Hike from Huanghuazhen Village to Dong Gong Village in Huairou Beijing

November 18th, 2018
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Our hike from Huanghuazhen Village to Donggong Village takes approx. 2 hours.

Huang Hua Zhen Village ( Huanghua Town ) is under the jurisdiction of Jiuduhe Township of Huairou District Beijing. Here you are kindly reminded not to confuse Huanghuazhen Village (黄花镇村) with Huanghuacheng Village (黄花城村).

They are two different villages, but both administrated by Jiuduhe Town. “Huanghua” literally means “yellow follows. The two villages are both named after the yellow flowers on the mountains blooming in springtime nearby.

Very often Huanghuazhen Village is locally referred as Huanghua Town instead of Huanghuazhen Village due to its long history. With Huanghuacheng Great Wall as the backdrop, it is located at the fork within the “V” shape area with the road northeast leading to Mutianyu Great Wall on the right side and northwest to Huanghuacheng Great Wall on the left.

Dong Gong Village is located northwest of Huanghuazhen Village. Donggong Village has a population of 400 people mainly engaged fruit-based forestry with the average annual income of 4,000 yuan per person.

If you go from the “V” shape fork (where Huanghuazhen Village is located) on your left side, it only takes you a few minutes to get to Donggong Village along the main road by car from Huanghuazhen Village. But today we are going to hike from Huanghuazhen Village to Dong Gong Village in a roundabout way through the valley in the north.

Huanghuazhen Village and Donggong Village are divided by several continuous hills in between. The hiking trail skips over the hills standing in the middle by detouring along the valley between their northern hills and the high mountain in the north with the Huanghuacheng Great Wall snaking on its ridge.

So we walk from Huanghuazhen Village to Dong Gong Village in the an upside down shape of “U”.

Well, first follow us and walk towards the Huanghuazhen Village from the fork on its right side.

First follow us and walk towards the Huanghuazhen Village from the fork on our right side

Then you come cross a fork again. You will see a school with yellow wall and a signal tower. Turn left and enter the village here.

You will see a school with yellow wall and a signal tower. Turn left and enter the village here

Walk a few steps and turn right at the old temple and old trees on the high platform.

Walk a few steps and turn right at the old temple and old trees on the high platform

Walk on the cement road just on the right of the high platform. You will see rows of farmhouses along the road on your right side.

You will see rows of farmhouses along the road on your right side.

On your left side is an orchard dotted with chestnut trees, Walnut Trees and persimmon trees.

On your left side is an orchard dotted with chestnut trees, Walnut Trees and persimmon trees.

Then we are on a cement road lined with corn fields. We pass by an abandoned pig farm.

We pass by an abandoned pig farm.

Always keep left when the path forks.

Always keep left when the path forks


We soon pass a village called Dongtai Village (洞台村). This is a small village located at the foot the mountain.  
The path forks again with the cement road on our right side leading to the dead end – an abandoned fox farm.

The path forks again with the cement road on our right side leading to the dead end – an abandoned fox farm.

At the fork, we turn left and walk on the dirt road along the valley in the west direction. Actually we are walking through an orchard. On our right side (north) is the high mountain with Huanghuacheng Great Wall snaking on its ridge.

At the fork, we turn left and walk on the dirt road along the valley in the west direction


If in spring or summer, it would be a great experience walking along the valley with the Great Wall in sight on the nearby mountain.

If in spring or summer, it would be a great experience walking along the valley with the Great Wall in sight on the nearby mountain.

After 1 and half hours’ hiking, we turn south and walk on a cement road again. The road leads directly to the Dong Gong Village.
After 1 and half hours' hiking, we turn south and walk on a cement road again
The village cement road goes through an orchard of chestnut trees. 

The village cement road passes through an orchard of chestnut trees.


The Dong Gong Village is in sight.

The Dong Gong Village is in sight.

In the village.

In the village


This yellow house with a big tree at its front hung with red lanterns is the Dong Gong Village Committee, the administration body of the village.

the Dong Gong Village Committee

We walk to the main road through the lane south of the Dong Gong Village Committee. The lane meets the main road where there is a sign of Bus No.936 Dong Gong Stop stuck to a telephone pole.

The Bus 926 is a good meeting point with your driver after you finish your hike from Huanghuazhen Village to Donggong Village. The whole hike takes about 2 hours.

A sign of Bus No.936 Dong Gong Stop stuck to a telephone pole.

