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Clear skies over Lake Karakul.

Kashgar and Lake Karakul trip, 2013/08

In August we headed west into Xinjiang, visiting Kashgar city and heading up into the mountains for a trek that peaked at the base camp of Mt. Muztagh-Ata.

As well as the sights of Kashgar, and the high mountain scenery, we got a very good look at some of the local customs, with a Krygyz camel team with us on the trek, and a visit to a Uyghur family farm near Kashgar.

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the start of the hike

Aershan National Forest Park, Inner Mongolia, 2013/08

The A’ershan National Forest Park is located at the northeast end of Inner Mongolia. While there, we hiked in the rolling hills of the area, and spent a day exploring the crater lakes, lava flows, and rivers in an area that had been previously volcanically active. Click through for photos!

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A horse-and-carriage track through the wide grassland

Hulunbuir Grasslands, Inner Mongolia, 2013/07

Once a year we head north to the grasslands of Inner Mongolia for a long trip that takes us on a tour of the grasslands and wetlands, and small towns on the border of China and Russia. This year we had great weather, with big blue skies over the wildflowers and green grasslands. Click through to see the photos.

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the start of the hike

The Great Flood hike, 2013/07/28

It’s been tough to see a blue sky in Beijing recently, but after a big rainfall the skies cleared out, and, as a bonus, all the streams and pools along this trail were full of clear and cool water. Water in Beijing? Click through to see the proof!

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sandstone landform

Silk Road: Korla to Kashgar, 2013/06

In July we made a seven day road trip along a lesser-travelled section of the Silk Road, heading west to Kashgar and passing through obscure yet interesting cities and towns like Korla, Kuqa, and Aksu. Click through for photos of the Silk Road sights.

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the start of the hike

Western Qing Tombs overnight, 2013/06

Our Western Qing Tombs weekend trip is a special one that we only arrange once or twice a year. The focus is on the tombs and artifacts left behind by the last dynasty of China, but the surrounding scenery and nearby lake are also worth the long drive out into Hebei Province.

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the second day

Bashang Grasslands, June 2013

In June we made this year’s first trip to the Bashang Grasslands, located in Hebei province, north of Beijing. On the trip the highlight was two days of hiking in the grasslands. We also made time to try a little horse-milk liquor, and enjoyed dancing, a performance by locals, and an evening bonfire.

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The pizza being put together

Jiankou Pizza hike, 2013/06/15

Our good friends at Gung Ho! Pizza have a little pizza oven out at their courtyard nearby the Jiankou Great Wall, and were good enough to arrange a feast of pizza for us after we’d finished our hike up to the Nine-Eyes Tower. Click through to see a few photos!

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good luck

Tanzhesi Temple Hike, 2013/6/15

Tanzhe Temple is one of the oldest temples in Beijing, and it’s well worth a look about. We added some extra fun by exploring a nearby abandoned village before our visit to the temple. Click through to see photos from the village and Tanzhe Temple.

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ruined Great Wall

Gubeikou Great Wall West, 2013/05/12

We’ve started doing hikes on the west side of the Gubeikou Great Wall – a nice area with a line of Great Wall that runs through the hills. Click through to see photos from our second visit this year.

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a picnic

Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu, 2013/05

Photos from two days of hiking in the Danxia Landform areas, and the visits we made to temples, caves and grottoes, and the Han Dynasty Great Wall in Jiayuguan. This is one of our favorite long distance trips, taking us to special places in sparsely-populated areas of western China.

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Further up the river

Dragon Cloud Mountain, 2013/05/12

We hiked Dragon Cloud Mountain on a really clear day in early May, and got a few photos of the hills, cliffs, canyon, and Ghost House.

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the second ridge

Quarrymen’s Trail to the Heavenly Lake, 2013/05/11

We joined a Level 2+ hike with a Level 3+ hike to make it a Level 5 – that doesn’t quite add up, and by the end it felt like a Level 6 for sure. The weather was hot, but there was a nice breeze, and quite a lot of the trail took us through shaded forested areas. Click through to see the photos!

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group photo

Tengger Desert Lakes trip, 2013/05

For the May Day holiday we made a special trip to the Tengger Desert in Inner Mongolia, the fourth largest in China. We spent two days in the desert – hiking, driving in jeeps, and riding camels, with an overnight stay in tents by one of the desert lakes. Outside of the desert, we made time to visit the Western Xia Imperial Tombs, local museums and markets, and a stretch of old Ming Dynasty Great Wall.

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The lions

Pingyao Walled City trip, 2013/04

We went down to the ancient city of Pingyao in early April, leaving on Friday morning for a long weekend. While there, we explored the walls, streets, lanes and got a good look at the well-preserved architecture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

As well as walking within the walls of the city, we headed out into the nearby hills for a hike to the White Cloud Temple.

Click through to see photos from the trip, and Kay’s write up.

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Trip reports, photos, and news

Trip Reports: Photos and writeups of our trips around Beijing and other parts of China. View all the trip reports »

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Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/02

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall, 2016/07/02

In Brief: Ten photos of Great Wall, green hills, and blue skies, from our hike along the Switchback Great Wall.

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