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Journey from the West, 2014/10

Journey from the West, 2014/10

Our ‘Journey from the West’ trip is a seven-day adventure along the strand of the Silk Road between Urumqi and Jiayuguan. We do it as a road trip, travelling in jeeps and stopping off to explore all the amazing sights along the way – the ruined city of Jiaohe near Turpan, the Flaming Mountains, the Mogao Grottoes and Crescent Lake at Dunhuang, the fortress at Jiayuguan, and more! Click through to see Huijie’s photos from the trip.

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Yanqing Great Wall and High tower, 2014/09/27

Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower, 2014/09/27

We certainly chose the right day for this hike—the weather was perfect, and the hills were full of autumn colours. The hike took us on and off a rough section of wild Great Wall in Yanqing District, peaking at the High Tower. Click through to see the photos.

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Ming Village overnight, September 2014

Ming Village overnight, September 2014

For this weekender we headed west to Cuandixia, a Ming Dynasty-era village deep in the mountains of Mentougou.

On the first day we did a relatively relaxed walk in the hills nearby the village, needing to save energy for the 26km super hike we had planned for the second day.

With fine weather, this was a great weekend, and our photos tell the story.

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Changyucheng Countryside Opera Performance, 2014/09/21

Changyucheng Walled Village hike and Countryside Opera Performance, 2014/09/21

On this trip we visited the fortified village of Long Valley City, which was built in ancient times, before hiking up the valley behind it through the forest. From the high point of this hike, at a pass, we could see all the way back down the valley to the reservoir where we started, as well as the High Tower and parts of the unrenovated Yanqing Great Wall. 

The Changyucheng Walled Village was a Ming Dynasty outpost and barracks used as a base for the soldiers guarding the nearby Great Wall. Some of the old village walls are still intact, and there are some good hiking trails in the hills above the village that lead up to the Great Wall.

Another fun thing in the village is their amateur opera performance troupe, formed by an elderly resident who used to be a pro back in the day. Every now and again we ask them to organise a performance for us in the town temple - quite a fun show! Click through to see photos from our day out in the hills, including some backstage shots!

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Gubeikou Great Wall, 2014/09/06

Gubeikou Great Wall, 2014/09/06

During the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday we headed out to the Gubeikou Great Wall for a spot of hiking. The air was clear, and we had lovely views of the Great Wall snaking through the green hills. Click through to see the photos!

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Bashang Grasslands trip, August 2014

Bashang Grasslands trip, August 2014

Beijing gets hot in August, but luckily there are cooler places to visit, not too far away. In early August we did a weekend trip to the Bashang Grasslands, a 5 hour drive north of Beijing – click through to see photos of hikers, hills, horses, fields, and flowers!

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Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Yu County Overnight Trip, 2014/08

For this two-day trip we headed north to Hebei Province to take a look about the ancient walled towns in the area. Being just outside the main line of Ming Dynasty Great Wall, the big walls were needed for protection. Click through to see photos of the old walled towns and their more modern inhabitants!

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Vulture Rock Ridge Loop hike, 2014/08/09

Vulture Rock Ridge Loop hike, 2014/08/09

The trail along Vulture Rock Ridge connects two of our other hikes, and on this outing we joined them all up to make a nice scenic walk with plenty of uphill.

At this time of the year there the hills are filled with wildflowers, and Huijie got photos of almost all of them!

Click through for flower photos, as well as shots of hikers and the green scenery.

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Big Camp Plate camping trip, August 2014

Big Camp Plate camping trip, August 2014

Big Camp Plate is the name of a tiny village in Hebei Province, and it’s surrounded by a loop of old Great Wall – great for hiking, with some superb views from high up in the mountains.

Click through to see photos of the hikers, the Great Wall, and our little campsite!

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Hulunbuir Grasslands, Inner Mongolia, 2014/07

Hulunbuir Grasslands, Inner Mongolia, 2014/07

In the heat of summer the cool and calm grasslands of Inner Mongolia are a great escape from Beijing. We took a whole lot of photos on this trip, click through to see the story in pictures!

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Great Wall Spur Camping, July 2014

Great Wall Spur Camping, July 2014

The Great Wall camping trips we’ve been doing this summer have been popular and superb fun, and our Great Wall Spur camping trip was no exception – very fun, but very hot!

We camped on a lovely section of wall between a tower and a rising ridge, and enjoyed a big BBQ while we waited for sunset.

Click through for photos!

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White River Hike, 2014/7/13

White River Hike, 2014/7/13

Beijing gets hot in summer … very hot! What better way to cool down than with a stroll down a river? Click through to see the photos of blue skies, big canyon cliffs, lots of greenery, and hikers splashing their way downstream.

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Zhuangdaokou Great Wall to the Walled Village, 2014/07/12

Zhuangdaokou Great Wall to the Walled Village, 2014/07/12

We headed out to Huairou for a moderately difficult Great Wall hike, following a valley trail up to the Great Wall at Zhuangdaokou, and then walking the wall on the way to the Walled Village.

A lovely day for hiking: blue skies, green leaves, persimmons, and a rather steep piece of Great Wall – click through to see our photos!

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Zhangye Danxia Landform and Jiayuguan, Gansu Province, May 2014

Zhangye Danxia Landform and Jiayuguan, Gansu Province, May 2014

On our Zhangye Danxia Landform long trip we did two days of hiking in and around the Zhangye Danxia Landform, and made visits to Silk Road sights in Zhangye and Jiayuguan, including the Jiayuguan Fortress and Horsehoof Temple.

On the trip we got a lot of good photos; click through for a look!

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Flower Wood to the Silver Pagodas, 2014/6/28

Flower Wood to the Silver Pagodas, 2014/6/28

For this hike we joined two of our Level 3 hikes together to make one of our “Hillwalking Challenge” type trails. We walked through several small villages on the way to the Silver Pagodas, saving the toughest part – the big climb up the mountain behind the pagodas – for last. This hike was a hot one!

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Hiking photos - Gubeikou Great Wall Loop Midweek, 2011/11/02

In Brief: Photos from a walk along the Gubeikou Great Wall.

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