In a previous post here, we talked about three short-haul trips from Beijing. However, there are quite a few more possibilities and today we’ll be talking about how to get to another great location when you have a free weekend. As an intern in Beijing, you will most likely want to not only explore the city but also other cool places in the near vicinity.
Located about 80km to the SW of Beijing, Shidu literally means “tenth crossing” because you need to cross the Juma River ten times in order to get to the town. The best time to visit is between March and October.
What to do in Shidu?
Bamboo rafting down the river is a very fun and relaxing activity in Shidu. The cost is RMB 30 for one hour. Bungee jumping is also available for around RMB 200. If you’re going with a group of friends or co-workers, why not an exciting game of outdoor laser tag?
Gi2C Beijing interns get ready to battle
Hiking to Gushanzhai (Lonely Mountain Village) takes you along a 10km trail that crosses over a suspension bridge and through some lovely waterfalls. You can also ride horses down the trail (don’t worry, the horses are not allowed on the bridge). The entrance cost to this not-so-lonely village is about RMB 60. There are also other interesting sites nearby such as Monkey Mountain and the East and West Lake Scenic areas. Most entrance tickets cost between RMB 30-90 but you won’t have time to visit them all in one day so don’t worry about spending too much money on entrance tickets. Ask your Chinese friends or colleagues about the best scenic areas and their favorite activities in Shidu to save your time and money. If they are native Beijingers, they most definitely have been to Shidu before.
How to get to Shidu
Find the Tianqiao bus stop on the west side of the Temple of Heaven in the south part of Beijing. You can take a taxi or the Line 2 or Line 5 subways to the general area and then walk to the bus stop. Take bus 836 (there are three 836 buses, look for the characters for Shidu next to the “836” to make sure you have the right bus, or ask the bus attendant if you can’t read Chinese). Buses run both ways from about 7am to 17:00 each day and the trip from Beijing to Shidu will take about 2-3 hours. Bus 917 also goes to Shidu.
There is also a night train (#6437) that leaves from Beijing West Train Station around 17:45 and takes 2 hours to get to Shidu. It costs about 7rmb.
Your other option will be to rent a car or taxi. Taxi drivers you randomly hail down on the street may be unwilling to go so far away and wait for you all day so make sure to know how to rent a private car ahead of time. If you do take a taxi, agree on a day rate, don’t let them use the meter and make sure to get their cell phone number so you can find them when you have finished hanging out in Shidu. Most drivers will accept 400-800rmb to be your personal driver for the day. If you’re staying overnight in Shidu, your hotel should be able to help you find transport back to Beijing.