A family hike is the perfect way to welcome spring
Sick of being trapped indoors? Couch potatoes, it’s time to get out for a taste of spring! In Beijing, the hiking season comes late and leaves early, so act fast to make the most of this not-too-hot, not-too-cool weather.
tbjkids spoke to the expert walkers that run Beijing Hikers and got some advice on hikes suitable for parents and kids. The following route is a good choice for a family outing:
The Ancient Cave Dwellings at Guyaju
This hike is in Yanqing County, a two-hour drive from the city. The walk itself should take about two to three hours, and should be doable with kids over 5 (the path is not suitable for strollers). The map here will get you to Guyaju Park, where the caves are located, and your entrance ticket to the park will provide you with a map of its grounds.
RMB 40, RMB 20 (kids). (6911 0333) 古崖居公园
What you’ll see:
As many as 117 cave dwellings are carved out of the granite on the mountainside. Some of the caves come with doors, windows, closets and even beds, and many are connected by stone ladders and trestles. Legend has it that nearly 1,300 years ago a Tang dynasty ruler heard of a plot to dispose of him and fled here with a hundred of his followers, who are said to have stayed for three generations.
Archaeologists also suggest that the caves might have served as a military fortress during the Han dynasty, sheltering Han soldiers in the fight against the Huns.
Bus: Take bus 919 from Deshengmen (德胜门) to Yanqing (延庆), then change to bus 920 or a minibus, heading to Xiaying (下营). At Xiaying, find a minibus heading to Guyaju (古崖居).
Car: From Madian Qiao (马甸桥) on the North Third Ring Road, take the Badaling Expressway (八达岭高速) towards the Yanqing (延庆) tollgate and head for Long Qing Xia (龙庆峡). Then, take National Road 110 and drive for about 5 minutes until you see signs for Guyaju (古崖居). Follow this road for about 10 minutes. Parking is available onsite.
Meet other hiking enthusiasts on a Beijing Hikers hike. Contact Huijie at 139 1002 5516, e-mail email@example.com.
•Don’t forget to pack: a compass, a watch, and a first aid kit.
•Bring a packed lunch and some snacks, and at least two liters of water for each person. Do not eat too much, but eat frequently.
•If you’re walking with kids, take a break every half hour.
•Dress in easily removable layers. Bring something waterproof in case of rain, and a sun hat.
•Wear sneakers that are slide-proof, permeable and flexible. High-top sneakers or hiking boots are good for protecting kids’ tender feet from being squeezed on downhill paths.
You can find hiking equipment for the whole family at:
San Fo Outdoor Equipment Store
Daily 10am-8pm. 1F, Jinzhiqiao Plaza, 1A Jianwai Dajie (west of China World Trade Center), Chaoyang District (6507 9298, 6591 7041)
For more info on this hike and other trips in and around Beijing, pick up a copy of the Immersion Guides Beijing Excursion Guide. Contact Zoe Wang (5820 7101, firstname.lastname@example.org) to order a copy.