Changping Things to Do
It's in the middle of nowhere, it's hard to find, it's 60km from Beijing, and there's precious little to eat or drink once you get there, but if you like old planes, rockets and helicopters then the Chinese Aviation Museum is the place to go.
This mainly outdoor museum has simply hundreds of aircraft on display, from a working replica of the Wright Brothers first aeroplane right through to the 1970s Tridents, Il-62s and assorted fighter jets.
Nothing modern, and not much feel for Chinese aviation - everything has been copied from everyone else.
Chairman Mao's personal Il-18 can be boarded for 5 RMB more, as can the Orbis DC-8 flying eye hospital (no idea if any of the money collected here actually goes to Orbis though). Mao's plane has a bed, meeting room but otherwise looks pretty normal for a 1950s Russian-made aircraft.
A huge Be-2 amphibious plane is poised over a small lake, but as you head past one hanger you come upon row after row after row of decaying aircraft, each labelled in English and Chinese. A further Trident and the fuselage of yet another lie at one end of the back row.
One of the most interesting features is the huge underground hangar where there is - again - a seemingly endless line of vintage fighters and smaller aircraft, including the plane from which Zhou Enlai's ashes were scattered.
At the far end of the hangar is a rather well preserved Viscount...ah....now I remember these from the 1980s flying from Aberdeen to Lerwick! Next to it was a rather rough looking Tupolev 124, and I also remember these from a few flights in Romania back in the early 1980s.
Now if you are looking for the runway on which all these planes arrived, you won't find it! There isn't one here.
Every plane came in the way you did, through the front gate. If you feel that the last kilometre of approach road is a bit wide....it is. It is wide enough for an aircraft to be taxied from the end of the runway at the nearby Changping Airbase 4.5km to the south-west right up to the hanger under the mountain!
well they are primarily tourist traps to western tourist who does not know how to haggle!
There are many souvenir shops lining near the entrance of the Ming Emperor Tombs and the Juyongguan Section of the Great Wall, both of which lie in the Changping District of Beijing and this is being China, they sell all items you can think of besides the regular souvenir items.
most shops are open from 8:00 am to7:00 pm everyday
What to buy: most asians like me know how to haggle ok! these shops often inflate the prices 300-400 percent like for example, they sell t-shirts at 130 RMB (if you convert it to dollars, it's the same price as a nike original t-shirt!) so what you do is bring it down to 30 RMb and if they say no, just walk away and they will agree to the price ok! another example is the mao caps, they sell this for 100 RMb but you can haggle up to 25 RMB ok!
What to pay: bottled water costs 6 RMB and My Favorite Lemon Drinke at 8 RMB here!Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: Going on a tour of the different sections of the Great Wall that lies in Beijing City limits means riding along the Badaling Expressway.
the Badaling Expressway is a Multilane Expressway that connects the Great Wall and Ming Emperor Tombs to Beijing Proper! it is a 50 kilometer stretch that ends in Badaling Section of the Great Wall which is the most Touristy of the Beijing Area Great Wall. the less touristy areas are Shuiguan Exit (where there is a cable car to the top of a great wall battlement) and the Juyongguan Exit (where we went and is part of the Changping District of Beijing) and the Changping exit (where the Ming Emperor Tombs are Located and also various Cloissone and Ceramic Factories). The toll is about 35 RMB which starts from the 5th ring road.
Fondest memory: Directions: from Beijing to Badaling, after badaling it turns into Jingzhang Expressway.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip