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'The Piano Guys' scales the Great Wall for video shoot

Internet sensation, the Piano Guys are in China. The Utah-based group took some precious time off their Asian tour in Singapore and Malaysia to fulfil their China dream - shooting a music video on the Great Wall of China...

September 16, 2013
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Great Wall Forest Festival kicks off

The 2013 Yanqing Great Wall Forest Festival, the fourth edition of its kind, was held from August 24 to August 25 in the Tanglewood Music Valley at the foot of the Great Wall Badaling Section in Beijing's Yanqing County...

August 29, 2013
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Jet Team above the Great Wall

Aircraft of Breitling Jet Team, a famous European aerobatic team, perform above the Great Wall of the Jiayuguan Pass in northwest China's Gansu Province, Aug. 13, 2013...

August 16, 2013
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Unique section of the Great Wall draws in visitors

As people all know what the Great Wall looks like but did you know that some of it is built over water? The Jiumenkou section of the wall in Liaoning Province in North East China is famous for just that...

  August 09, 2013
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Rolling out nature's red carpet

Rolling out nature's red carpet

The beauty of fall is best displayed in Beijing's mountains, where foliage turns colorful with the change of weather. Luckily, the season is also when Beijing turns out blue skies most frequently.

The red leaves of the Fragrant Hills have become famous nationally, bringing many visitors to Beijing this time of year. That great reputation has also brought terrible traffic jams to the area. It is difficult for cars to even get close, and parking becomes impossible after 7am.

Actually, Beijing has many more - less crowded - spots to behold the colorful foliage than just the Fragrant Hills. Local media report Beijing has more than 20,000 hectares of foliage in its surrounding mountains, spanning 230 kilometers. Yellow or red smoke trees pervade, and maple. This show of colors starts from the mountains to the northwest, and spreads to the plains of the southeast.

Very close to Fragrant Hills, there is Badachu Park to the south, which has access to the same mountain range, with similar crimson views. Another choice not far from there is Baiwangshan Forest Park, just three kilometers north of Summer Palace.

But you don't even need to head for the mountains for a seasonal treat. Beijing's suburbs proffer the richest variety of local produce in the fall. Besides the more ordinary apples, pears, grapes, jujube and sweet melons, there is persimmon, hawthorn fruit, chestnuts, walnuts, mushrooms, and freerange chicken eggs. You can enjoy hiking and sight-seeing, picking fruit along the way at local fruit gardens. There are plenty of inns to stay for the night, too.

At Fragrant Hills, red leaves appear from late October to early November. In more distant mountain areas, where weather is colder than in Beijing, colorful foliage starts as early as late September and lasts till the end of October, depending on weather. The rule of thumb - 10 fall days where the temperature drops 10 degrees between day and night means the leaves will turn red. A day or two in the outskirts, with its beautiful colored landscape, will certainly provide a relaxing break from city life.

Badaling National Forest Park

Located beside Badaling Great Wall, spanning 65 hectares, there are more than 50,000 yellow smoke trees. The draw is the Great Wall adorned with red and golden leaves. The color has turned already as the area is 5 degrees cooler than in the city. Badaling Expressway-Shuiguan Great Wall exit. One hour from Beijing.

Baiwangshan Forest Park

This is the nearest forest park to Beijing. Peak is 210 meters above sea level. Park covers more than 133 hectares. Three kilometers north of Summer Palace. 30min from Beijing.

Jiufeng National Forest Park

The park is located northwest of Haidian District, 18 kilometers from Summer Palace. There is an ancient path winding its way to the peak, surrounded with red foliage such as red maple and sawtooth oak. The famous Dajue Temple, with a 1000-year-old ginkgo, is at the foot of the mountain. 45min from Beijing.

Miaofengshan Mountain

Located to the northeast of Mentougou District west of Beijing, there are persimmon and hawthorn fruits in the area. Red leave trees include maple, yellow smoke trees, and persimmon. One hour from Beijing.

Yunmengshan Mountain

Dubbed "small Yellow Mountain," it is located between Miyun and Huairou. The mountains are deep, foliage of great variety. 80 kilometers from Beijing. 90 minutes.
Other places to see red leaves include areas near Miyun Reservior in Miyun District, Hongluoshan Mountain north of Huairou District, Beigong Forest Park located in Changxindian Township of Fengtai, Jinhaihu lake east of Pinggu District, Labagoumen north of Huairou, Mangshan National Forest Park east of the dam of Ming Tombs Reservoir in Changping, and Shangfangshan National Forest Park in Fangshan District.

By Ye Jun (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-10-19 09:18
(China Daily 10/17/2007 page14)

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