Peking may be to visit an overwhelming city. It covers an area of nearly 6,500 square kilometers and is full of activity and full of historical sights and ultramodern buildings. It also has more than 20 million people and an air quality rating that often requires a face mask to go straight outside. If you are here and need to escape for a breath of fresh air, there are two options: you could Buy a bottle of imported Canadian air or escape to a nearby outdoor getaway. This huge metropolis actually offers access to an incredible natural beauty that is easiest to see in summer and fall. Here are a number of places where you can catch your breath near the city.
1. XiangShan Park
XiangShan Park, also known as Fragrant Hills, is located west of the city and offers a simple day trip overlooking some of the area's finest temples. The famous red-leaved trees greet visitors during the autumn months, but the wooded hills and the ability to get out of them are a welcome respite even in spring or summer. Two cable car routes lead you upside down, one to the north at Spectacles Lake and Bright Temple and the other south to Fragrant Temple and Xianglu Peak, the park's highest peak.
Come in: From the center of Beijing, take Subway Line 10 and Bagou Station and take the Western Suburban Line to XiangShan Station.
2. National Park of Yesanpo
The Yesanpo National Park is located about two and a half hours west of Beijing at the junction of the Taihang Mountains and the Yan Mountains. The area consists of six distinct areas, notably the Baili Gorge, where you can walk deep enough to really feel like a city that is a world. If you look around the green hills and the Juma River winding through the park, you may feel like you have escaped Bali,
Come in: According to Rome2rioThe easiest way to get to Yesanpo National Park from Beijing is by train to Baoding, which takes about 45 minutes, and then rent a taxi to the park. The total driving time is about 2.5 hours.
3. Shidu Scenic Area
Near the Yesanpo National Park, towering crags in the Shidu Scenic Area and a lush canyon and valley dominated by the rushing waters of the Juma River. Shidu is famous for carved rocks, the cable car and hiking trails that take guests along the river to the many landmarks known as "ferries" that are found throughout the park. You should build your trip to the park to visit as many ferries as possible. Despite the confusing name, these ferries are essentially either a historic station, a lookout point with views of carved rocks and rugged peaks or a tourist center within the park, where you will find markets, restaurants and inns. Although Shidu means "10 ferries," there are a total of 18 ferries, most of which are on the river and are fairly easy to spot. Visit in summer or fall, when the weather is nice.
Come in: Bus 917 departs from Suzhuang Railway Station in Beijing and arrives in Shidu about 3.5 hours later. to Rome2RioIt is much quicker to take the bus from Beijing Muxiyuan to Gaobedian for about 1.5 hours and then rent a taxi to take you to the Park Gate.
4. Beigong National Forest Park
At Beigong National Forest Park, you can take a solid hike or hike near the town, which is located on the northwest, just off Fifth Ring Road. Well-marked trails lead to peaks of up to 300 meters and overlook the Yongding River to the east and beyond to the city. Despite its proximity to the city, Beigong is rich in wildlife and birds. If you dive deep enough in the trail system, it also has some of the cleanest air in the region.
Come in: Take Subway Line 1 from Tian'anmen West Station to Gucheng Station. From this station you can rent a taxi for the quick last push to the parkgate.
5. Fenghuangling Nature Park
North of Jiufeng National Forest Park, Fenghuangling is known as Beijing's "Green Lung" for its cleaner air and easy access. Hike through the rolling, wooded hills and photograph the wildflowers, pagodas and expansive vistas you see along the way. Within the park, you will take three main routes – North, Central and South – up the steps and serpentines and across the mountains before heading towards the entrance.
Come in: Similar to the transport to Jiufeng, Take the subway Line 4 from the city center to the Xiyuan stop. There, change to line 16 to Beianhe Station. A taxi takes you the last few minutes to Parkgate.
6. Longqing Gorge
The Longqing Gorge is best known for its kite escalator, which boasts nearly 850 feet of elevation, and has the longest outdoor escalator in the world. The gorge itself is part of a series of similar gorges that make up Longqingxia Scenic Area about 50 miles north of Beijing. The gorge offers towering cliffs and rocky outcroppings that are absolutely scary when you climb up – but you do not have to worry about the absurd elevator. Get your exercise on the way down as the escalator goes in one direction only. To get back to the start you either have to go down the steep stairs or take a toboggan run.
Come in: Take the Deshengman 919 bus to the Guchen stop, which is on the road from the park entrance for about an hour each way.
7. China World Hotel
If everything else fails and you can not escape the haze of the city, check in China World Hotel, The hotel has installed an air filtration system that guarantees "clean air in all guest rooms". This concept is becoming increasingly popular throughout China – and it is right in the heart of the city. A dip in the indoor pool or a session in the sauna will help cleanse those lungs.
From where: 1 Jianguomen Outer St, JianWai DaJie, Chaoyang Qu, China, 100004
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