Replies: 9 - Last Post: Mar 4, 2013 2:46 PM Last Post By: danielsdad
Feb 28, 2013 8:19 PM
Beijing TripsHi everyone,
This is my first post and my first trip I've organised myself!
I am going to Beijing for 10 days in September and I get the feeling this may be a little too long by reading some reviews online.
Are there any trips I can do from Beijing that people highly recommend? I will be flying back to the UK from Beijing.
I already plan on the usual - Great Wall, Forbidden City, Zoo, Olympic Stadium, Tiananmen Square et, but quite fancy some spending some time seeing something completely different to Beijing. Am quite excited about a river trip or something. However, it does need to be on a budget!
Also, would people recommend a 2 day trek along the Great Wall or is one day enough to get a good idea of it all and surrounding scenery?
Feb 28, 2013 11:57 PM
1Here are 3 excursions outside Beijing worth considering:
1. Cuandixia (爨底下) - a beautiful ancient village west of Beijing (you can see pictures on the net). Get there by taking subway line 1 all the way west to Pingguoyuan station and from there take a bus. There's only one bus a day, 7:30 in the morning as far as I remember, getting back in the afternoon (ask the bus driver when exactly), but you can also spend the night at the village in a traditional courtyard house.
2. Shidu (十渡) - a scenic spot south west of the city with river gorges, mountains and so on.
3. Longqing Gorge (龙庆峡）- take a bus to Yanqing town and change there, a very nice place to hike or take a boat in summer, with ice sculpting in the winter.
If you're interested in long hikes you can go for nice hikes in some of the nature reserves north of Yanqing, on the border with Hebei Province.
If you want multiple-day hiking on the Great Wall, I would suggest going to Jiankou section (first take a bus to Huairou and change there), the most beautiful in my opinion, and hike from there all the way to the more popular and touristy Mutianyu section - a wonderful hike, but do take a lot of food, water, sleeping bag, and a good, detailed map with you.
Mar 1, 2013 2:39 AM
Mar 1, 2013 8:37 AM
3Definately go out to the Great Wall at Mutainyu and hike left once on the wall. You will get a great view and an excellent feeling for the Wall. Out about 1 Km. is a section that is not repaired so you can get a good view of what it was like. Continue on if you have time and go to the next highest hill.
For a trip out of Beijing on a budget, I would take the night train to Xian which saves a hotel night, and see the Terra Cotta Warriors site, Muslim area with the old 200 year old mansion, Big Wild Goose Park, and others. (might pick up a book for other sights you might be interested in or get a brochure on Xian and Beijing from the China National Tourist Office before you go.) Then you can take another night train back to Beijing saving you another nights hotel. Be sure to take First Class Sleeper however if you want to get some sleep. Hope this helps.
Mar 1, 2013 2:05 PM
4Thats great, thank you so much for your advice, really helps and makes me feel more confident about going!
Is it better to book day trips before we go using a UK website or to do it through the hotel etc when we get there?
Between the two of us going, I think we have decided on the following:
Day 1 and 2: Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Belhai Park and Black Lakes, Olympic sites and hot springs spa
Day 3: Shidu
Day 4: Rest and explore the locality
Day 5: Summer Palace, Panda Garden and Lama Temple
Day 6: Great Wall and Longqingxia Ravine
Day 7: Rest and explore
Day 8: Luoyang
Day 9: Cuandixia
Would quite like to fit in the Longmen Grotoes too if I can fit this in.
What are peoples thoughts on this itinerary?
Mar 2, 2013 3:40 PM
5I wouldn't book any day trips using Uk website, instead spend your time researching how to do it on public transport. If you really want to go with a tour or a guide I guess I would book through a hostel after arriving.
Days 1 and 2, don't forget to visit Qianmen and Houhai area, unless this is covered in day 4 or 7. Also go to Jingshan Park as you exit the Forbidden City. You may want to consider going to a hot springs on one of your rest days and making a day of it. You can swim, relax in different hot springs, sauna, have a buffet lunch and dinner all for RMB 100 - 200. Also check out the acrobatic show one of the evenings.
What are the Black Lakes?
Mar 3, 2013 3:04 PM
6Your schedule at #4 isn't going to work. If you're on a budget, you won't want to be taking G trains and all of them are in daylight hours (No night-time bullet-trains) so, by the time you get there, you'll have used up most of the usable time. Beijing to Luoyang by sleeper (The budget option) is a full nights travel there and, obviously, the same back. You COULD go down there for a day (And take in the Longmen Grottoes at the same time. Luoyang is where they are) but you'll be damn tired the next day and not want to do anything. You'd be better off either staying in Beijing for your whole trip and doing the excursions outlined in #1 (Shidu, Cuandixia, Longqing) OR all/some of the loop Drumbrake suggests (Xian, Luoyang, Pingyao). BUT, if you do that, you won't be returning to Beijing every evening and striking out afresh the next day.
Mar 3, 2013 3:07 PM
Mar 3, 2013 7:39 PM
Mar 4, 2013 2:46 PM
9I think day 5 is alright, Lama Temple in the morning, Summer Palace in the afternoon and a quick stop to see the pandas at the zoo on the way. Day 1 is actually day 1 and 2 that's OK too.
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