Posted by 90 Percent Travel on 23. Apr 2013
This is a journey which will take us back to nature thanks to one of China’s northern wonder: Taihang Canyon. Taihang Grand Canyon is China’s ninth National Forest Park and National Geological Park, characterized by a unique conformation giving birth to a variegated scenery composed by a myriad of different plants and animals, as well as breathtaking landscapes.
This fascinating treasure although being located just three hours and a half away from Beijing is still unknown to mass tourism and common visitors, making this corner of the world even more beautiful and unique. Many villages still untouched by development and busy life can be found in the mountains surrounding Taihang Canyon, preserving their traditional and genuine lifestyle away from hectic and chaotic cities.
This journey took us through three different provinces of China, as well as different seasons in just three days time!
First day (winter day): a snowy day greeted us once got off the train, but nevermind, k-ways were ready to protect us from the weather and to take some color to the mountain in this grey day. Armed with k-ways we started our hiking towards a mountain village.. a real one, where is still possible to glimpse life in rural areas of China. Here, we had the opportunity to do some handicrafts with locals who thought us how to do baskets with our own hands, as well as warm us up a little drinking some warm water sitting in their house.
On the second day a ray of sunshine woke us up, a new day (Spring one, maybe?) was going to start, our hiking to the top too. It was pretty physically demanding but we all did it and once reached the top the beautiful views made soon forget about the effort to get there.
We walked through the Canyon and its landscapes, mountain villages and its people.
After a pic nic with a beautiful view we started our way back to our guesthouse. There, a dumpling making activity was waiting for us, as well as a ride on the lake with a speed boat which decided to get out of gasoline leaving nothing but paddles to get back to the shore. But it was quite funny and a breathtaking view over the foggy mountains and the Sun on its way down accompanied us during the “paddling” way back.
After dumpling making and dinner we had a bonfire party telling stories under the starry sky.
Last day (Summer one). The Sun is finally shining and warm our bodies and souls.
Today we will visit an important (although not well-known) piece of Chinese history: The Red Flag Canal. This majestic project was undertaken during the Great Leap Forward and was used by propaganda as an extraordinary example of local mass initiative as well as to show what diligent workers could achieve.Stepping through narrow passages and endlessy stairs we reached the top and then literally slided down the mountain (through China’s longest slide). A boat ride took us across the Youth Tunnel, completely dug by hand by young boys and girls.
Time to go back to Beijing, happy for having glimpsed a piece of rural China and its people.
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