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Newer Page 249 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
China Beijing Fragrant Hills Hiking

18 April 2018

The bee filled mountain of many amenities

Exploring the fragrant hills by public transport

Another day, another opportunity to spend many hours walking around in the glorious pollution haze.
Despite the air quality index suggesting the pollution levels are not too bad, visibility is terrible. Perhaps this means it is sand and not what is generally considered health damaging small particle pollution.

Because there would be no chance for a decent view of anything, I decided to head to a small set of mountains north west of the city famous for their spectacular views of all of Beijing!
These mountains are called the fragrant hills, and there is now a train of sorts that takes you all the way there.
The subway gets you 90% of the way there with efficient speed, but then you transfer to a new tram, and honestly, I could jog quicker. I really did consider getting off and jogging. This tram amazingly crosses over roads, the traffic is expected to stop for it, in China! Now obviously that would never happen, so instead at each of the level crossings, the tram stops, blows its horn, and wakes up a little man in a little booth. He then comes out and attempts to stop traffic, eventually after he is nearly killed 5 times, he stretches a ribbon across the road and the tram progresses, slowly.
It does look like they are improving this, perhaps with boom gates, the line is brand new and there is still a great deal of construction.

The tram also goes past the Beijing botanical gardens, these looked really good, and enormous, the vast majority of people got off at that stop, and I could see inside that everyone had tripods and huge cameras for blossom appreciation. It is slightly different to Japan, in China it is all about you being in the photo with the blossoms. Girls were busy applying make up and accessories and setting self timers on huge cameras for the perfect banned in China instagram photo.
I could observe all of this in detail because of how slow the tram was!

China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Here is the entrance to the fragrant hills park, it has an entrance fee of about $3. In a communist country everything must have an entrance fee other

Here is the entrance to the fragrant hills park, it has an entrance fee of about $3. In a communist country everything must have an entrance fee otherwise the people will over use it.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Inside the gate is the first of many temples. They were all great and the gardens and stone work were very high quality, sparkling clean. The photos w

Inside the gate is the first of many temples. They were all great and the gardens and stone work were very high quality, sparkling clean. The photos will be ruined by the smog.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - This is what China calls a hiking path. Everywhere was this quality of path, even paths where I saw no one for hours which I assume are never used. Th

This is what China calls a hiking path. Everywhere was this quality of path, even paths where I saw no one for hours which I assume are never used. The majority of people take one of 2 cable cars up, but there were still a few people walking the main route to the top.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - The title of todays post says many amenities. There were bins everywhere, countless public toilets, and no rubbish anywhere. I read a review that talk

The title of todays post says many amenities. There were bins everywhere, countless public toilets, and no rubbish anywhere. I read a review that talked about wading through waist high piles of garbage, I saw nothing at all. Did I go to a different park?


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - A bit more path, despite being a very over engineered hiking experience, it was still very enjoyable. I was surprised it was as hard as it was, steep

A bit more path, despite being a very over engineered hiking experience, it was still very enjoyable. I was surprised it was as hard as it was, steep in places, long stair cases, people doubled over sweating gallons of hot water.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - A view across to another peak. I walked all along the top to this peak in the distance. The park has a mini great wall all the way around it with razo

A view across to another peak. I walked all along the top to this peak in the distance. The park has a mini great wall all the way around it with razor wire on top to discourage locals from cheating on the entrance fee. I did read that some local un-harmonious citizens offer a ladder service for a discount rate of $1


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Here we have the Chinese girl hiking outfit. Its about 30 degrees celsius today. That means you need a full long sleeve, long pants plastic shiny pink

Here we have the Chinese girl hiking outfit. Its about 30 degrees celsius today. That means you need a full long sleeve, long pants plastic shiny pink track suit. Useless little bag, furry toys attached to useless bag, multiple cell phones, useless crap hanging off the cell phone, inappropriate shoes.
They are also both wearing headbands with plastic flowers glued onto them which I saw an old lady selling by the entrance. You might be wondering why there are no headphones to complete the ensemble, dont worry, one of them is streaming Korean pop music on her phones loudspeaker.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Here is the 'view', squint and you might be able to see the cable car.

Here is the 'view', squint and you might be able to see the cable car.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Have a bit more view, featuring blossoms.

Have a bit more view, featuring blossoms.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - It only took about an hour to reach the summit snack bar temple, but I enjoyed it a lot. The summit area wasnt even crowded today, probably because mo

It only took about an hour to reach the summit snack bar temple, but I enjoyed it a lot. The summit area wasnt even crowded today, probably because most people would only bother spending the money for the cable car on a clearer day.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Summit view.

