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Beach fun in Beijing?
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Fancy lazing by a lake, eating fruits just picked from an orchard and enjoying a barbecue in the golden rays of a setting sun amid lush mountains?

You can find all this and more just 20 km from downtown Beijing.

Nangong village in Wangzuo town, in the city's south-western Fengtai district, is China's No 1 geothermal resource and offers a perfect escape from the stress of city life.

The 4.5-sq-km village is a harmonious combination of nature's charms, culture and leisure activities. Its main attractions are the Qinglonghu Lake park, Qianlingshan Mountain and the hot spring.

Qinglonghu Lake park occupies 67 hectares of land, while the 400 hectare Qinglonghu (dark-green dragon) lake nestles in the Qianlingshan Mountain.

The Qinglonghu lakeside offers Beijingers a beach-like experience with opportunities to play volleyball, and badminton on the sand, besides boating.

A dragon boat race is held in Qinglonghu Lake every year during the traditional Dragon Boat Festival. The annual event, which has become one of North China's most important dragon boat events, attracted 60 teams this May.

The park also has a 27-hectare fruit orchard that has many kinds of fresh fruits from June to November, and is open to picking by tourists.

Located next to the park, Qianlingshan Mountain was the place where Buddhist monks went to pray during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Even today, there are more than 30 temples in the many caves dotting the mountain.

A must-see in Nangong is Hot Spring World, where you can relax in the natural pools full of mineral-laden water at a comfortable 28 C.

Take bus line 321, 339 at Liuliqiao in Fengtai district (丰台区六里桥); bus line 662 at Changchun Jie in Xuanwu district (宣武区长椿街); bus line 917 (Qinglonghu Lake line) at Tianqiao in Xuanwu district (宣武区天桥); bus line 983 (Nangong line) at Zhongguancun in Haidian district (海淀区中关村); bus line 459 at Lizeqiao in Haidian district (海淀区丽泽桥)

(China Daily August 24, 2009)

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