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Beijing Lingshan Mountain

linshan-mountainLingshan Mountain, situated in the west of Mentougou District, is the highest mountain around Beijing, at 2303 metres in height.  The mountain has become a great travel destination for tourists from the surrounding regions.

Description

The Lingshan Mountain has the typical landform of a plateau with gentle slopes. As a matter of fact, July and early August are the spring time for Lingshan, when dozens of wild flowers come out in blossom. Lingshan Mountain is also surprising to see mountain yaks--known as the "boat of the plateau"--there. These yaks have been brought in from China's northwest Qinghai Province. And they seem to enjoy the mountain conditions very much. They have been raised in the wild there since the 1970s. According to an officer from Mentougou district government, it was hoped the yaks and the Tibetan folklore and lifestyle of Lingshan mountain would become a symbol of its alpine character. The presence of yaks there would help people feel as if they were really on the Qingzang (Qinghai-Tibet) plateau.linshan-mountain01

A Tibetan performing troupe has been invited in Lingshan Mountain To this end, a "Tibetan culture village" has been established half way up the mountain. to put on Tibetan dances, songs and some local programmes for visitors. Many yurts are decorated in Tibetan style and have been made available as accommodation places for visitors. A simple Lama temple has been built in the village. Visitors can find eight Lamas sitting there, chanting Buddhist scripture in the yurt temple. There ia a large stage is located at the centre of the village, and performances are put on for visitors every two hours.

The Tibetan traditional festivals and celebrations are also held during the folklore festival in Lingshan Mountain. Of these, the Shoton festival would be the most important one. Shoton, meaning "yoghurt drinking feast" in Tibetan, is famous in Tibet largely because it is the time to watch organized Tibetan opera performances, while giant tangka paintings of Buddha are also displayed. Therefore, the Shoton festival is also known as the "Tibetan Opera Festival" and the "Giant Painting of Buddha Displaying Festival." The traditional Shoton festival begins with a display of the giant paintings of Buddha, and its highlights include Tibetan opera performances, public visit to parks, yak races and demonstrations of horsemanship. The traditional Shoton festival starts at the end of June or the beginning of July in the Tibetan calendar. In 2005 the probable date of the Shoton festival will be from August 5 to 11. And Lingshan will be the site to hold the Shoton festival.

Aside from folklore, the natural environmental conditions at Lingshan Mountain also resemble those of the Tibetan plateau. In the 1990s, plants were transplanted to Lingshan Mountain from the Qinghai-Tibet plateau by Xu Fengxiang, a botanist who has spent 18 years in ecological research on the plateau. She had plans to build a cabin on the 2,303-meter-high Lingshan Mountain and establish a botanical garden there to display Tibetan plants..

According to local Chinese media, a five-square-kilometre hunting reserve will be established in Lingshan Mountain. In the past, visitors to Lingshan would take five hours to drive along the zigzag mountain road. Now the 109 National Road passes through the foot of Lingshan Mountain. It thus takes as little as two and a half hours from the city.

The temperature on the Lingshan Mountain is almost 15 degrees lower than downtown Beijing. In the evening, the average temperature is 16 degrees Celsius. Warm clothes are necessary if staying the night there!