The hike is a modified version of our Triangle Hike, an easy and scenic tramp out in Changping District. We’re walking this route in the opposite direction of what we usually do, starting off close by to a slightly stinky pig farm and walking down a long valley before following a rocky trail up to a ridge lookout.
We’ll head down the other side of the hill, following dirt trails through farmland and orchards on the way to the hills on the other side of the valley. After climbing up the other side of this valley, we’ll come to an old pine tree that marks an old temple site. Nothing remains of the temple, but the tree is still growing happily. From the pine tree, we’ll head downhill through chestnut orchards towards Lily Village.
In the farmland, we usually see locals industriously looking after their chestnut orchards and vegetable patches, but in early October most of the work will already be done. Donkeys are still used for heavy work, but there are also a lot of three-wheeler motorbikes parked around, ready to carry a load of cabbage off to the market.
From Lily Village we follow a sealed road up through chestnut orchards, passing by a few reservoirs on the way to a low pass on a ridge.
The sealed road ends at the reservoir, and we'll get on to some nice dirt tracks as we head further into the hills. After a while we’ll turn off the main path and head down a narrow gully, aiming for the dirt road that will take us out to the main road.
Crossing the main road we’ll walk through a small village, stopping for a quick look at their opera stage and the closed temple before taking a shortcut over the hills to arrive at the site of the pagodas, following a paved trail in and out of valleys, up and down steps, and cutting a lot of distance off our regular route.
Religious use of the site of the Silver Pagodas dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), with the pagodas built in the 1400’s. 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 a good look about the pagodas, we’ll move on to a local restaurant for a big meal before heading back to the city.
It's a short drive from there to the countryside restaurant where we'll have a late lunch before heading back to the city.
What to bring on this hike
- Plenty of snacks to eat along the way
- Warm clothes
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)