The 5 finest day journeys from Beijing

Beijing provides a dizzying quantity of issues to see and do, however its enchantment extends effectively past the confines of the town. Inside straightforward attain are Ming dynasty tombs, historical villages, the Nice Wall and even enthralling glass-bottom bridges dangling over a gorge – all memorable methods to spend a day.

As a lot as we love China’s capital, the air pollution and the visitors jams aren’t precisely attracts. However all it takes is a brief journey out of city and also you’ll quickly be immersed in gorgeous forested mountain surrounds. In the event you’re trying to escape the town, listed here are our prime 5 getaways.

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Beijing is without doubt one of the finest locations to entry the Nice Wall © Peter Adams / Getty Photos

Get out alongside the Nice Wall of China

Journey time: 1 to 2 hours (one-way)

Snaking alongside the mist-cloaked mountains into the far distance on its epic 21,196km (13,171-mile) journey, the Nice Wall merely doesn’t disappoint. In reality, nice doesn’t fairly lower it – extraordinary, unmissable and astonishing are extra becoming superlatives.

Beijing is without doubt one of the finest locations to entry it; the trick, nevertheless, is to choose the part that most accurately fits your tastes and wishes. Do you favor it extra wild and distant? Or possibly someplace extra polished and restored? Are you right here for an extended hike, or is a cable-car experience extra your type? 

Simply 70km (43 miles) from the capital, the Mutianyu and Badaling restored sections of the wall are the most well-liked day journeys from Beijing, and definitely probably the most accessible. The views are astounding, and it’s straightforward to navigate with cable automobiles, chairlifts and even toboggans, so it’s very a lot geared in direction of the vacationer buses.

On the different finish of the size, you’ve got the lesser-visited sections: Jinshanling, Jiankou, Huanghua Cheng and Zhuangdaokou, which provide a extra serene and wild expertise, with half-crumbling partitions that give it a extra genuine, off-the-beaten-track really feel.

Tips on how to get to the Nice Wall from Beijing:

Badaling is by far the best part of the wall to succeed in, because of a brand new high-speed practice that takes solely half-hour. There’s public transport to all of the sections, however the route entails a fiddly string of bus connections; as an alternative, intention for one of many direct vacationer buses departing from Dongzhimen Transport Hub.

However when you can stretch your price range to guide a non-public automobile, that’s by far the most suitable choice, particularly when you’re in a bunch – you may  have the consolation of door-to-door entry and a speedier journey. Anticipate to pay ¥500 to ¥1200 for a day journey by automobile from Beijing. In any other case, take into account becoming a member of an organized tour with Beijing Hikers or Wild Wall Experiences.

Discover the traditional Ming Tombs

Journey time: 45 minutes to 1.5 hours one-way

You’ve in all probability already paid a go to to the house of Ming-dynasty emperors on the Forbidden Metropolis; now it’s time to make a visit to see their last resting place on the Unesco-listed Ming Tombs, round 50km (31 miles) northwest from Beijing.

Set on the foot of Tianshou Mountain, you’ll discover the underground tombs of 13 of the 16 emperors from the Ming dynasty, who dominated between 1368 and 1644. Solely three of the mausoleums are open to the general public, together with the spectacular Cháng Líng tomb, which shares architectural similarities with the Forbidden Metropolis. 

You’ll arrive through the Spirit Means, a 7km-long (4.3-mile) highway comprising palace gates, archways, decorative pavilions, stone statues and the Nice Palace Gate, a degree the place even emperors had been required to dismount to enter.

Tips on how to get to the Ming Tombs from Beijing:

Bus 872 is probably the most direct option to attain the Ming Tombs (one hour), departing from the north facet of Deshengmen Arrow Tower. By subway, you may take the Changping Line, after which it’s an additional 30-minute stroll or brief taxi experience (¥20). A taxi from Beijing will price about ¥300 return.

Don’t look down on the Shilinxia Glass Viewing Platform

Journey time: 1 to 2.5 hours

In terms of glass-bottom viewing platforms and skywalks, China can’t get sufficient. Finally rely there have been some 2300 throughout the nation – the extra daring, precariously perched and futuristic wanting, the higher.

Positioned 70km (43 miles) from Beijing, the Shilinxia Glass Viewing Platform isn’t any exception. This distinctive round bridge juts out 32m (105ft) over – and 400m (1312ft) above – the Jingdong Stone Forest Gorge, like a UFO touching down on the clifftop. It’s an exhilarating approach to soak up the attractive Shilinxia Scenic Space, which stretches out greater than 12km (7.5 miles).  

Tips on how to get to Shilinxia Glass Viewing Platform from Beijing:

Take bus 852 from Dongzhimen Transport Hub to Pinggu Bus Terminal, then take bus 25 to Pinggu Shilixia Scenic Space. A non-public automobile prices round ¥600 for the return journey.

People in front of Wanping Fortress, a Ming Dynasty walled city in Beijing
The multi-arched Marco Polo Bridge is lined with 485 ornamental hand-carved stone lions © Spondylolithesis/Getty Photos

Try Wanping’s fabled multi-arched bridge

Journey time: half-hour to 45 minutes

Only a brief jaunt throughout city will take you to the walled metropolis of Wanping, which is in style for its multi-arched Marco Polo Bridge. Courting to 1189 and spanning 265m (869ft) over the Yonding River, it’s Beijing’s oldest bridge, lined with 485 ornamental hand-carved stone lions. The bridge was named for the famed Italian explorer after he impressed throughout his Silk Highway journeys, as detailed within the Travels of Marco Polo

The bridge can also be well-known for a army conflict between Chinese language and Japanese troopers in 1937, which incited the Second Sino-Japanese Struggle; take a look at the close by Museum of the Struggle of Chinese language Individuals’s Resistance In opposition to Japanese Aggression for the lowdown. Wanping can also be notable for its Seventeenth-century Ming-dynasty gate and 6m-high (20ft) partitions that encircle the previous city for 2km (1.2 miles).

Tips on how to get to Wanping from Beijing: 

Till Wanpingcheng subway station is accomplished, take Line 14 to Dawoyao station. From there it’s a 1km (0.6-mile) stroll to the East Gate of Wanping City.

Cuandixia (Chuandixia) is an ancient town or village near Beijing, China
The quaint village of Cuandixia is simply the place to take in the old-world attraction © Wentao Li / Getty Photos

Escape to the nation at Cuandixia

Journey time: two hours

The right antidote to the frenetic tempo of Beijing life is a beautiful nation escape to Cuandixia Village. Nestled in a valley 90km (56 miles) west of Beijing, it’s famed for its 500-year-old stone courtyard homes from the Qing and Ming dynasties, lots of which have been transformed into eating places and inns. Set in a quaint ambiance of cobblestone alleyways, it is simply the place to take in the old-world attraction.

Tips on how to get to Cuandixia from Beijing:

Take bus 22 from reverse Jin’anqiao station to succeed in Zhaitang; from there, it’s a brief taxi to Cuandixia. In any other case, anticipate to spend about ¥700 to ¥800 to rent a automobile from Beijing.