Escaping the heat of the “Autumn Tiger”, the Chinese equivalent of an Indian summer? Check out the natural and man-made wonders 85km north of the Chinese Capital
1. Ride the dragon escalator. Upon entering the gates of the magnificent Longqing Gorge, which is 85km north of Beijing, you’ll see a massive yellow dragon stretched out. Venture into its head and you’ll find yourself stepping aboard the world’s longest outdoor escalator (258m). Scared of heights? Fear not — you’ll be safe going through the dragon’s body!
2. Try bungee jumping. Work your way up the mountain by following the demarcated steps or hopping on a cable car. The bird’s-eye view of the karst landscape from the summit is simply breathtaking. For adrenaline junkies, there’s a 48m bungee jump waiting on the cliff face near Jingang Temple.
3. Jump onto a toboggan. Be aware, not all activities there are “quirky” or worth an extra ticket to Beijing‘s latest tourist attraction. The plastic “flower cave”, for example, should be avoided. Instead, make your way back down the Longqing Gorge by taking the toboggan track. It’s super fun and fit for all ages, though kiddies should always be accompanied by adults.
4. Take a boat cruise. The kitschy tourist offerings may be optional, but a relaxing cruise along the 7km-long scenic Longqing Gorge that forms part of Longqing Dam is a must. Lush green mountains and swirling clouds reflect off the waters. In late autumn, the golden-red foliage add more dazzling colors to the landscape.
Photo courtesy of John Warburton-Lee Photography / Alamy
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How to get there
The Longqing Gorge is open daily from 7.30am to 4.30pm. Take bus 919 from Exit B2 of Jishuitan Station (Line 2), then transfer to bus Y15 at Nancuiyan. Alight at Longqingxia. The journey takes about two hours. To save time, simply hire a car for the day. longqingxia.cn
This article first appeared in the September 2018 issue of Smile magazine.