Longqing Gorge: Beat the summer heat at Beijing's answer to Yangshuo

Culture | by Aimee Groom
Posted: July 23rd, 2010 | Updated: October 24th, 2012 | Comments
Long Qing Gorge Beijing

If you're up in Beijing and melting from the heat, Longqing Gorge makes for a great day-escape with temperatures a cool average 6°C lower than in the city. Known as the Little Three Gorges, the 119-square kilometer area is filled with, well,  simply gorgeous scenery. The winding rivers, green forests and soaring cliffs  are reminiscent of Yangshuo (hence its other nickname, the "Little Li River") but it 's only an hour outside of the capital.

It's easily manageable in one day; in fact it's only a little bit further north from the Great Wall at Badaling. From the entrance, you'll head up the gorge to see the waterfall at the 70-meter high dam, which features stunning panoramic views from up top. Then enjoy one of the many boat trips (RMB 60) up and down the river that stop at various scenic spots, temples and caves along the way (takes about 3hrs). One of the more novel ways to enjoy the view is from the 50-meter high bungee platform—right before you plunge into the gorge below.... But don't worry, according to Time Out Beijing:
it feels safe – signs clearly state that all equipment was imported from abroad, and the staff are professional (though they’ll push if you don’t jump after a count of three).
Well, if it feels safe, then it must be safe! Good enough for us. In addition to bungee jumping,  rock-climbing, ziplines and a toboggan run are all available for the adventurous.  And if you've left your nerves of steel at home that day, no worries--you can just take it easy and enjoy the peaceful and picturesque atmosphere. There are a few restaurants scattered about about but to make the most of the open air and far from the city feel, pack yourself a picnic, find yourself a secluded spot and just enjoy the great outdoors. Equally lovely in winter time, Longqing Gorge also hosts an annual Ice and Snow Festival (January 15 to February 29), displaying beautifully lit ice lanterns and sculptures along with a frozen waterfall. The picture here comes courtesy of Beijing-based Longqing Gorge earlier this month. To check out some more of his images from that trip and others, take a look at his blog or flickr pages. Quick links for further information on: Travel to Longqing Gorge | Beijing flightsBeijing hotels | Beijing tours and activities
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