November is the perfect time to see autumn foliage at Fragrant Hills (Xiangshan, 海淀区香山) Park. Located to the west of Beijing in Haidian District, Fragrant Hills is well known for its autumn leaves. People travel from different parts of China to visit from October to November when the leaves change color. Right now, more than half of the maple leaves in the park have turned red, a spectacle that attracted 198,000 visitors this past weekend.
In spite of the cold weather, the lift is open. To avoid waiting in a long line for the lift and crowds in general, try to plan a weekday visit, if possible. It is estimated that 80 percent of the leaves will turn red before this weekend, so there isn’t a moment to lose. Gather your family and friends and head for the hills!
Don’t forget to pack some food, drinks and a blanket (which might come in handy if you take the lift). Last Sunday, the lift was suspended for 40 minutes, with over 300 people, due to high winds. It is said to be completely safe in windy circumstances, so be prepared rather than scared. Better yet, bring your hiking shoes and skip the lift completely.
For a suggested walking route within the park, see What’s Fun In here.
Hours: Mon-Fri 6am-6.30pm. Sat-Sun 8am-8pm.
Entrance: RMB 10 adult, RMB 5 student.
Lift Ticket: Mon-Fri RMB 50. Sat-Sun, holidays RMB 60.
Buses: 318, 331, 360, 696, 698, 563, 505, 特5, 630