Beijing Hiking– Badachu to Fragrant Hill
- Features:This route is one of the most popular hiking trails in Beijing, only after those on the Great Wall.
- Total Distance: About 12.5 km
- Time needed: 4-5 hours
This walk can be done all year around. Hikers can enjoy beautiful mountain scenery and a great bird’s-view of the city of Beijing.
The recommended starting place for this route is Badachu (八大处 /baa daa choo/), or ‘Eight Great Sites’. Badachu, located at southern foot of Western Hill, was named after eight old temples. These eight temples were built in the early Tang Dynasty (618–907). Badachu Park is located just outside West Fifth Ring Road, 20 km (13 miles) west of the center of Beijing.
Walk along the park wall for around 30 minutes and you will reach Hutou Shan (虎头山 /hoo-toh shan/) or ‘Tiger Head Hill’. It serves as a good resting place on the way, as there are a few flat stones for walkers to sit on for a rest. However, it is always very crowded, due to the popularity of the route.
Walk further and you will arrive at a fork with three branches (三岔路口 Sanchalukou /san-chaa-loo-koh/ ‘three-fork-road-mouth’). The path on the left side descends the hill, and the right path leads to Jinshan Mausoleum. Follow the road in the middle and pass through a stone arch. The road from the stone arch to Guixiaoshi (鬼笑石 /gway-sshyaoww-shrr/), or ‘Ghost Laughing Stone’, is a narrow mountain path paved with rough stone slabs. There are a lot of peach blossom trees planted on both sides of the road.
Ghost Laughing Stone is a pile of a few oddly-shaped stones. Close to the stones is a cell phone tower.
The road from here to Fragrant Hill is a broad cement road. Further walking leads to (快活林 /kwhy-hwor lin/), or ‘Happy Living Forest’. It is just a grove of trees. Passing Kuaihuo Lin, you will see the wall of Fragrant Hill Park (香山公园 Xiangshan Gongyuan /sshyang-shan gong-ywen/). Walk along the wall and you will see a white tower, which is Lajia Tower. Walk through a gate and descend for about 30 minutes, you will arrive at Biyun Temple (碧云寺 Biyun Si /bee-ywnnsrr/) on Fragrant Hill.
Wear hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes. Bring sun cream, sunglasses, and a hat to protect you from the sun in summer. Bring some water to prevent dehydration.
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