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Best Four Suburban Manors in Beijing
2006-05-16 17:29:22    China Daily
Are you exhausted by the stresses of your city life? Leave your worries behind you and unwind at a Chinese manor this summer. Forget the pressures of work and invigorate your body and mind with delicious cheap food in the relaxed ambiance of a traditional northeastern Chinese village; or indulge in Italian delicacies at a European style manor. Let's check out some options near Beijing.

1. Be a fashionable landowner at Wanke Yiyuan Manor
Typical activity: Ploughing the land like a real farmer

In European fairy tales, princes almost always own private manors in the countryside. This is impossible in modern Chinese society, but many urban residents aspire to rent a small piece of land to work on and produce their own harvest. If you want to be a fashionable landowner, go to Wanke Yiyuan Manor.

Lease a plot of land (around 66 sqm) in the Household Vegetable Garden, have your name carved in a wooden board beside it and become a landowner! Plant your favorite vegetables and later enjoy the satisfying taste of home grown produce. Many celebrities lease land in this garden.

There is also an orchard growing cherries and Chinese winter dates. At harvest season, you can pick the dates yourself (RMB 40 per kilo plus entrance ticket RMB 10 per person). After your hard work, drink some tea and eat the fruits of your labor in the clubhouse while listening to a recital by manor manager Mr Laojiang and professional opera singers. There is a natural sand playground at the center of the manor for children to play in.

How to become a landowner:
Wanke Yiyuan is a members-only manor due to space restrictions.

To become a member, you must rent a plot of land in the Household Vegetable Garden for RMB 1,500 per year. Members can visit the manor anytime they like, to work the land and harvest produce. If you're too busy to tend your plot, the manor will do the work for you and promise a good harvest. If you don't even have time to harvest your vegetables, just telephone the manor and your vegetables will be delivered to your door (RMB 10 per delivery).

1. Kids can adopt little doves as well as land and fruit trees.
2. The manor's courtyard farmhouse can receive twenty or thirty guests per day for RMB 120. Dining costs RMB 50 per person on average.

How to get there:
Take Jingcheng Highway and turn east at Shayu Exit. Continue past a bridge and go north to Gaoliying (8 km past the bridge).
Location: Beijing Wanke Ecological Garden, east to Qicun, Gaoliying Town, Shunyi

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If you are a spicy food fan, you might like to check out Southern Beauty (or Qiao Jiangnan), a chain of 19 restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai that serve Sichuan cuisine.
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Forget the pressures of work and enjoy this summer at some great Chinese manors near Beijing.
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