Insiders Guide to the Best Day Trips from Beijing
If you’re looking to escape the city and are wondering where to get some fresh air then LTL has you covered with our top 5 day trips from Beijing.
It’s amazing what beautiful sights lie just outside of China’s capital!
#1 Day Trips From Beijing – Huanghuacheng Great Wall 黄花城
Visiting The Great Wall of China is an absolute must while you’re in Beijing.
Most people go to the most popular sections Badaling and Mutianyu. But we recommend that you avoid the crowds and head to Huanghuacheng instead.
👉 This is the only section of The Great Wall that is by an actual lake!
Huanghuacheng (黄花城 huánghuāchéng) also known as Waterside Great Wall (水长城 shuǐ chángchéng) with its beautiful lake and surrounding mountains is truly breath-taking.
Wild flowers bloom in summer creating a sea of yellow, hence the name Huanghuacheng literally “Yellow Flower City”.Check out our amazing Great Wall Guide to know more about this super famous spot
Reservoirs surround this section of wall with some parts even being submerged in water. Most of the wall here is restored but there are also some wild wall areas.
Along with hiking the wall you can also take a boat out on the lake to get a panoramic view of the wall.
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This really is one of the best day trips from Beijing.
👉 Huanghuacheng really is the perfect definition of the Chinese four character idiom: 青山绿水 (Qīngshān lǜ shuǐ) which means green water and blue mountains – beautiful scenery.
📍How to get there: From Dongzhimen station get the 916 or 916 express bus to Huairou Town (怀柔汽车站 huáiróu qìchē zhàn). Then get the H21 bus (it should have a card in the front saying 怀柔–水长城 huáiróu–shuǐ chángchéng) directly to Huanghuacheng.
The whole journey should take around 2 hours.
Worried about getting off at the wrong stop? Just tell the bus driver you’re going to Huanghuacheng and they’ll be happy to help.
#2 Day Trips From Beijing – Longqing Gorge 龙庆峡
Often compared to the scenery surrounding the Li River in Guilin, Longqing Gorge (龙庆峡 Lóng qìng xiá) should definitely be on your Beijing bucket list of day trips from Beijing.
When you first arrive at the Gorge you will be met by the Longqing Dam. See the long dragon at the side, it isn’t only for decoration!
Go inside it and ride one of the world’s longest escalators to the top of the dam.
👉 A river cruise after reaching the dam is a definite must.
Relax and take in the amazing views of the mountains. Enjoy the natural beauty with a different view round every corner.
If taking a cruise down the river doesn’t sound exciting enough for you then there is also a zip line across the mountains and rock climbing available.
For those feeling really brave they even have bungee jumping as well!
If you’re in Beijing during the winter you should definitely go here to check out the Ice Lantern Festival (延庆龙庆峡冰灯 yánqìng lóng qìng xiá bīngdēng).
Often referred to as a “mini” Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, with over 150 ice sculptures you could hardly call it small!Looking for more Winter Fun in Beijing?
Take it from us, if you’ve never managed to make it to Guilin then Longqing Gorge really isn’t a bad alternative!
📍How to get there: Go to Deshengmen (德胜门 dé shèng mén) Bus Station and take either the 919 or 919 express to Yanqing Dongguan (延庆东关 yánqìng dōng guān) Station. Transfer here to bus Y15 and get off at Longqing Gorge (龙庆峡 lóng qìng xiá).
#3 Day Trips From Beijing – The Ming Tombs
The Ming Tombs are a great way to get back to nature and escape that busy Beijing city life.
There are a total of 13 tombs here, but only three are open to the public: Dingling, Changling, and Zhaoling. As the tombs are located quite far away from each other, you will normally only have time to visit one or two tombs.
So, which tombs to visit? We recommend you visit Changling or Dinggling Tomb.
Changling is the largest of all 13 tombs and the best preserved. If you have a real interest in Chinese history then this is definitely the tomb for you!
While here make sure you visit Ling’en Palace, the only preserved palace from the Ming Dynasty.
Dingling is a great option if you enjoy walking, but as to get down to the underground section you have to go down 8 flights of stairs! That’s a crazy 27 metres deep!
It’s well worth it though as it’s the only fully excavated tomb.
Another thing that definitely shouldn’t be missed is the Sacred Way.
This is the walkway that leads into the tombs. The whole avenue is 7km long and on either side you can see an array of huge animal and human stone carvings.
📍How to get there: Take bus 872 from Deshengmen (德胜门 dé shèng mén) Bus Station and either get off at Dingling or Changling.
#4 Day Trips From Beijing – Guyaju Caves 古崖居
Perhaps one of Beijing’s most mysterious and least well known tourist attractions, this is a must see for history buffs.
Even to this day the origins of Guyaju (古崖居 gǔ yá jū) are still being puzzled over.
The unknown excavation time of the caves has given birth to multiple theories. The most popular theory is that it was the Kumo Xi People during the Five Dynasties Period (907 – 960).
👉 In total there are a whopping 117 caves. Experts calculate it would have taken 100 people 5 years of continuous working to complete!
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When you approach the caves you’ll see that they resemble a multi-storey building. Connecting the rooms are stone steps, ladders and bridges.
Inside the rooms there are still many traces of human life such as beds, lamp stands, cooking stoves and horse mangers.
Stepping inside the caves you’ll be transported back in time and you can really start to imagine the lives of the cave’s ancient inhabitants.
When you go into the caves and explore them be sure not to miss the “duplex apartment” right at the top of the cliff.
Called Guantangzi or Kumo Xi Chieftain’s Mansion, this cave has a double bed in the middle and is supported by four beautifully carved stone pillars.
📍How to get there: From Deshengmen (德胜门 dé shèng mén) Station, take bus 919 or 919 express and get off at Yanqing Dongguan (延庆东关 yánqìng dōng guān) Station. From here take bus Y40 to to Guyaju (古崖居 gǔ yá jū) Station.
#5 Day Trips From Beijing – Shilingxia Glass Viewing Platform 石林峡
Now this is definitely a must for those of you who are thrill seekers!
Shilingxia Glass Viewing Platform (石林峡飞碟玻璃观景台 shílín xiá fēidié bōlí guān jǐng tái), also know as the UFO platform due to its shape, is the largest glass sightseeing platform in China and one of the largest in the world.
If you’re brave enough to go out on the platform you will be rewarded with amazing aerial views of Shilin Gorge below. Beautiful mountains, valleys, forests and remote villages can all be seen from the platform.
Made from steel, titanium and bullet proof glass, you really don’t need to worry about your safety, the bridge can hold a massive 150 tonnes!
To get up to the platform you have two options, you can get the cable car which costs 100 CNY or if you enjoy a bit of a hike then you can walk up to it.
To hike up takes about one and a half to two hours so make sure you have plenty of water. Those taking the cable car will still have a short 20 minute climb up to the actual platform.
There is a straight walkway for you to go down which leads to the 20 meters circular platform. That’s of course if your legs aren’t shaking too much to walk!
📍How to get there: From Dongzhimen (东直门 dōngzhímén) Bus Station take bus 852 to Pingu District (平谷区 pínggǔ qū) Bus Station. Then take bus 25 to Pinggu Shilixia Scenic Area (石林峡 shílín xiá).
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