The Western and Southern Suburbs of Beijing consist of the administrative districts of Mentougou District (门头沟区; Méntóugōuqū), Fangshan District (房山区; Fángshānqū) and Daxing District (大兴区; Dàxīngqū).
Public transport service from central Beijing to Mentougou is mainly based on buses, many of them starting from Pingguoyuan (western final stop of subway line 1). Buses 336 and 931 run from Pingguoyuan (苹果园 píngguǒyuán) to Hetan (河滩 hétān) in Mentougou District. From there bus lines to most places of interest in the area can be taken. However, for trips from Beijing city, renting a taxi for a day might be easier and less time intensive. A Suburban Railway Line to Mentougou is in planning.
The Beijing Subway has 3 lines that pass through Daxing District. The Daxing Airport Express connects the Daxing International Airport to the rest of the Beijing Subway. The Daxing Line of the Beijing Subway is an extension of Line 4 from Fengtai District and serves 10 stations along Daxing District.
- 1 Tanzhe Temple (潭柘寺 tánzhèsì) (take bus 931 from Pingguoyuan subway station (Line 1) to Tanzhesi bus stop). Buddhist temple dating back as far as the Western Jin Dynasty (more than 1600 years ago). It is one of the oldest and largest temples in Beijing. The site is especially beautiful to visit in April when the surrounding Magnolia trees are in full bloom. ¥55 (students and seniors ¥30).
- 2 Jietai Temple (戒台寺 jiètáisì) (take bus 931 from Pingguoyuan subway station (Line 1) to Jietaisi bus stop), ☏ . 08:09-17:30. Though not as popular and well-visited as Tanzhe Temple, this smaller Buddhist temple is definitely worth a visit. It was originally built about 1400 years ago, but its most famous features have been added later during Ming and Qing dynasties. A special attraction of this site are the huge pine trees, some of them being hundreds of years old. ¥45 (students and seniors ¥22).
- 3 Mt. Lingshan Scenic Resort (灵山自然风景区 Língshān zìrán fēngjǐng qū). With 2300 meters in height, Mt. Lingshan is the highest mountain in Beijing.
- 4 Cuandixia (爨底下) (Take the subway to Pingguoyuan in West Beijing. (About 1 hour from east Beijing. ¥2). Then take the public bus to Cuandixia. (about 2:20 hours. ¥13-18). There is a direct bus leaving from Pingguoyuan at 12:40, and one in early morning. If you can't catch the direct bus take the bus to Zhaitang, and take a private taxi to Cuandixia. The bus number is 929支, but be aware there are many buses with this number driving to many different places, so ask the bus driver if he drives to Cuandixia, or Zhaitang). A beautiful ancient mountain village. It is very small, only around 70 traditional court yards. It is renovated nicely and seems rather authentic. Go in the weekdays if you want peace and quiet. In the summer months the climate is nicer than in Beijing because of the cooler mountain air. In the winter it could be cold, but the beds are heated, so it is still possible to go. Do at least an overnight trip or you will spend most of your time in the bus and not have time to enjoy the peace in the beautiful village. You can easily spend one day in the village walking around on the mountain paths. You can spend the next day or two visiting and staying in the nearby village Baiyu and more ancient villages and scenic spots a little further away. It costs ¥30 for tourists to enter the Cuandixia area.
- 5 Baiyu. A village with 100-200 traditional court yards. Baiyu is still rather unexplored, but it has plenty of guesthouses to sleep and eat in. Quality is good, prices low, the scenery is beautiful and the people friendly. Baiyu is about 6 km from the more well known ancient mountain village Cuandixia, so combining a visit to both places is a good idea. It costs ¥30 for tourists to enter the Cuandixia area.
The convention name of each town in Fangshan district does not match with the administrative name. Make sure where you go before telling the taxi driver.
- 1 Liangxiang ("Fangshan District" 良乡——“房山区”)
- 2 Lucun, Guandao ("Liangxiang Town" 官道鲁村——“良乡镇”)
- 3 Fangshan ("Chengguan Subdistrict" 房山城关)
- 4 Yanshan (燕山片区)
- 6 Peking Man Site, Zhoukoudian (50 km southwest of the city center, take bus 917 at Tianqiao Bus Terminus and then another bus to Zhoukoudian Town). A UNESCO World Heritage Site and landmark site in paleoanthropology. The site is comprised of the caves of the Peking Man evacuation and a nearby museum containing plaster casts of the recovered skulls, mandibles, facial bones, limbs, and teeth. Peking Man is actually a collection of fossils of around 40 individuals of the species Homo erectus, dated from 770,000 to 230,000 years ago. The Peking Man fossils stored in Beijing disappeared in 1941 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The missing fossils are one of the "long-standing mysteries in the history of human evolution."
