Archive for the ‘Beijing Excursions’ Category

Changyucheng Village and Climb the mountain up to the Changyucheng Great Wall

Sunday, November 18th, 2018
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Changyucheng Village is named after one of the famous military city circling an important pass of the Great Wall called “Changyucheng”, which literally means “长峪城 – Long Valley City”. Bordering Hebei Province, Changyucheng Great Wall boasts to have one of Beijing’s highest Great Wall towers at the sea-level of 1400 meters with stunning views.

The ancient Changyucheng military walled city was set up 500 years ago in Ming Dynasty to accommodate the garrison manning the pass as well the nearby sections of the Great Wall. If the soldiers stationed on the Great Wall on the high mountain spotted invaders, the main troops in the pass city would be dispatched there to man the defenses.

Changyucheng Village is located in Changping District, approxi.100km northwest of the city center of Beijing.

On Feb 13, 2011, with my co-worker, Xiao Hao, we explored the ancient village Changyucheng and hiked the Great Wall near the village despite of the snowfall,a frist stop on our 5-day Great Wall tour. We write the following travel tips for you to plan your own excursion to Changyucheng.

Beijing Downtown – Changyucheng Village Driving Route
Drive along Jingzuang Highway G6, the same highway to Changping District, Juyongguan Great Wall  and Badaling Great Wall . We got off at Chenzhuang (Nankou) Exit 36 which is between the center of Changping District and Juyongguan Great Wall.

So, getting off Jingzuang Highway at Chenzhuang (Nankou) Exit 36 陈庄(南口)36出口, follow your nose north, then turn left at the Chenzhuang Bridge (陈庄桥). Crossing under the bridge, then immediately turn right (north) and drive along the provincial road till you come across a fork – Dongdajie Lukou of Nankou Town (南口镇东大街路口), then you turn left (southwest ) on Nanyan Road(南雁路).

Continue to drive along Nanyan Road (南雁路), passing Liucun Town (流村镇), Mapaoquan Village (马刨泉村), then turn north and get to Changyucheng Village (长峪城村)

We drive along zigzag mountain road and pass two mountains before we reach Changyucheng Village

Exploring Changyucheng Village
The village has a long history dating back to the Ming Dynasty 500 years ago. Its former military pass town was one of three most famous border passes of the Great Wall around Beijing with ancient military importance. 

The ancient city wall in front of the village, embrasures and the defense inner town are still visible. The old gate is still there. On the west of the village and on the high platform, there is the Yongxing Temple with a history of over hundreds of years. In addition to Yongxing Temple. If you are lucky, you can enjoy local farmers singing and dancing.

Changyucheng Village

The Ancient City Gate in the village

 

The hiking trail from the village to the round Stone Mound on the top of the mountain

1. At the foot of the Mountain

Walking north from Changyucheng Village for 1.5km, and reach the foot of the mountain, where we start to climb up.

2. Little reservoir

Hiking up, not far, in the middle of the hill, you will see a small reservoir. The reservoir is as large as a school playground with its headwater coming from the mountain. So the view here is stunning with water passing through the forest. Some travelers just stop here BBQ, picnic and fishing. But at the time of our hiking, the reservoir is frozen with different views from other seasons.

3. A small forest

North of the reservoir, there is a small forest with tall trees. In summer, they offer good shade.

North of the reservoir, there is a small forest with tall trees

4. Jungle Corridor
Walking further up, you will pass under the “Jungle Corridor”. It is an informal name given to the road northeast of the boundary stone table.

It is a passage through the forest with trees high up and dirt road on our feet as if you are walking in an enclosed corridor, hence “Jungle Corridor”. The mountain atmosphere here is quite strong with good environment.

It is a passage through the forest with trees high up and dirt road ( now snow ) on our feet as if you are walking in an enclosed corridor, hence – Jungle Corridor -.

5. Stone Step Road
From the Jungle Corridor,  you walk up along the stone step road paved by the local villagers. With you hiking higher up, the trees over your head are disappeared. Then you reach the meadow.

Before you reach the meadow, you have the most difficulty part of the hike, the most energy consuming. Most travelers will be feel dog-tired and panting.

From the Jungle Corridor, you walk up along the stone step road paved by the local villagers. With you hiking higher up, the trees over your head are disappeared

 6. Meadow
Soon, you are on a mountain range, green meadow (winter yellow, now it is white due to snow) open and flat, a good place to take a break and fresh up. From the meadow, you can see the high round stone mound on a mountain top.

Soon, you are on a mountain range, green meadow (winter yellow, now it is white due to snow) open and flat, a good place to take a break and fresh up

 

7. The boundary stone table
From the meadow, walk up a few steps, you are on a big and open platform. On the platform, there is a boundary stone table – West is Hebei and southeast is Beijing.

From the meadow, walk up a few steps, you are on a big and open platform. On the platform, there is a boundary stone table – West is Hebei and southeast is Beijing.

8. The Round Stone Mound on the mountain top

From the meadow or the big platform, you can see a round stone Mound on the mountain top. Hiking from the stone table up to the high stone mound, you can see the Great Wall snaking on the mountain range.

