OUTSIDE BEIJING ...

Aug 15th, 2004, 04:13 PM
  #1  
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OUTSIDE BEIJING ...

I will be going to Beijing in October. I will not have that much free time but I would like to know if there is anything worth seeing within 2 hours from Beijing by train that might reflect a different perspective of China than the main city of Beijing.

Appreciate feedback. Thx.

Bob

happywanderer is offline  
Aug 15th, 2004, 04:29 PM
  #2  
 
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Not by train, but to the West of the capital, there are several places worth visiting withing a couple of hours by car.

- Xiangshan (Frangance Mountain): a popular scenic area, that's also mentioned in many older literature

- Xishan (Western Mountain), with fewer famous temples.

- Lugou bridge. A beautiful stone viaduct built in 1189 with many lion statues on it. Also site of the July 7, 1937 "incident" that marks the beginning of the Japanese-Chinese war of WWII.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 15th, 2004, 07:19 PM
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the great wall is just outside the city and of course the summer palace which is worth 1/2 day...
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Aug 15th, 2004, 10:26 PM
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The obvious choice of contrast would be real rural life--most of China is, after all, still down on the farm. Beijing represents nothing but Beijing and it's best to avoid the often tawdry and worn-out official scenic areas. But from Beijing, bus is the best medium of transport for rural travel, although a trip round metro loop line 13 will show you something of the expanding suburbs..

If you go to Pingguoyuan at the west end of the no. 1 metro line, you can take buses to Jietai Si and Tanzhe Si, two unusual temples in leafy, hilly, surroundings to the west of the city, famous for their ancient trees. Around them are several villages you can stroll to in which rural life goes on much as it has for centuries. In October you'll see flat roofs made brilliant yellow with drying corn cobs, and eaves hung with violently red peppers.

A village with much preserved housing which has turned itself into a bit of a tourist attraction, but not (at least, not when I last visited) excessively, is Cuandixia (also known as Chuandixia) which is roughly 100km west, and reachable either by public bus or by taxi (for around Y300 with bargaining). It's semi-fortified, on a hill, and has Ming and Qing-era buildings, and you can eat in the courtyard of a traditional house.

Nothing too adventurous in either of these suggestions, but both offer a complete change from Beijing.

Peter N-H
http://members.shaw.ca/pnhpublic/China.html
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Aug 16th, 2004, 12:22 PM
  #5  
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Thanks so much for the feedback. This information will be very useful in our planning.

Appreciate it.

Bob
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