Tip: Hassle-free Great Wall Guided Tours
Don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route? No worries, We at Tour Beijing have some options for guided tours to Great wall Tours:

Mutianyu Great Wall Group Day Tour
Mutianyu Great Wall Half  Day Private Tour
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Tour
Hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall Tour
Hike from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall West Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall and Underground Palace Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour


Add on
Yanhecheng Village
Shuangshitou Village
Cuandixia Village
Mentougou Vernacular Dwellings Day Trip

Further Readings

Any questions, just drop a line.

 

Yunmengshan Great Wall in Beijing

November 16th, 2018
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Plan your Great Wall tour? The Great Wall of China is not a continuous wall. The wall exists in bits. These bits don’t form a continuous line. Most of the bits of the remaining Wall have their own names. Usually their names are given with regard to their geographic location, historical factors or the necessity of the local tourism promotion.

Yunmengshan Great Wall is such named because it is located to the east of Mt. Yunmeng ( Yunmengshan Mountain ). Yunmengshan literally means “a mountain always covered by mist”. Yunmengshan is locally referred as “Huangshan of North China” due to its stunning view.

Yunmengshan Great Wall is a small bit of the Wall around Beijing. It was built under the General Qi Jiguang during the Ming Dynaty (1368 -1644). To its west, is located Mutianyu Great Wall, to its east Gubeikou Great Wall  and Jinshanling Great Wall.

It takes you 1 and half hours by car from your downtown hotel in Beijing to the Yunmengshan Great Wall Relic Park, which lies about 90km northeast of Beijing.

There still exists 3 forts (watch towers) and one beacon tower on the Yunmengshan Great Wall with the beacon tower on the top of the mountain, the final destination of the hiking trip.

To reach the beacon tower on the top, we have to clamber up, passing the 3 forts all the way. The first tower is called “Three Side Building” (altitude: 334m); the second tower “the General”s Tower” (altitude: 402.4m); third tower “Square Building”(altitude:504m) and the final beacon tower has the sea-level of 679.3 meters.

Normally it takes approx. 2 and half hours hiking to the top beacon tower. For most of the time we have to walk along the paved stone step path or a well-trodden walking path paralleling the Wall because Yunmengshan Great Wall is too wild, original and treacherous for you to walk.

In addition, most part of the Wall were built on the steep cliff. The most important is all the wild sections of the Wall around Beijing are protected and forbidden for hiking.

One big difference between Yunmenshan Great Wall and other formal and standard bits of the Wall like Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall is the making of the Wall itself.

Yunmengshan Great Wall is made of rocks and stones used from the local mountains while Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall are made of the bricks used from the official kilns.

If you are not used to hiking, you can walk to the second tower ( The General’s Tower ), then turn back. If you are physically fit for the whole trip hiking up to the beacon tower on the top,  you are encouraged to trudge up to the round beacon tower since the view west of the signal tower is stunning – the steep Yunmengshan Ravine behind it!

Well, now follow us clambering up. There are three paths leading from the entrance to the Great Wall – left, middle and right. The right path leads to the first tower; the left path leads to the second tower and the middle path leads to the trail between the first tower and second tower.

We plan to walk along the right path going to the first tower and return along the left path which forks at the second tower to skip over the second and first tower.

We choose the right path up to the Wall.

Walking to the First Tower – Three Side Building ( 30 minutes )
It is a half hour hike from the entrance to the first tower – Three Side Tower (三边楼). The first tower is 334m at sea level. We only can see the tower and cannot enter it.

It is a half hour hike from the entrance to the first tower – Three Side Tower (三边楼).

The wall is made of the rock stones used from the local mountain.

Walking from the first tower to the second tower ( 50 minutes )

Now we walk from the first tower to the second tower – The General’s Tower. The two towers are 450m apart.It is very dangerous walking on the wall.

The surface of the wall is overgrown with bushes and saplings. We jump on the wall and brave ourselves for a few minutes’ walking on the wild and treacherous wall.

The surface of the wall is teemed with bushes and saplings.

On the way from the first tower to the second tower, for most part, we have to hike along the path by the Wall.

On the way from the first tower to the second tower, for most part, we have to hike along the path by the Wall.

The second tower is in sight. It takes 50 minutes walking from the first tower to the second tower.

The second tower is in sight.

The Second Tower – The General’s Tower

It was a general’s tower (将军楼), the headquarters of the local military forces. In Ming Dynasty, each tower held 50 soldiers with a captain to in charge. Every 5 tower had a major and 10 towers had a general in charge.

This tower is square, 10 meters long and high.It has two arrow windows on north and south, three arrow windows on east and west. The lower part is made of stones and upper part made of bricks.

The lower part is made of stones and upper part made of bricks.

