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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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take out the trash

Earth Day Clean Up Hike, 2013/04/21

For Earth Day 2013, we headed out to Dragon Cloud Mountain to clean up trash and litter left behind by careless visitors and messy film crews. The clean up crew did a great job – click through to see photos of them in action!

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It was a windy day

Yanqing Great Wall, 2013/04/13

Our Yanqing Great Wall hike follows a line of old and rough Great Wall near the border of Beijing and Hebei. The wall follows a ridgeline with great views – click through to see Jun’s photos.

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Incense Trail and Dajuesi Temple, 2013/04/10

The hiking trail took us through soon-to-be green hills and past wild peach blossoms, up and over a 1,000m high ridgeline and down to Dajue Temple, a historic imperial temple in Beijng’s West Hills. Along the way we took plenty of photos – click through to take a look!

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It was a windy day

Big Camp Plate Great Wall, 2012/04/11

Our Big Camp Plate Great Wall hike takes us over Beijing’s border and into the hills of Hebei Province. We walked a section of Great Wall that loops around the village of Big Camp Plate, and as we were walking through the village on the way back to the bus we were invited in for a look at one of the little houses – click through to see photos of the Great Wall, hikers, and what was cooking in the village house.

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A Buddhist shrine

Vulture Rock Park to Miaofeng Mountain, 2013/03/03

The Vulture Rock hike is one of our oldies, and we did it the tough way: a big climb up the paved trail to Phoenix Ridge, and then on to Miaofengshan. It was a clear day, and we got some good photos of hills, peaks, pine trees, and more.

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the first part of the Great Wall

Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village, 2013/02/23

Our Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village hike takes us up and down a stretch of steep Great Wall in Huairou District, climbing steep ridgelines out of and into valleys. On this visit we had clear weather, and the views were amazing!

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A Buddhist shrine

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall hike, 2013/03/20

We headed out to Huairou for a Great Wall hike the day after a heavy snowfall. We were a little unsure of what we’d find, but we it’s lucky we went – the views of a snow-covered Great Wall were amazing!

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the countryside

Tomb Raiders and the Sacred Way, 2013/03/13

We drove out to Changping District to do our Tomb Raiders hike, a trail in the hills behind the Ming Tombs in Changping. After the hike, we made a visit to the Sacred Way, the official entrance to the tombs.

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Our group photo

Tang Dynasty Dwellings and Yongning Town, 2013/03/02

On this trip we visited the valley where a Tang Dynasty leader and his followers created an inter-connected series of cave dwellings after fleeing from a coup The visit to the valley of the caves involves a short, easy walk that is suitable for children. Afterwards, we visited Yongning Town and took a look at its ancient tower and the old Catholic church there.

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Dashuhua performance

Yu County Fortresses and Walled Towns, 2013/02

During Chinese New Year we arranged two very special overnight trips to Yu County in Hebei Province, home to ancient pagodas, temples, pavilions, and large gates and plaques inside fortified walled towns that preserve traces of the Zhou, Liao, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. A most interesting trip! Click through to see the photos.

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Views of hills and mountains surrounding Longyunshan

Dragon Cloud Mountain, 2012/12/30

The hike to Longyunshan is a scenic but not too challenging hike in Miyun District. It allows us to get great views of the surrounding countryside, peaks, and valleys from the top of Dragon Cloud Mountain before we explore the beautiful White River valley below, which gives us a totally different perspective with views of the canyon floor.

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Beijing Hikers Jiuzhaigou, Huanglong

2012 Long Distance trips review: Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Gansu, and more

In 2012 we did more of our special long distance trips, visiting interesting and scenic locations outside of Beijing – some old favourites, some new trips. Click through to see a summary of where we went in 2012, with link to see extra photos and write ups!

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At the hot springs hotsl

Hike photos – Boxing Day Great Wall and Hot Springs, 2012/12/26

On Boxing Day we did a special hike: a climb on the snowy Great Wall, followed by a soak in the pool at a secluded hot springs hotel. Great hike, great meal, great soak, great photos – click through to see photos and a writeup!

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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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Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East, 2017/12/02

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East, 2017/12/02

In Brief: The Jinshanling Great Wall is open again, and we hiked through from Gubeikou to check it out—see 27 photos.

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