Rural Beijing is in Beijing and consists of the administrative districts Yanqing County (延庆县; Yánqìngxiàn), Huairou District (怀柔区; Huáiróuqū), Miyun County (密云县; Mìyúnxiàn) and Pinggu District (平谷区; Pínggǔqū).
- 1 Hongluo Temple (红螺寺; Hóngluósì), Hongluo Street, Huairou District (怀柔区红螺路; Huáiróuqū Hóngluólù) (Take bus 867 from Dongzhimen Station. The bus leaves once an hour and the ride takes two hours so plan accordingly). This is the largest Buddhist temple in northern China and was built in 378. The temple has been quite important for centuries and has functioned both as temple and monastery. It is beautifully located next to the Hongluo Mountains, which you can climb or reach by cable car. The temple grounds are big, covering almost 800 hectares. You can easily spend a whole day touring the three main scenic areas - The Hongluo Temple, Guanyin Temple and the Five Hundred Arhat Garden. They also have an alpine slide for a little fun in getting down from the higher temple areas. ¥30.
- 2 Badaling Wild World (八达岭野生动物园; Bādálǐng Yěshēngdòngwùyuán), South of Badaling Great Wall, Yanging County (延庆县八达岭长城南; Yánqìngxiàn Bādálǐngchángchéngnán) (Bus 919 from Deshenmen east of Jishuitan Metro Station (line 2), or train S2 from Xizhimen Train Station), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Summer 8AM-5PM; winter 10AM-3PM. Large wild animals like tigers, lions, bears and wolfs can be seen in this park from own car or park buses. Here is much better chance of seeing natural animal behaviour than in the zoo. ¥90.
- 3 Longqingxia. This reservoir began construction on October 1973 and was completed in 1981, when agricultural irrigation and power generation began. Cruise tickets are available for ¥60/person that take in sights along the water including Coronet Island, a small mountain surrounded by water, and the mountain Zhongshan which looks like a big clock in the water from every angle. Another available activity is downhill rope sliding for ¥50/person, where climbers use ropes to descend in a location between two cliffs with blue sky above and clear water below during the five minute descent.
Climb the Great Wall
See Great Wall for general information on the Great Wall including transportation options for getting to the Beijing sections listed below.
- 1 Badaling Great Wall (八达岭 Bādálǐng). The most popular section to see the Great Wall because of extensive, quality renovations. However, very crowded with other tourists. Give yourself about 2 hours to climb up the wall if you're a slow climber, an hour or less if you're speedier. Tickets to climb the wall are around ¥40, with discounts available for the young and the disabled.
- 2 Mutianyu Great Wall (慕田峪 Mùtiányù). Summer: 6:30AM to 6:30PM, Winter: 7:30AM to 5PM. A lot less crowded than the Badaling section and just as well restored. The hike is longer compared to Badling at 3 hours. Unless you want to avoid the more difficult hike, choose Mutianyu over Badaling for your introduction to the Great Wall. There is also a toboggan ride (¥55) and cablecars (¥35 single, ¥50 return). ¥41 for entrance to the wall.
- [dead link] Goose'N'Duck Ranch (怀柔县怀柔北宅; éhéyāzhuāng), 怀柔县怀柔北宅; Huáiróuxiàn Huáiróuběizhái, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ranch with activities including go-kart racing, horseback riding, archery, paintball, both outdoor and indoor swimming pool, bowling, table tennis and party games. One day package including food, bevarage and internal transporting ¥260; Two day package including food, bevarage, internal transportation and accommodation ¥600.
- [formerly dead link] Caribbean Lagoon Waterpark (加勒比海浪水上乐园; Jiālèbǐhǎilàng Shuǐshànglèyuán), 118 Quanshuitou, Yanxi Town, Huairou District (怀柔区雁栖镇泉水头118号; Huáiróuqū Yànqīzhèn Quánshuǐtóu) (Take the train from Beijing North Railway Station next to Xizhimen Metro Station, get off at Huairou North Station and take an unofficial taxi the last couple of km), ☎ , , , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. 10AM-4PM. Large Caribbean themed water theme park with waterslides, wave pool, lazy river pool and island. Mediocre Chinese restaurants available but good picnic areas if you bring your own food. ¥120.
- The Roadhouse at Mutianyu, 12 Mutianyu Village, Huairou District (one hour from downtown Beijing), ☎ . Open March-November, Weekends and Holidays 11AM-3PM and by prior appointment. A revamp of one of the earliest restaurants to be established in the Mutianyu Great Wall area. Surrounded by orchards and country farmland, The Roadhouse is oriented to provide sweeping views of the Great Wall as it stretches along the mountain ridgelines to the North and East. Fresh country-style Chinese food and trout netted from the pond with an unrivaled view of the Great Wall.
- Xiaolumian, Yingbeigou Village, Huairou District (one hour from downtown Beijing), ☎ . Open March-November, Weekends and Holidays 12AM-4PM and by prior appointment. A rustic farmhouse tucked into a valley next to the Great Wall. Xiaolumian is really a trip back in time and a taste of village life. Serving only local handmade noodles, soups and sauces from locally grown materials, the menu is as authentic as the setting itself. Eat lunch in a private room while sitting on the Kang surrounded by antique furniture and textiles, or enjoy special roasted barley tea on the slate terrace in the small orchard.
- The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu, 12 Mutianyu Village, Huairou District (one hour from downtown Beijing), ☎ . Open 10AM-9PM. Located in a renovated schoolhouse at the base of the Great Wall. The Schoolhouse hosts a Western restaurant, an art glass studio and an art room. Part of a sustainable tourism effort, The Schoolhouse is staffed by local workers, and has a charming simple atmosphere. The food is Western homemade style based on fresh and local organic ingredients where possible. Menu items are sometimes simple, sometimes gourmet. Lunch, coffee, homemade ice cream, and a spectacular view make The Schoolhouse worth a visit if you find yourself at The Mutianyu Great Wall.
- [formerly dead link] Village View Resort (北京乡景度假村; Běijīng Xiāngjǐng Dùjiàcūn), East of Quanshuitou Village, Yanqi Town, Huairou District (怀柔区雁栖镇泉水头村东; Huáiróuqū Yànqīzhèn Quánshuǐtóucūn Dōng) (Take the train from Beijing North Railway Station next to Xizhimen Metro Station, get off at Huairou North Station () and take an unofficial taxi the last couple of km), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Beautifully located hotel close to lakes and mountains. The rooms are not very large and has internet access against surcharge. Business centre, disco, karaoke, children's playground, billiard, tanæe tennins, tennis and basketball available. Chinese and Western restaurants as well as coffee shop, bar and room service. Listed rates for doubles from ¥770, discounted from ¥508, breakfast ¥38-180.
- China Countryside Hotels (The Schoolhouse Rental Homes), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Eleven guest houses in a real working village under Mutianyu Great Wall. Each house originated as a peasant dwelling and has its own special story and features. All guest houses offer a quiet retreat from the city with fresh air and breathtaking views combined with modern amenities. 3 Green Stars from Eco Hotels of the World. ¥1800-5000.
- Commune by the Great Wall Kempinski Beijing. 11 villas designed by top Asian architects and design firms, all of which have butlers. For those with money to splurge!