Beijing is full of photogenic areas – some more famous than others. Here, Nicola Doering, founder of Beijing Photo Walks, recommends her favourite beauty spots.
Tongzhou Canal Park
Thousands flock to Tongzhou every May for the Strawberry music festival, but few stay to enjoy the several kilometres of walking and cycling at the serene Tongzhou Canal Park
. The park marks the start of the Grand Canal (pictured, above-right) – the longest in the world – which links Beijing to Hangzhou, over 1,000 miles south. In spring the canal is lined with pink blossoms, and the trees turn a burnt orange in the autumn. The nearby Randengfo Sheli Pagoda – a classic symbol of Tongzhou – towers proudly over the whole scene, providing a superb backdrop for pictures any time of year.
Wuta Si (Five Pagoda Temple)
This little-known Buddhist temple, set in peaceful grounds behind Beijing Zoo
, has stunning architecture but is fairly unknown. Its unique five-pagoda roof makes this Ming-era structure look more like an Indian temple than a typical Chinese house of worship. This sets it apart and makes it a great place for beautiful photos.
Jiangjunguan (General Jiang’s Pass)
Jiangjunguan is a little village set in spectacular mountains (pictured, above left) and right next to a crumbling section of the Great Wall. From here you can climb the small part of the wall that has been reconstructed and continue – carefully – on to the dilapidated section. The nearby valley offers spectacular landscape photos. To get there, take bus 918 from Sanyuanqiao Subway Station to Pinggu Bus Station. Once there, you’ll have to negotiate a lift with a local for the final 30km to the village of Jiangjunguan.
Beijing Photo Walks organises meetups at photogenic spots for snappers of all levels. Visit www.tiny.cc/bjphotowalk
for more information