I can’t say that I will miss this miserably long winter, and I’m chomping at the bit to head to the hills for a lovely weekend drive. So in spirit of our newly arrived warmer weather, I’d like to unearth a deeply hidden blog section and discuss my favorite Beijing daytrips. Two years ago I wrote about my favorite relaxing drives in Beijing, and here is one highlight from that popular post which is especially relevant right now, as the Pinggu peach fields will be exploding with color in a few weeks:
Drive #3: East along the Jingping Highway to marshlands, peach fields and mountains
Everyone knows the airport expressway that goes to the new terminal 3; if you keep going straight on that road instead of taking the terminal exit, you are now on the lovely, quiet Jingping highway (京平高速）. This lovely road breezes past field and then enters hills as it wraps east and then south towards Tianjin. Just past 6th ring is an exit for muyanlu (木燕路); take this northward about 10km to a huge sign on the left for the wetlands of Hanshiqiao（汉石桥水库）. This place has a very nice, large wetlands area which you can explore in a rented boat. You can also rent bikes along the paths and go quite far in back along lovely tree-lined streets along the canal. Plus, their on-site restaurant is surprisingly excellent as well as clean. It’s a very nice daytrip.
If you kept going east along Jingping, you could take an exit into Pinggu city; the entire area around the city is filled with orchards, mostly peaches, and it can be a lovely drive during spring’s blossoms. If you continue along Jingping through the hills and a couple tunnels, you’d pass the lovely Panshan mountain on your left side, one of my favorite mountains. Take the gondola all the way to the top and slowly hike your way down.
Also further up the road is the Hyatt Regency Jing Jin City Resort, a bizarrely huge and ornate hotel in the middle of fields. It’s also a very relaxing, quiet place to spend a weekend, and it’s only 80km from the city.
I’ve blogged about a host of fun Beijing road trips which you can read here:
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