The Bashang Grasslands are a favourite spot for a weekend escape during the summer, far enough north from Beijing that the temperatures are sometimes 10°C cooler.
We head out a few times a year, arriving late on a Friday night and doing two half-days of hiking and other activities in the area before coming back to Beijing.
There are good hikes in the hills of the grasslands, and there's also the chance to hire horses for a wee bit of riding.
On this visit in 2015 the weather was perfect for hiking: cool, clear, and sunny.
Starting out on a hike
Following dirt trails through the rolling hills.
Following a trail up the valley.
We hiked up on to the ridge in the background.
Nice views up here.
Hiking up the ridge, heading for a high point.
Getting closer to the top.
We made the climb up to a rocky peak.
Up on top.
From the peak we walked around through ‘100 Flowers Valley’.
The clouds came over – looked like we might get wet, but no rain.
Hikers up on the ridge.
Back at the guesthouse, we arranged for some local musicians to perform for us.
They played some Mongolian folk songs.
Bikes for rent at our guesthouse.
The main course for dinner on Saturday.
Sunset over the grasslands.
We watched sunset from the roof of the guesthouse.
The evening ended with a bonfire.