If you’re planning a personalised China holiday, you won’t run out of things to do in Beijing and the surrounding area. Just a stone’s throw away from this enigmatic city, you can enjoy all kinds of experiences and excursions. If you’re short on time and you need some help narrowing down your options, here are 3 of the best attractions just a day-trip away:
Badaling Pass, the Great Wall of China
The most popular section of the Great Wall of China, the Badaling Pass lies around 80 kilometres from downtown Beijing and there is an array of day tours available to take you to your destination and enable you to have a look around. This section of the wall was originally constructed in the 1500’s and extensive renovation work was carried out in 1957. The stone bricks stand around 8-metres tall and a leisurely stroll along the wall will treat you to glimpses of parapets, ramparts and beautiful views over the mountain ranges in the distance.
The stunning Summer Palace is just a 10-minute drive from the heart of the city. This vast, ornate complex, which features lakes, a theatre, palaces, theatrical gates and acres of beautifully-manicured gardens, provides welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. You could spend hours wandering around the palace and its grounds, but highlights you won’t want to miss include the Marble Ship, the Hall of Happiness and Longevity, the Hall of Wellness and Longevity and the Great Theatre. The original buildings of the palace date back to 1153.
Fragrant Hills Park
Fragrant Hills Park is a magical reserve, which gets its name from the uniquely shaped peak, which is reminiscent of an incense burner. This natural gem is home to stunning hiking trails, clear lakes, traditional temples and decorative pagodas and it is known as a very relaxing and calming place, which feels a world away from the hectic city streets. Points of interest include Spectacle Lake, the Temple of Light (known as Zhao Miao) and the Liuli Ta Pagoda. Fragrant Hills lies around 25 kilometres from the centre of Beijing and it’s easily accessible by bus.
If you’re staying in Beijing, don’t miss the opportunity to get out of the city for a couple of days and take in these magnificent sights. You can join organised tours or you can take advantage of the local public transport network and make your own way.