- 1 Shidu Bamboo Rafting and Scenic Spots (Ten ferry crossings). Nicknamed "Lesser Guilin". You may be interested if you've never been to Guilin, Ha Long Bay, or Vang Vieng, all in the far south. Free unless you rent a bamboo raft or visit a scenery spot.
- 7 6du (6th ferry crossing) Gushanzhai (孤山寨). ¥75.
- 8 7du (7th ferry crossing) Huaguoshan (花果山). ¥40.
- 9 9du (9th ferry crossing) Juma Leyuan (拒马乐园). Free unless you use a special service: gondola ¥60/round journey; bungee ¥200; bamboo raft ¥60/(hour*3 people); etc. as of 2013.
- 10 11du (11th ferry crossing) Tianchishan (天池山) (11du at Qiantougang Village). Free?.
- 11 15du (15th ferry crossing) Donghugang (东湖港), 15du. ¥95.
- 12 15du (15th ferry crossing) Xihugang-Qitanxiagu (西湖港奇潭峡谷风景区), 15du~18du. ¥50.
- 13 Mt. Shangfang National Forest Park (上方山国家森林公园 shàngfāngshān guójiā sēnlíngōngyuán). 08:00-20:00. With an area covering more than 300 hectares, this is the biggest National Forest Park in North China. There are nine caves, 12 peaks and 72 temples to discover in this park. The most famous are:
- 14 Cloud and Water Cave (云水洞 yúnshuǐdòng). Beautiful 613 meters long carst cave, featuring the highest (37 meters) stalagmite in China. ¥40.
- Tianzhu Peak (天柱峰 tiānzhùfēng).
- Yunju Temple (云居寺 yúnjūsì).
- Pofengling, Zhoukoudian. The mountain is one of the nicest scenic spots in Beijing for autumn colors.For a brief flickering moment the mountain side turns completely red. But expect the leaves to be gone within 1 week. Ideal time to enjoy the "Red Leaves Hill" is around the first week of November. ¥50.
- 15 Liulihe Site: Museum of Xizhou Yandu Site. Capital of Beijing until the 7th century BC. Part of the Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level.
- 16 Doudian Mosque (Doudian New Mosque). The largest mosque in Beijing. It was built in 1713 in Chinese style. It was rebuilt in 2002 and 2011 into an large Arabic-style mosque.
- 17 Doudian Site, Middle Capital of Yan (Lucun Site). One of the three capitals after the Liulihe Site, built before 279 BC, used until Han dynasty. Part of the Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the City Level. Not recommended for general tourists.
- 18 Site of tombs of Jin dynasty (金陵遗址). Part of the Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level.
- 19 Site of Christian (Nestorian) Monastery/Church (十字寺遗址). First Christian Church in Beijing, part of the Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level.
- 20 Shihuadong Solutional Cave (Fangshan Geological Park) (see WGS84 GPS address).
- China Printing Museum (中国印刷博物馆 Zhōngguó yìnshuā bówùguǎn), 25 North Xinghua Road, Huangcun Town,黄村兴华北路25号. 08:30-16:30. ¥20 (students half price).
- Youth Holiday Hotel (北京青年假日酒店; Běijīngqīngniánjiàrìjiǔdiàn), 6 South Guiyuan Road, Daxing District (大兴区圆南路6号; Dàxīngqū Yuánnánlù (just outside the southeast part of Ring Road Five), ☏ , fax: . Rooms with free internet and purified water. Business center, gift shop, beauty salon, ticket office, laundry service, karaoke, fitness facilities, and massage available. Chinese restaurant and room service. Lister rates for doubles from ¥238, discounted from ¥190; breakfast ¥10.
- Yucaotang Inn (Baiyu, in a small lane a bit up in the village). Owned and run by an elderly friendly couple cooking great local meals. ¥30 for 2 people in one room. June 2009.
- Nyingma Guesthouse, 14 Shengde Lu. (Baiyu). OK twin-bed rooms for ¥40. 25 January 2008.