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Longxian Palace & Shentang Valley

Longxian Palace

Longxian Palace is situated in the Longquan Temple Valley, Dongguan Village, Zhangfang Town, Fangshan District, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Beijing proper. It is a magnificent solution cavity and the mouth of the cave is around 500 meters (1,640 feet) above the sea level. The palace has an imposing manner, 170 meters (557 feet) long, 140 meters (459 feet) wide, 150 meters (492 feet) high. With an area of 10,000 square meters (2.5 acres), it is reputed as the 'First Hall in North China'.

The palace was formed seventy million years ago. After a long chemical deposit, all kinds of chemical precipitates takes on a variety of shapes, including stone curtains, stalagmites, flowers, grapes, lotus and edible fungus. In addition, there is a vivid 'Dragon Egg', wonderful waterfalls, golden jellyfishes, clear crystals. The natural 'Dragon Egg' is an olivary crystal, 63 centimeters (2 feet) long, 43 centimeters (1.4 feet) wide, and 33 centimeter (1.1 feet) high. It is very similar to an egg in color and shape. The most stunning are six stalagmites in a palm shape and a fossil in a squirrel shape, which are rarely seen in Northern China.

The scenery around the cave is also beautiful with range upon range of green hills. It changes its coat along with the alternation of four seasons. In spring, the birds sing sweetly and brilliant flowers emit fragrance. In summer, it puts on a green coat. In autumn, it is rich in fruits and the red leaves can be found everywhere in the mountains. In winter, the palace decorated with white snow appears more enchanting.

Admission Fee:
CNY 40
Opening Hours:
08:00-18:00
Bus Route:
Take Bus No.917 (Tianqiao Long Distance Bus Station-Donghugang) (天桥长途汽车站-东湖港),  and get off at Yidu (一渡), then you could take a small bus to the Longxian Palace (龙仙宫).

Shentang Valley

The Shentang Valley is located in Fangezhuang Village, Huairou District, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from urban Beijing. Its landscape is a combination of steep mountains, clear waters, craggy peaks and unusual rock formations. The air here is pristine. The ancient  Hongluo Temple is nearby as is the magnificent Mutianyu Great Wall. The centerpiece of this scenic area is a deep green lake.

About seventy-five percent of the valley is covered by greenery, and this brings its temperate climate and excellent air quality.  Temperatures are mild during the spring and summer months. It is still warm enough, however, for visitors to swim, boat or frolic in the natural clear springs.

Shentang's mountains are high with soaring peaks and unusual rock formations. Some of the formations resemble turtles and eagles - others look like hats. All of the shapes are unique, lifelike and unaffected by man. A nearby village is renowned for its two vast pieces of granite sculpted naturally over the years by falling rain. Both of these rocks look remarkably like stone waterfalls.

This scenic area also has many historical sites. The most important is the imposing Great Wall which winds through the valley. This section of the wall has more than thirty beacon towers. It was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is exceptionally well-preserved.

Fees:
Entrance Charge:
CNY 26
Swimming/Boating:
CNY 30 per hour
Opening Hours:
08:00-17:30
Bus Route:
916 or 936 to Huairou Bus Station (怀柔汽车站), then take a small bus to the Shentang Valley (神堂峪).

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