When one thinks of family travel in a city like Beijing, greenery is not the first thing to come to mind. But there are many hills and mountains surrounding the concrete jungle that make for an easy day getaway. And what better time than fall, probably the city’s best season.
We recently took the opportunity of a beautiful morning off without any kids to go to Baiwang Shan (literally “100 hills mountain”) in the northwest. It’s just the right hike for someone in as bad shape as myself. And it even works for a stroller. The route can be either long and roundabout for the less adventurous, or steep steps for the more in–shape. From the top as much of the city as the smog lets you see is visible.
Getting there: It’s a short bus or taxi ride from the Anheqiao North subway station at the end of line 4. Many buses going up past the Summer Palace go there. We can take the special 6 directly there from our home.
This is just one of many hiking hills around the city. Most are to the west, the Western Hills as they are known. This includes Xiang Shan (Fragrant Hills), where most of the fall leaf watchers go. Or Badachu (8 Temples hills). Some are high enough hikes that you can take a chair lift up and/or down.
Jenny Lin is a writer/editor working in Beijing. You can follow her @twinlins or keep up with her cross-cultural familial adventures at beijingmom.blogspot.com.