Native Beijingers have a saying: “spring has a short neck”. Spring in north China is always gone too soon. It is a period of transition from the freezing winter to the boiling hot summer. Most of the time the temperature is unstable; you might feel the winter chill in the morning today, while tomorrow it could be as hot as early summer. So, Beijing residents try to make the most of spring during March and April each year.
A list of 10 places to experience the “sea of flowers” in the suburbs of Beijing has been popular on the Chinese Internet recently. Netizens call them “the best places to embody Beijing’s spring charm.”
Here they are:
The Great Wall at Zhuangdaokou, Huairou District
Every spring, pear, apricot and peach trees planted by local villagers blossom in succession, while the wild varieties of apricot and mountain peach trees also begin to flower at the same time. The winding Great Wall, standing still in its majesty, is surrounded by all these brightly-colored mountain flowers. Picturesque!
Huatai Scenic Spot, Puwaxiang East Village, Fangshan District
On both sides of the China National Highway 108 there are terraced fields with beautiful lines along the way. A large area of apricot blossom is dotted on layers of the terraces from Puwaxiang East Village to Luzishui Village. Driving the whole route, you to feel totally immersed in the sea of the flowers.
Pofengling Scenic Spot, Fangshan District
Pofengling is a hill that is covered with red leaves during autumn, which is why it remains a favourite for an autumn outing among Beijing residents. In the springtime vivid flowers still blossom on the hill. The people who live in the stone huts on the mountain may well dream of this lovely season of Spring.
Jiufeng National Forest Park, Haidian District
For those who are not sport fans but can’t wait to see the flowers, Jiufeng is a must in spring. Starting from Chinese New Year, wintersweet, peach and apricot trees come into full bloom successively. This flowery environment might just let you feel that there is romance in the air.
Liushilu, Fangshan District
As this winding road twists and turns through the landscape, flowers and trees on both sides of the road sway in the wind. There are also some viewing platforms alongside the road so you can take photos.
Taohuahai, Pinggu District
It seems as though the whole of Pinggu District is submerged in the endless peach blossom! Jinhai Lake and a small hill called Xiaojinshan are covered in peach flowers. Afterwards, you can go to Jinhai Lake to go fishing or have a barbeque. It’s worth the journey, not only for sightseeing, but also for filling your stomach.
Fenghuangling Nature Park, Haidian District
Although the flowering phase of the apricot blossom, covering more than 600 mu or 40 hectares in Fenghuangling, is just one week long, the park offers a dozen different routes to allow visitors to appreciate the beauty of the park from different angles.
Jietai Temple, Mentougou District
This scenic spot was formerly used by the royal family for spring outings during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). A variety of flowers can be found here, namely; clove, peony, Chinese herbaceous peony and weigela. It is worth mentioning that more than 20 strains of 200-year-old clove given by the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799) are still full of life.
Juyongguan Section of Great Wall, Changping District
If you take a spring outing to go to Badaling Great Wall by train, you will pass by the Juyongguan Section where full-blown apricot blossoms and mountain peach flowers are certainly eye-catching. The moment when the train passes by Juyongguan, the breathtaking scenery will make you feel as if time stands still.
Water Great Wall at Huanghuacheng, Huairou District
The Great Wall at Huanghuacheng is surrounded by mountains with verdant vegetation, lots of flowers, and other seasonal beauty. The Huanghuacheng wall is divided by reservoirs, and some parts are even immersed in the water, which makes it very unique, distinguishing it from other sections of the Great Wall. Set against the backdrop of Haoming Lake, the Huanghuacheng wall adds infinite beauty and tenderness, reflecting another side of the mighty Great Wall.