Pinggu District is a mainly rural and agricultural area on the east side of Beijing municipality.
Geographically, it’s a flat plain with mountains that wrap around the north, east, and west sides. Up in those mountains are small villages, deep canyons, and fragments of Great Wall. On the east side of the plain, there’s a large lake.
On this trip we’ll hike through the mountains, small villages, and canyons, explore short sections of the Great Wall, and paddle dragon boats on that large lake.
This trip is timed for the weekend before the Dragon Boat Festival, the perfect time to learn all about dragon boating.
Day One main activities
‘Prove Your Loyalty’ hike (BYO lunch for a picnic in the mountains) • Explore East Beijing’s ‘Grand Canyon’ • Countryside hotel overnight, including a big dinner and games of mah-jong.
Day Two main activities
Breakfast at the hotel • Short hike or personal free time • Lunch at the hotel • Dragon Boat activity on Jinhai Lake.
Prove Your Loyalty hike
The Prove Your Loyalty hike is a Pinggu District ramble that follows wooded trails, passes abandoned or lightly-inhabited villages, and crosses short rundown stretches of Great Wall. We begin with a walk into a scenic area where you can see ancient volcanic features (if you keep your eyes peeled), and then head up a hill trail to find a stony stretch of Great Wall that runs through a forest. We then follow firebreak roads into the East Beijing ‘Grand Canyon’ scenic area. (4–5 hour hike.)
East Beijing’s ‘Grand Canyon’
The ‘Grand Canyon’ is a scenic area that covers tall mountains and deep canyons. Narrow paved paths lead up into deep valleys shaded by tall cliffs, with bridges and plank paths crossing streams and ravines. We’ll hike into the canyon and through increasingly narrow ravines to find a small waterfall. (est. 2 hours of walking.)
Yellow Pines Peak hike
Wake up early for the Yellow Pines Peak hike, a short but steep walk about the hills behind the hotel. We start by following stairs up to a lookout and then make a rather steep climb up a big hill to get on to the trail that leads over to the reservoir overlook on the Great Wall. (est. 2–3 hours.) Doing the whole hike is optional—you can choose to do just the stairs to the lookout, or even go back to bed after breakfast.
Jinhai Lake Dragon Boats
We’ll drive over to a sports and teambuilding base on the far shores of Jinhai Lake for a dragon boat session on the calm* and clear water of the lake. Equipment and instructions included in the trip cost. (1–2 hours.)
* If the wind is deemed too strong for dragon boats we'll do rafting instead.
COVID-19 and participation precautions
The brief version:
Please DO NOT participate if you are sick or showing symptoms of fever and/or have an elevated temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who was/is.