A quick look out the window at the smog outside and you'll be forgiven for wondering if Beijing has anything going for it in terms of beauty. Surprisingly enough however, there are plenty of scenic spots suitable for camping in Beijing – or the city's outskirts to be more specific. You'll be impressed at the stunning natural beauty and the surprising serenity that can be found just a few kilometers outside China's capital. So without further ado, here's our guide to the five best spots for camping in Beijing!
The rolling hills that surround the Chinese capital are pretty impressive and are worth checking out if you have a day or two to spare. One of these areas is the Lingshan Mountain Scenic Area ( 灵山风景区 ), which features a peak of over 2,300 meters making it the highest mountain in Beijing. Apart from the obvious good views and the cleaner air, Lingshan features ancient beacon towers, natural springs, as well as lots of beautiful flora to feast your eyes on. The area also caters for partygoers – there's a KTV, a dance hall, and even a small bar for you to kick your feet up and enjoy a beer or six. The summit of the mountain is a plane of grass where foreigners are permitted to set up camp for the night.
It can get pretty windy and chilly up there, so make sure you bring a good strong tent that can protect you against the elements.
As the altitude is pretty high, temperatures can get chilly even during the summer months, so make sure you bring a sweater with you. Also, be prepared for rain – it never hurts to pack an umbrella and waterproofs just in case.
Watch for snakes! Seriously, snakes have been known to pop out from the grass so watch your step.
Be wary of any strange looking mushrooms regardless of what properties you may think they have…the last thing you want is an upset stomach halfway up the mountain!
Add: Northeast Qingshui Town, Mentougou District, Beijing
Opening hours: 24 hours a day
Price: 45 RMB
Getting there: take subway line 1 to Pingguo Yuan Station ( 苹果园站 ), then take bus 929 ( 支线 ) to Shuangtangjiang Station ( 双塘涧站 ), then take a taxi. If you're driving up there, it takes about three hours to reach.