Beijing Layover Tour
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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
Reviews onTour-Beijing.Com
Down by the river
From various corners of the village, one can hear the sound of a river striking against the rocky banks. That is Baihe River, running past mountains and rolling farmlands in the near distance. The area is the darling of nature lovers. And ever since celebrated director Jiang Wen set the opening scene of his blockbuster Let the Bullets Fly in the village, it has become a must-visit spot for movie fans as well.

In the movie box office, winner of several awards Hong Kong actress Carina Lau and Cannes award-winning mainland actor Ge You, are filmed indulging in hot pot and singing songs in a train pulled by horses. There are also some spectacular scenes involving a train that was hijacked by gangsters. The movie's Robin Hood-like gangsters do not exist in real life obviously, but there is a train by the riverbank.

Having watched the high-grossing film, those were also the attractions that draw me and my friends to the quaint village. But, I was not impressed with what I saw. Instead, I felt happier just strolling along the cobblestone promenades searching happily for fresh corns in the farmlands.

Another draw of Baihewan during summer is its version of foam parties by the Baihe River. I can see why -the length is long enough for fun lovers to get wet and have water fights.

Unlike other form parties where people dance in the bubbles generated by foam machines, at Baihewan there is no foam, only bubbles churned by water revelers in the river. One can opt to kayak along the crowded Baihe River - which my friends and I did, and soon regretted. It was tough to row our kayak forward with people around us - armed with buckets and water guns - "attacking" our kayaks. Within minutes, our boat turns into a waterbed. At one point, it almost overturned.

Although I am a peace lover, I joined in the water fight, scooping water from my kayak and throwing back at the people around me. Too violent perhaps, but I've not had so much fun in awhile and the workout provided a perfect way to de-stress, I realize.

As my kayak floats to the deeper end of the river, the water fights stopped. Most people lie quietly in their boat and let the water push them slowly forward. With the boat rocking and birds crooning a lullaby to us, it is easy to fall asleep.

The surrounding scene is one of the most beautiful I've ever witnessed, with groves dotting the rolling farmland on one side and mountains sluiced by clear streams on the other.

But the peace is short-lived. A duel awaits us before we hit the finishing line. Right at the lower reach of a steep man-made dam, our almost dry clothes are soaked again as the water fights resume. As night falls, the ambience turns romantic. Under the star-studded sky, my friends and I put on some music, light the candles and open a bottle of wine. Two of them volunteer to take the position of sous chefs to grill some food for us on a charcoal fire.

The lush menu includes freshly plucked corns, marinated steaks and chicken wings. What we have to do is only to chow down everything prepared while gazing at the stars.

2012-08-14 China Daily

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