Summit view.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - View of angry psychopath.

View of angry psychopath.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Here we have the summit rock marker, and a large citizen monitoring camera tower to make sure everyone behaves in a harmonious manner. Swearing will g

Here we have the summit rock marker, and a large citizen monitoring camera tower to make sure everyone behaves in a harmonious manner. Swearing will get you 3 points on your license, littering 5, 20 points and you cant fly anymore, 50 points and you cant buy train tickets. Chinese facial recognition artificial intelligence technology is next level. There was a news story the other day about a camera locating a wanted man in a stadium with 30,000 people, they were not looking for him there specifically, its just that the cameras are scanning everyone, all the time.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - The view over the back of the mountain. There seemed to be paths and temples and pagodas everywhere the eye could kind of see if you squinted and inve

The view over the back of the mountain. There seemed to be paths and temples and pagodas everywhere the eye could kind of see if you squinted and invented things in the distance.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Incense Bumer, sea ievei, enshrouding the perk. I think enshrouding the perk is my favorite.

Incense Bumer, sea ievei, enshrouding the perk. I think enshrouding the perk is my favorite.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - I keep mentioning snack bars inside temples. here is the inside of the summit temple. I think this is great, Japan should do this! Instead they mount

I keep mentioning snack bars inside temples. here is the inside of the summit temple. I think this is great, Japan should do this! Instead they mount neon lit vending machines to the side of their temples.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - More attempted view of cable car.

More attempted view of cable car.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Beijing, and a listening monitoring station. These dishes were everywhere!

Beijing, and a listening monitoring station. These dishes were everywhere!


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Now we get to the surprise brand new awesome temple. It really was brand spanking new, not even on the map. It was also awesome.

Now we get to the surprise brand new awesome temple. It really was brand spanking new, not even on the map. It was also awesome.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - It was also 'free' as in, included in the park entry price, with a giant curving stair case to the top. I was excited.

It was also 'free' as in, included in the park entry price, with a giant curving stair case to the top. I was excited.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Some of the view from the top, this was all well hidden because it is built on an extreme slope, I had no idea it was here until I stumbled onto the t

Some of the view from the top, this was all well hidden because it is built on an extreme slope, I had no idea it was here until I stumbled onto the top of it. It is impossible to photograph the full compound from the top or the bottom due to how steep it is.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - One last temple shot, or so I thought.

One last temple shot, or so I thought.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Here are some local thugs forced to do community service gardening.

Here are some local thugs forced to do community service gardening.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - On my way in, it cost money to go into this temple. But I must have descended down a path that sent me into the back of it without knowing for free. N

On my way in, it cost money to go into this temple. But I must have descended down a path that sent me into the back of it without knowing for free. Nice trees, nice bridge.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - The street back to the super slow tram was also quite nice, lots of little shops and cafes. It will look a lot nicer once the leaves return to the tre

The street back to the super slow tram was also quite nice, lots of little shops and cafes. It will look a lot nicer once the leaves return to the trees properly.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - Back in town now, and if you live in a big Australian city and go to where the Chinese people live, you will have seen these karaoke booths. Here is a

Back in town now, and if you live in a big Australian city and go to where the Chinese people live, you will have seen these karaoke booths. Here is an entire store filled with them. I paid my money and sung the milkshake song by kellis, not too many words to remember.


China-Beijing-Fragrant Hills-Hiking - And here is my very late lunch, Sandwich and salad. It was very good, the balsamic dipping sauce thing was excellent.

And here is my very late lunch, Sandwich and salad. It was very good, the balsamic dipping sauce thing was excellent.


The fragrant hills are well worth the visit, especially if you want some exercise, but dont want to get lost. It is easy to get to on public transport and cheap to enter. You dont need to remember to bring supplies of any kinds and it is chock full of high quality amenities. The main danger was bees. There were millions of them. The bigger slower louder kind. A few times I ran away screaming like a 10 year old girl trying to escape a deadly swarm of bees. If you ever hear that Chinese pollution has killed off the bees, tell them they are wrong, its breeding millions of the terrifying little bastards.
Also this is a new feature, more text under the pictures. My new page format I re invented yet again allows me to place additional elements such as this anywhere. I have some other new features I am yet to use yet, are you excited for what they might be???

NewerPage 249 of 968OlderFull Trip Report