing. It was a key section in ancient times because of its location.
Juyongguan Great Wall is in long Guangou Valley, about 20 kilometers in the north of Changping city center. It is one of the three greatest mountain sections of the Great Wall, together with Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan sections. It is popular but less touched than the Badaling Great Wall. Autumn is the best time to visit the Juyongguan Great Wall with the most beautiful colorful scenery.
- Address: Nankou Town, Changping District, Beijing
- Ticket: 45 CNY at peak period; 40 CNY at low season
- Open hours: 8:30 to16:30
Travelers can take Bus 345 to Shahe stop and Bus 919 to Nankou East Street at Desheng Gate, and transfer Bus 68 to the Juyongguan Great Wall.
Travelers can also take Metro Line 13 to Longze stop and transfer Bus 68.
The Ming Tombs（明十三陵）
The Ming Tombs is a cluster of imperial to mbs of 13 emperors and their empresses during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The location of the Ming Dynasty Tombs was a golden place Based on Chinese Fengshui during the Ming Dynasty. So there are succeeding 12 emperors set their tombs in the area after Emperor Zhu Di, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty constructed his Changling Tomb there. Situated at the foot of Tianshou Mountain, it is about 50 kilometers from Beijing city center.
Famous tombs consist of Changling Tomb of Emperor Zhu Di and his Empress Xu, Dingling Tomb of Emperor Zhu Yijun and his two empresses and Zhaoling Tomb of Emperor Zhu Zaihou and his three empresses. The Ming Dynasty Tombs are one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites listed in 2003 as the imperial tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
- Address: Shisanling Special Zone, Changping District, Beijing
- Ticket: 135 CNY including Changling Tomb, Dingling Tomb, Zhaoling Tomb and the Sacred Way
- Open hours: 8:00 to 17:30
Take Subway Line 5 to Tiantongyuan North Stop and transfer Bus 22 to Changling stop.
Take Special Tourist Bus 872 at Desheng Gate Station and get off at Dingling or Changling stops.
The Longqing Gorge（龙庆峡）
The Longqing Gorge is in the northeast of Yanqing County, and 85 kilometers away from Beijing City center. It has a reputation of Little Li River in Beijing compared with Guilin's Li River which is famous for clear water and different shape hills. Close to Badaling Great Wall, it is a great destination to enjoy natural scenery. Travelers can take part in a series of popular entertainments including boating, kayaking, rock-climbing, slide, bungee jumping and horse ride.
In addition, natural ice in winter makes the Longqing Gorge become a popular ice sculpture destination. The Longqing Gorge Ice Sculpture Festival offers a good opportunity to see ice carving arts in Beijing. There is an immortal Taoist Temple to know Taoist culture as well.
- Address: Longqing Gorge, Yanqing County, Beijing
- Opening hours: 7:30 to 16:30
- Ticket: 140 CNY
Take 919 kuai at Desheng Gate to Yanqing Bus Station, and change to Bus 920 to the Longqing Gorge.
Take Railway S2 in Beijing Northern Station to Yanqing Station and transfer to Bus 875.
Cuandixia Village （爨底下村）
Cuandixia Village is a well-preserved hillside village of the Ming Dynasty. It has about 500 siheyuan houses with a more than 400 years history. Cuan (爨) in the village name means cooking stove in order to escape from coldness and troubles. Nowadays, local people in Cuandixia Village still only have a family name-Han. Located in Zhaitang Town, it's about 90 kilometers away from Beijing downtown. Ancient houses of the Ming Dynasty are the highlight of the village.
Cuandixia Village is a great place to enjoy a quiet countryside journey in Beijing and a popular destination to escape from hot weather in summer. The climate is suitable to feed bees, so travelers can see some bee houses. It is the place where Chinese film The Warlords is directed by Chen Kexin, a famous director in Hong Kong.
- Address: Zhaitang Town, Mengtougou District, Beijing
- Open hours: 24 hours
- Ticket: 35 CNY
Take Bus 929 zhi which is available every 1 hour at Pingguoyuan to get off at Zhaitang, and then take a taxi to Cuandixia Village with about 15 CNY.
Kangxi Grasslands (康西草原)
If travelers want to experience a grassland journey in Beijing, Kangxi Grasslands is the great choice. Located in Kangzhuang Town in Yanqing County, it is 15 kilometers in the west of the Badaling Great Wall and about 80 kilometers away from Beijing downtown. Occupying an area of 32,000 acres, it is the largest grassland in Beijing. Travelers can ride horses on the vast grassland with beautiful natural scenery. Kangxi Grasslands is also suitable for professional horse riders.
There are dozens of flowers opening in every spring and summer, a wonderful picture of grassland. Numerous wild birds and wild gooses bring a vivid life on the grassland. Besides, travelers can experience a Mongolian style journey such as sitting and dancing around a bonfire and enjoying a barbecue. The best time to visit Kangxi Grasslands is from June to September.
- Address: In the West of Kangzhuang Town, Yanqing County, Beijing
- Open hours: 8:00-17:00
- Ticket: 30 CNY
- Transport: Take Bus 919 zhi at Desheng Gate to reach Kangxi Grasslands.
