Beijing Day Trips – Volume 1 – Shang Fang Shan (上方山) Posted by sasha on Aug 3, 2011 in Uncategorized
When you live in the concrete jungle (AKA Beijing), it’s absolutely necessary to get out once in a while for a good day trip (一日游 – yī rì yóu). Luckily, for us Beijingers (北京人 – běi jīng rén), the options for easy, fun trips out of the city are abundant. As an avid hiker/adventurer, I do my best to get out of the city smog every chance I can to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery of the greater Beijing municipality. In a new series of posts on the blog, I will introduce you to some of the better day trip options from Beijing. To kick things off, we’ll look at the Shangfangshan National Forest Park (上方山国家森林公园 – shàng fāng shān guó jiā sēn lín gōng yuán). Located just 70 km from Beijing, this scenic spot boasts a peak that is 860 meters (2,820 feet) high, with plenty of interesting stops along the way up and down. The park is known for its ancient trees, exotic plants, and many Buddhist shrines. Hiking up the hill on a hot Spring afternoon, we worked up a sweat, chatted with locals, and enjoyed the stunning scenery – a nice respite from the skyscrapers and traffic jams of Beijing. Best of all, hikers are rewarded at the end of the hike with a journey into the cool, dark Cloud Water Cave (云水洞 – yún shuǐ dòng), which features the usual cave fare of stalactites and stalagmites along with neon-lit Buddha statues (it is standard fare in China to illuminate anything and everything in neon). All in all, this trip provides a great relief from the stresses of big-city life in Beijing, with hiking, nature, animals, fun interactions with locals, and a kick-ass cave at the end to top it all off. In case you are too far away from China for this to be a viable day-trip option, here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:
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