Great Dragon Gorge – a day trip
Qinglong Gorge is about ninety kms north west of Beijing, and takes about an hour and a half by car. A group of us hired a bus and driver one day and left early one Sunday morning.
Qinglong Gorge is a spectacular place to visit. It has verdant mountains, crystal-clear water and part of the ancient Great Wall of China. The scenic area has an area of 150 hectares and is divided into southern and northern parts by a reservoir and dam.
At the Wall we were immediately confronted by pretty young Chinese girls ready for a day of walking with four inch stilettos. I, of course, wore sensible walking shoes ready for a day of walking up and down steps and throughout the Gorge area.
A little further on, after payment of a small entrance fee, we saw a vast body of deep green water that curves around between a pair of mountains which when viewed from a height (seen when we took the cable car) resembles a typical Chinese dragon; hence the Gorge’s name. The impressive dam separates the whole area. On one side of the dam we saw people crossing the gorge on a zip-line and listened to others screaming whilst bunjy jumping.
Qing Long Xia’s temperature is about seven degrees cooler than Beijing, and although I didn’t think this was the case on our visit in August 2012, a lovely breeze made for a great day out especially with the much sought after blue skies.
We took the cable car to the top of the mountains which for me being a little scared of heights, was frightening, but the views on the way up were spectacular and upon arrival at the tope we were able to walk up to one of the Great Wall’s watch towers – so definitely worth the anxiety.
After an ice cream stop at a local store at the top of the mountain, having made a decision not to eat the ‘delicious’ looking hot dogs that were sitting (perhaps for days/weeks) in the glass container, we proceeded back down the mountain in the cable car where we unpacked our picnic and sat on the benches alongside the lake. We had brought home made sandwiches, vanilla pound cake, chocolate biscuits and chips. Some friends brought some frozen mars bars and in the heat they were quickly devoured.
After a full day out, we hopped back on our bus and drove back to the smog and polluted skies of Beijing (a place I secretly do love). Views from my apartment and surrounding area, both in summer and winter are so different but equally lovely.