Chuandixia Village lies about hours drive into the mountains West of Beijing. It is a small village of courtyard houses, which was located at an ancient trade route and served as a resting place for traders before they reached the Beijing markets. It was also one of the strongholds and hiding places for Mao's troops in the Anti-Japanese war. After 1949 the village fell into economical hibernation until it was "rediscovered" by photographers, painters and film crews in the 90s. It is a nice day trip into a beautiful mountain landscape. The roads are curvy and it needs a bit attention, as some drivers do risky maneuvers overtaking. But the location is easy to reach. We actually did it in a company outing, driving in a convoy of 6 vehicles.
At 7 in the morning, with humidity above 90 % and an outside temperature reading over 30 Degree Celsius in the morning and a thick layer of clouds above the city of Beijing, it was obvious there will be quite some rain coming down. But we sticked to our plan hiking up the Yun Meng Shan, which is about 85 km North of town. In this weather, every view looks like a Chinese painting. The same hike on a clear day, must have a completely different character. A good reason to come again and exactly take the same paths. It is a very nice route and you may download the GPS log here in gpx- or tcx-format.
We have been lucky with the weather in recent days and it is always a pleasure to make it out of Beijing on the weekend. For that you can hike from the Yunmeng Mountain up over a saddle North and then follow the crystal clear river through the canyon towards the reservoir. You will see some Watch Towers which have been built there "by accident" off the Great Wall in the Ming Dynasty (don't get me going!).
The trail is bushy and in some sections quite steep. There is only one village left, as all the others have been washed away by a flood about a decade ago. It is unlikely you don't see anybody in the remote places. I recommend to upload the exact log on to your GPS (gpx-format, tcx-format).
Unfortunately, I had to cancel this year's Easter egg hunt. I always thought that it would be a hide and seek game with the eggs. But now I learned that it is really called "egg hunt". Imagine the sound of horns in far, dogs running though the woods, horses, gunfire - and this time we are after eggs. Sounds a bit like Monty Phython to me. But anyway since I am in Beijing, the whole world sounds like Monty Phython. So why not that one also? Not sure, whether it is also a comedy, that North Korea declared yesterday to be in "state of war" with South Korea. Kim Jong Un, commonly known here as "Prince Fatty", is quite a clown though. Let's hope it is just another of his jokes, and we just don't get his humor.
Yesterday I had a nice walk with friends in the mountains West of the Great Nation's Capital. Still a bit overrun, because it is too easy to reach. But it was good to be above the smog for a while. Passed bye a honey farm. The peach trees are not blossoming yet, but was told that end of May the honey here is best. Not really organic. Amazing the bees don't die in the cocktail of smog and pesticides. Must be a special breed. Unrefined honey is said to be good for the immune system. These bees at least must have a "super immune system". So, this honey must be really good. I tried. It's sweet. And yes, it is unrefined. It really is.
If you like to go along the trails, you can download the GPS track by clicking here (in GPX-Format).