Top Three Campsites in Beijing Suburb

01/12/2010
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The best destinations during the transition from autumn into winter are campsites that can offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy the cool weather and count the stars. Here are three campsites especially for travelers who love outdoor recreation.

Camping in Beijing

Camping in Beijing

No.1 Tianhuang Mountain

Tianhuang Mountain, which is located on the junction of Yanqing County and Huailai County in Hebei Province, is one of the best and most easily accessible campsites. Tianhuan Mountain, also called Wudaohu Grottoes, is 30 kilometers east from Badaling Great Wall. 

The admission fee is 20 yuan per person and with group discounts available. 

The relics of Qingquan Temple will come into sight after a 30-minute walk from the park’s entrance. The relics once were a cluster of grottoes which were built in the Beiwei Dynasty (386-557). The area was originally the official site and then developed into a temple. The campsite is set up in the audience hall on the top of grottoes and provides excellent views and fresh air. There are also many stone beds and stone houses. 

The most interesting and special thing about the campsite is BBQ. The space is big enough for 10 people to share a meal. Between counting the stars, enjoying BBQ, and boiling a fresh pot of green tea, any group of friends can enjoy a memorable camping trip at the Tianhuang Mountain campsite. 

Driving directions: Exit Badaling Highway at the Yanqin County exit and drive towards the Shijianglong skiing park, then turn right on Guyaju guideboard. 

Bus route: Take the No. 919 bus to the bus terminal and rent a car to get there. The total price is about 50 yuan. 

No.2 Youzhou Valley

Youzhou Valley, which is also known as Guangting Valley and Yongding River Valley, is in Hebei Province. Youzhou Valley was once an essential access point to Beijing from northwest China. The area’s prosperity has waned; as a result, the official road appears quiet and abandoned now. The land is appropriate for camping, picnics and bonfire parties. Because the campground is close to the village, buying food for celebrations is convenient. 

Since the reservoir is drained twice a day, at noon and at night, visitors should be particularly careful during those times. In addition, packing bug repellent and anti-itch ointments is a good idea.

There are only about 100 households in Youzhou Village, but the village is still worth a visit as the houses reflect the ancient lifestyle of the village. The local residents mainly earn money by planting fruit trees. Youzhou Village is a great place to pick dates in early autumn.

Driving directions: Take the No. 109 national highway about 80 kilometers, and turn right at the “Zhangzhu Lake” guideboard. After 14 kilometers, you will reach Yanhecheng Village. Youzhou village is another 15 kilometers past Yanhecheng Village. When you arrive at a date yard, that’s Youzhou Village.

Bus route: Take the No.4415 bus from Beijing and get off on Jiuzhuangwo station. Have a 3-hour-walk to Dayou Village. 

No.3 Small Wutai Mountain

Small Wutai Mountain forest park belongs to the Heng Mountain arteries. It lies in Zhangjiakou City of Hebei Province and is the renowned campsite near Beijing. There are many hiking routes of varied difficulty levels and very suitable campsites. The campsites most easily accessed are the two campsites at the Xijinghekou scenic spot. The nearer one is only a 1-hour-walk from the entrance, while the further one is recommended for its wide, flat land, proximity to water sources and privacy from other visitors. 

Small Wutai Mountain is a famous North China holy site in Buddhism. Buddhists gathered here early in the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907). The temple was rebuilt during the Ming (A.D. 1368-1644) and Qing (A.D. 1636-1911) Dynasty. Even though the temple has been run down, the culture charm is still alive.

Driving directions: Drive on No.109 national highway and change to No. 207 national highway on Xiheying.

Bus route: Take a bus from Beijing to Wei County and get off at Taohua County. The ticket price is 33 yuan per person. Rent a car at Chiyabao or Xijinghekou.