It isn’t realy much of an adventure, but an ascent of ‘Incense Burner Peak’ in Xiangshan Park on the edge of Beijing is apparently the thing to do in Beijing once the leaves turn red in Autumn. Work has sent me to China for two weeks, and this was my only complete day off, so I wanted to make the most of it, and since I’ve seen many of the tourist sites in Beijing, I thought I’d go somewhere off the beaten track. However, being China, ‘off the beaten track’ for tourists doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of people there, just that I didn’t see another westerner all day.
The peak itself is surprisingly steep, especially up the direct route. There’s a chair lift for the lazy, but there were still plenty of locals climbing the steep steps. The view from the summit looks out
over the whole of Beijing on a good day, but clear days don’t happen very often here. The autumn leaves were also very nice, and once away from the direct paths to the top, the trails were quiet
and pleasant, with nice views, and occasional temples and pavilions.
In the late afternoon I headed down the road to the Summer Palace, which was also very nice, although crowded. As time was short, I didn’t go in the main buildings, just contenting myself with a wander around the lake and up ‘Longevity Hill’.