Hongluo Temple (红螺寺)
Situated in the south of Hongluo Mountain, Hongluo Temple is 55 kilometers away from Beijing city center. It is one of the largest Buddhism temples in the North China. It was built in 378 during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). With a more than 1000 year old history, Hongluo Temple is an important holy temple in Beijing. Three Gate Hall, Devajara Hall, Mahavira Hall and Three Sages Hall are popular attractions in the area.
There are grand celebrations not to miss on the Temple Fair which is on January 1st to 6th in Chinese lunar calendar. The Putuo Temple is the most famous Buddhism temple in the southern China, however, the Hongluo Temple is the most recommended Buddhism temple in the northern China.
- Address: In the south of Hongluo Mountain, Yanxihu Town, Huairou District, Beijing
- Open hours: 8:00 to 18:00 in summer; 8:00 to 17:00 in winter
- Ticket: 54 CNY;
- Transport: Take Bus 867 and 936 branch line at Dongzhi Gate and get off at Hongluo Temple.
Miaofeng Mountain Scenic Spot (妙峰山风景名胜区)
Miaofeng Mountain Scenic Spot in Toumengou District is 50 kilometers away from Beijing city center. With an elevation of 1291 meters, Miaofeng Mountain is well known as the first fairy mountain in North China. It is the best place to see sun rise, sunset and a sea of clouds. Some temples in the area were first built in the Liao and Jin Dynasties. Ancient temples, strange-shape pines and odd stones are highlights of the scenic spot.
Miaofeng Mountain is also famous as a hometown of roses as a large number of roses are planted in the area. June is the best time to view numerous opening roses in Miaofeng Mountain.
It has been famous since the Qing Dynasty because of Empress Dowager Cixi. It is a marvelous place to see thousands of peach flowers, apricot flowers and lilacs in spring. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit Miaofeng Mountain.
- Address: Miaofengshan Town, Mentougou District, Beijing
- Opening hours: 07:00 - 18:00 in summer; 08:00 - 17:00 in winter
- Ticket: 40 CNY
- Transport: Take Metro Line 1 to Pingguoyuan stop and transfer Bus 929 or 892 to Dingjiatan, and then take a taxi to Miaofeng Mountain.
Yanqi Lake Park (雁栖湖公园)
As a national 4A level scenic spot since 2000, the park is loved by Beijing local people. Sit at the foot of Yan Mountain in the northern Huairou District, Yanqi Lake Park is about 54 kilometers away from Beijing's downtown. It is a popular comprehensive amusement park to take part in a series of water entertainment activities. Surrounded by mountain on three sides, Yanxi Lake Park has the Great Wall in the north and Hongluo Temple in the west.
The park gets the name because there are thousands of wild gooses inhabiting in the lake in spring and autumn. There are over 50 kinds of entertainment activities such as water scooter, water screen movie, rocket bungee, rock climbing which are popular among the visitors. Summer is a good season to enjoy its water activities. The park is a good place for sightseeing and leisure.
- Address: At foot of Yan Mountain, Huairou District, Beijing
- Ticket: 34 CNY exclude activities
- Opening hours: 8:00 to 18:30
There are direct tourism buses at Xuwu Gate and Tian'anmen Square.
Take Bus 916 at Dongzhimen Coach Station and transfer Bus 936 to the Yanqi Lake Park.
Tanzhe Temple (潭柘寺)
With a more than 1700 years history, Tanzhe Temple is one of the oldest Buddhism temples in Beijing. The temple was built in the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316) before Beijing was founded. It is one of the most popular temples in Beijing. A lot of people head to Tanzhe Temple to worship the Buddha. It shows travelers an ancient beauty of Buddhism temple. Location in the southeast of the Tanzhe Mountain, it is 30 kilometers away from Beijing's downtown.
Natural scenery and Buddhism culture make Tanzhe Temple famous since the Qing Dynasty. Mahavira Hall is the main hall in the temple. It is said that Tanzhe Temple complex was the original model of the layout of the Forbidden City.
- Address: Tanzhesi Town, Mentougou District, Beijing
- Ticket: 35 CNY
- Opening hours: 8:00 to 17:00 in summer; 8:00 to 16:30 in winter
- Transport: Take Metro Line 1, Bus 921, 336 or 959 to Pingguoyuan and transfer Bus 931 to Tanzhe Temple.
Shidu Scenic Area (十渡风景名胜区)
In the southwest of Beijing, Shidu Scenic Area is a wonderful destination to explore in Beijing combined valleys, river and peaks. Travelers can not only enjoy great scenery, but also take a lot of activities. Listed into a National AAA attraction in 1999, it has 12 geological landscapes such as the Flying Rock and Chinese Character Buddha.
There are top 10 scenic destinations such as Orphaned Mountain Village and Ten-Thousand Scenery Immortal Ditch in the area. Travelers can also take part in crag climbing, sky gliding, boat padding, etc. Shidu Scenic Area is also a popular destination to go hiking in Beijing. It is selected as one of Beijing's 16 new scenic spots. The Shidu Mountain and Water Festival is held from June 1st to October 10th every year with a series of activities.
- Address: Shidu Town, Fangshan District, Beijing
- Ticket: price depends on which area travelers visit
- Opening hours: 8:00 to 18:00
Take Bus 917 at Tianqiao to Shidu Scenic Area.
Travelers can take train 7 in Beijing South Railway Station to Shidu, and then mini buses.
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