You do not need many days in Beijing to see most famous places of interest there, including visiting UNESCO world heritage site by site. Moreover, I would say 3-4 days are quite enough, especially if you want to explore more provinces in diverse and overwhelming China.
Today I finally visited one more UNESCO world heritage site. The site could be found 50 km southwest of Beijing, in Fangshan district – Zhoukoudian site. It is at the foot of the Taihang Mountains ranges.
Who is this UNESCO world Heritage Peking man ?
Zhoukoudian is a cave system, where the relics of one of the first specimen – Homo erectus or Peking man, bones of gigantic hyena and others were found during archeological excavations. The Peking man was first discovered by the Swedish archeologist Johan Andersson in 1921. The dates of the Peking man range from 700,000 to 530,000 years ago.
It is important to underline that this UNESCO world heritage site is important for educational purposes. It does not have an immediate “wow” effect.
Please note that main caves are closed from 2016 for a construction of a cover for protection. So it is obvious that visitors can see only a part of the site.
So what can you see in the site now?
They can enter an interactive museum (nice for kids, but almost everything in Chinese). It is possible to look around in some sightseeing spots. Additionally a tiny memorial cemetery for the scientists who had worked in the site is worth visiting as well.
I’ve liked walking in this place as it was calm, with few tourists. It has a nice atmosphere and mild climate. It might be that because of that the Peking man has chosen to live there so many years ago.
Would I recommend this UNESCO world heritage site for tourists coming to Beijing? No, if you have only a couple of days. Yes, if you have more time and want to see something less touristic in a calmer environment.
You would need a half a day for it – it takes around an hour to get there by a car. You can take a bus line 836 in Tianqiao station and then to change to line 38 at Zhoukoudian for the site.
The entrance ticket costs 40 RMB. The site is open 8.30 a.m.- 4.30 p.m. from April to October, 9.00 a.m. – 04.00 – from November to next March.