A quick look out the window at the smog outside and you’ll be forgiven for wondering if Beijing has anything going for it in terms of beauty. Surprisingly enough however, there are plenty of scenic spots suitable for camping in Beijing – or the city’s outskirts to be more specific. You’ll be impressed at the stunning natural beauty and the surprising serenity that can be found just a few kilometers outside China’s capital. So without further ado, here’s our guide to the five best spots for camping in Beijing!
1) Lingshan Mountain Scenic AreaView In Map
The rolling hills that surround the Chinese capital are pretty impressive and are worth checking out if you have a day or two to spare. One of these areas is the Lingshan Mountain Scenic Area (灵山风景区), which features a peak of over 2,300 meters making it the highest mountain in Beijing. Apart from the obvious good views and the cleaner air, Lingshan features ancient beacon towers, natural springs, as well as lots of beautiful flora to feast your eyes on. The area also caters for partygoers – there’s a KTV, a dance hall, and even a small bar for you to kick your feet up and enjoy a beer or six. The summit of the mountain is a plane of grass where foreigners are permitted to set up camp for the night.
·It can get pretty windy and chilly up there, so make sure you bring a good strong tent that can protect you against the elements.
·As the altitude is pretty high, temperatures can get chilly even during the summer months, so make sure you bring a sweater with you. Also, be prepared for rain – it never hurts to pack an umbrella and waterproofs just in case.
·Watch for snakes! Seriously, snakes have been known to pop out from the grass so watch your step.
·Be wary of any strange looking mushrooms regardless of what properties you may think they have…the last thing you want is an upset stomach halfway up the mountain!
Add: Northeast Qingshui Town, Mentougou District, Beijing
Tel: 010 6182 7994 (Linshan Mountain Scenic Area)
Opening hours: 24 hours a day
Price: 45 RMB
Getting there: take subway line 1 to Pingguo Yuan Station (苹果园站), then take bus 929 (支线) to Shuangtangjiang Station (双塘涧站), then take a taxi. If you’re driving up there, it takes about three hours to reach.
2) Xiangshui Lake Scenic AreaView In Map
Situated west of the Mutianyu Great Wall in Huairou District, Xiangshui Lake (响水湖风景区) features epic scenery including caves, valleys, pools, and waterfalls. Upon arriving at this place, you’ll be surprised at the fact that you’re actually still within the reaches of Beijing given all the utopian natural beauty. The surrounding area also offers glimpses of the Moshikou (磨石口) and Lianyunling (连云岭) Great Wall sections. The lush green area of hills and flowers is a great way to escape the toils of the city, and you can spend the night camping in the area as long you make a booking.
Add: East Dazhenyu Village, Bohai Town, West of Mutianyu Great Wall, Huairou District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8960 2185 (Xiangshui Lake Scenic Area)
Price: 32 RMB (entrance fee to scenic area)
Opening hours: 8:00-17:00
Getting there: take the 916 bus from Dongzhimen Long-Distance Bus Station (东直门长途汽车站) to Huairou International Conference Center (怀柔国际会议中心), then take a minibus to Xiangshui Lake (响水湖)
3) Ming Tombs ReservoirView In Map
Located in Changping District, the Ming Tombs Reservoir (十三陵水库) is about 40 km from the city proper and due to its lush green pastures is a great place to set up camp. The sheer size of the area ensures plenty of space, even if there are hundreds of visitors. There’s a dam at one end of the reservoir where visitors love to fish and swim– though remember, safety first! Visitors can set up tents anywhere around the reservoir. Also, don’t forget to bring some extra clothing as temperatures can get quite low at night.
Add: Southeast of Ming Tombs, Changping District, Beijing
Getting there: take bus to 314, 872, 925, or 67 (昌) to Changping Huzhuang Station (昌平胡庄站)
4) Jiugukou Natural Scenic AreaView In Map
Jiugukou (九谷口自然风景区) is a luscious area surrounded by the Great Wall. 85% of the area is covered in forest offering ample opportunity to bird watch and admire wildlife. Visitors can set up camp anywhere they wish and can even try their hand at fishing in one of the nearby streams (which can then be thrown on a BBQ later!). Jiugukou may be a fair old way from the city, but it’s a perfect escape into nature and an excellent respite from the hustle, bustle and pollution of Beijing.
Add: 548 Hefangkou Village, Huaibei Town, Huairou District, Beijing
Tel: 010 8969 6677
Price: 20 RMB (access to scenic area; an additional fee is charged for camping)
Opening hours: 8:30-17:00 (campers can remain in the scenic area after closing hours)
Getting there: take bus 916 (支线), 936, or 936 (支线) to Jiugukou Station (九谷口站)
5) Yunmengshan National Forest ParkView In Map
Beijingers are particularly proud of Yunmengshan National Park (云蒙山国家森林公园), and have even gone so far as to dub it the “Little Huangshan” in light of its beauty. The park has a hill that has a peak of 1,414 meters, where you can breathe in a much-needed dose of fresh air. The place is great all year round but campers are advised to bring warm clothes even in the height of summer as it can get quite cold in the evenings.
Add: West of Miyun Reservoir, Miyun County, Beijing
Tel: 010 6162 2381 (Yunmengshan National Forest Park)
Opening hours: 7:30-17:00
Price: 35 RMB (park entrance fee)
Getting there: take bus 916 (支线), or 936 (支线) to Yunmengshan Station (云蒙山站)
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