The watch tower is said to be the highest elevation of the watch towers in Beijing. The second tower is round, which is one of the five round watch towers in Beijing.

Walk up to the round stone mound on the top

Climb up the round stone mound on the top

9. Highest Watch Tower ( Great Wall )

So if you are still energetic, you may walk extra half hour and reach the  watch tower on your right side, locally known as “high-rise.” with the altitude about 1,400 meters. The Great Wall here extends in a shape of “V”, to the northeast leading to Badaling Great Wall and northwest to Hebei Province.

In the northwest of the Great Wall, for the second watch tower with a round base, is said to be one of the five circular watch towers in Beijing, locally called “the Round Building”.

If good visibility, you can have have a panorama view of the Quanting reservoir in daytime and overlook the colorfully lit city of Beijing in the evening.

Standing on the round stone mound, you can see the highest watch tower of the Great Wall around Beijing with the sea-level of 1400 meters

The second tower is round, which is one of the five round watch towers in Beijing.

The whole hiking takes approx. 4 hours, extra hour needed if you walk to the highest watch tower, locally known as “high-rise tower”.

10. Emergency Call
If you have any trouble during the hiking, please jot down the emergency phone number we find on our way up to the mountain below:

Emergency Call during Changyucheng hiking

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.

Hike from Wang Bao Chuan Village to Hai Zi Village with side trip to Yinshan Pagoda Park

Sunday, November 18th, 2018
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On the morning of Feb 13, 2011, after successfully crossing the Changyuchgeng Village and hiking the mountain up to the Changycheng Great Wall, we drove back along the zigzag mountain roads and reached Nankou Town, where we had a late and simple lunch.

We had a late and simple lunch.

Recharged and refreshed up, we were again on our road and drove to Wang Bao Chuan Village. We had planned to have a hike from Wangbaochuan Village to Haizi Village.

Wang Bao Chuan Village is located 5km northeast of Changling Town of Changping District on the Changjiu Highway ( Changping to Jiuduhe ). 

At the Changling Crossroad, turn right to the direction of Jiuduhe or Huanghuacxheng along the Changjiu Highway.

Wang Bao Chuan Village is under the jurisdiction of Changling Town of Changping District. The Changjiu Highway links the village with the outside world. Wangabochuan Village is surrounded by the mountains on its four sides with a spring stream passing through the village.

It boasts lush trees, pure air and cool and sweet spring water with the vegetation coverage rate of 95%, hence the nickname of “Longevity Village”.

About 5km from the Changling Crossroad along the Changjiu Highway, we reached Wang Bao Chuan Longevity Village

When we got to the entrance to Wang Bao Chuan Village, it was almost 4:00pm. We drove through the gate and not long, we were in the heart of the village.

Wang Bao Chuan Village

Hai Zi Village is to the east of Wang Bao Chuan Village. Normally it takes 1 and half hours to hike from Wangbaochuan Village to Haizi Village.

It was very easy to find the right road leading to Hai Zi Village. On our left side a cement road leads to the valley in the east, the only road to Haizi Village.

On our left side a cement road leads to the valley in the east, the only road to Haizi Village.

Very easy walk on the cement road for a while.

Very easy walk on the cement road for a while.

Not long after, we found ourselves walking on a dirt, bushy and stony mountain road in the valley.

On the mountain road

It was quite bushy.

Stony road with rocks of different sizes


In the middle of our hike, we saw a shrine on the stone mound accompanied by a big pine tree. 

A shrine on a stone mound accompanied by a big pine tree in the middle of the road

We prayed and stood here for a while overlooking the Hai Zi Village below.

Overlooking the Haizi Village

Again we embarked on our road to the village. The road here was very bushy, sandy and teamed with rocked of different sizes.

The road was bushy and stony

We were on a fork, turning right and the village was in sight.
 We were on a fork, turning right and the village was in sight.
We were marching towards Hai Zi Village. Haizi Village is under the jurisdiction of Xingshou Town of Changping District.

Approaching the village

Inside the village

Our driver – Mr. Zhou was waiting by the entrance to Hai Zi Village.

The entrance to Hai Zi Village

Now it was almost 5:30pm, a bit dark. We continued to drive to Yinshan Pagoda Park ( or Yinshan Talin, Yinshan Pagoda Forest ), not far from Hai Zi Village.

We grabbed a few pictures of the pagodas before it was totally dark outside.

All five Jin Dynasty pagodas are multi-eaved brick structures on huge Sumeru platforms

During the Liao Dynasty (907-1125) and Jin dynasty (1115–1234),  there were many Buddhist temples built around Yinshan. Today only seven pagodas still stand, five built during the Jin Dynasty and two during the Yuan Dynasty. All five Jin Dynasty pagodas are multi-eaved brick structures on huge Sumeru platforms.

The two Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) pagodas are smaller, but each has its own characteristics. One is a multi-eaved pagoda with brick brackets under the eaves. Its inward-curving lines give it a special elegance. The other is a combination of multi-eaved and inverted-bowl styles.

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.

Hike from Huanghuazhen Village to Dong Gong Village in Huairou Beijing

Sunday, 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.