This is a nice, easy stroll in the countryside that will give you a look at several small villages and the fields and orchards that surround them, and you'll get a little bit of exercise as well! We'll also visit the Silver Pagodas, and have a big meal of countryside cooking.
At this time of year we'll see plenty of action in the countryside as farmers prepare for the chestnut harvest.
We begin the hike at Longevity Village, in Changping District, north of the Ming Tombs. We start off following a road that leads up to the villagers’ chestnut orchards, on a gentle uphill slope. At the end of the road, we switch on to an older trail that leads up a valley, passing terraces and fields on the way to an old shrine and pine tree.
We’ll take a break at the shrine and pine before heading down to a dirt road that will take us to another small countryside village. At this village we’ll see a mixture of newer and older houses, as well as a small temple and an opera stage that is still sometimes used. We’ll walk through the lanes of the village, and will get a good look at the old courtyard houses.
From the village we will follow a semi-secret trail over the hills to the Silver Pagodas, a beautiful set of pagodas on an old temple site. The site dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), with the pagodas built in the fourteenth century. The silver bells of the pagodas used to ring in the breeze, and are the source of the name of this peaceful spot. The temples are long gone, burned during war.
After taking a look around the pagodas, we’ll head to the local restaurant where we’ll have a nice big late lunch and drinks before heading back to the city.
What to bring on this hike
- Snacks to eat
- Sun protection: hat, long-sleeved shirt
- A bottle of sports drink with salt content (Gatorade, Pocari Sweat)
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)