Walking from the second tower to the third tower ( 1 hour and 30 minutes )

The second tower and the third tower are about 800m apart. This is the most difficult part of the hiking on the trip. It takes approx. 1 and 30 minutes hiking.This section of the Wall is only one fifth walkable on the wall starting from the second tower.

From the second tower to the third tower, for the most of the time, we have to walk on the path by the Wall. The third tower is in sight.

The third tower is in sight.

The Third Tower – The Square Tower
This building is locally referred as”Square Tower” (四方楼). It has two stories with windows on four sides.

It has two stories with windows on four sides.

 

Standing on the second floor of the third tower, you can have a clear view of the beacon tower on the top.

Walking from the third tower to the top beacon tower ( 30 minutes )
Now we are marching towards our destination – the beacon tower (烽火台. It is about 350 meters from the third tower. It is not easy to hike along the steep path.

It is not easy to hike along the steep path.

On our right side is the Chestnut Forest Valley with stunning view!

On our right side is the Chestnut Forest Valley with stunning view!

 

 We are approaching the beacon

We are approaching the beacon

We are approaching the beacon tower.

We are approaching the beacon tower.

We are approaching the beacon tower.

Its stunning view reminds me of my trip to Huangshaun.

Its stunning view reminds me of my trip to Huangshaun.

Its stunning view reminds me of my trip to Huangshaun.

Behind the beacon tower is the Yunmengshan Canyon

 

Behind the beacon tower is the Yunmengshan Canyon

Behind the beacon tower is the Yunmengshan Canyon


Walking Back ( 1 and 30 minutes )
After a short break, we start to walk back. We hike down to the second tower, where we use the Left Path (or second ring road – 二环路 as the signboard posted at the second tower), a short cut directly to the entrance instead of walking again to the first tower.
Walking Back

Walking Back

This placard is a good reminder on your right path back to the entrance.

The total hiking trip takes about 4 and 30 minutes.

It is a pleasant walk back to the entrance.

Tip: Hassle-free Great Wall Guided Tours
Don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route? No worries, We at Tour Beijing have some options for guided tours to Great wall Tours:

Mutianyu Great Wall Group Day Tour
Mutianyu Great Wall Half  Day Private Tour
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Tour
Hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall Tour
Hike from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall West Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall and Underground Palace Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour


Add on
Yanhecheng Village
Shuangshitou Village
Cuandixia Village
Mentougou Vernacular Dwellings Day Trip

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Beijing International Sculpture Park

November 15th, 2018
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Shijingshan District is one of the six urban districts under the administration of Beijing. As an international traveler first time visiting Beijing, you would rarely think of visiting this unknown district on the west edge of Beijing city proper. Shijingshan District is not a place rich in historical sites or natural landscapes.

But if you are interested in arts and sculpture, Shijingshan is worth visiting, mainly due to the unique Beijing International Sculpture Park in the district. It is a multi-function park focused on arts appreciation, research, travel and entertainment. The natural landscape and man-made arts and sculpture are perfectly merged here in the park.

Located in the downtown of Shijingshan District, Beijing International Sculpture Park is composed of two theme parts – East Urban Zone, West Rural Zone with the middle art gallery bridging the area from the urban to the rural.

There are over 200 sculptures from over 40 countries, dotted in the park create a paradise for people seeking the mixture of arts and natural beauty.

In the middle of the park, there is a Yulan Magnolia Garden planted with hundreds of Yulan Magnolia trees of 9 species, a highlight during the spring time when all the Yulan Magnolia trees are in full bloom.

Now follow us into the arts and sculpture park with lots of photos to show you the charm of the unique park in Shijingshan Beijing.

How to get there:

Yulan Magnolia Garden at Beijing International Sculpture Park
Entrance Fee: RMB 5 p/p
Tel: 010-68650422
Add: No. 2, Shijingshan Road, Shijingshan District, Beijing
How to arrive there: by Subway Line 1 to the Southwestern Exit of Yuquanlu Station

The West Gate of Beijing International Sculpture Park

 

 

 

Sculpture 2 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 4 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 5 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 6 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 7 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 8 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 9 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 10 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 12 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 13 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 14 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 15 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 17 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Sculpture 18 at Beijing International Sculpture Park

Tip: Hassle-free Great Wall Guided Tours
Don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route? No worries, We at Tour Beijing have some options for guided tours to Great wall Tours:

Mutianyu Great Wall Group Day Tour
Mutianyu Great Wall Half  Day Private Tour
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Tour
Hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall Tour
Hike from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall West Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall and Underground Palace Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour


Add on
Yanhecheng Village
Shuangshitou Village
Cuandixia Village
Mentougou Vernacular Dwellings Day Trip

Further Readings

Any questions, just drop a line.