the Degree Confluence Project

China : Běijīng Shì

1.4 km (0.9 miles) E of Shangweidian, Běijīng, China
Approx. altitude: 314 m (1030 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 40°S 64°W

Accuracy: 160 m (524 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: GPS position #3: Trail to confluence #4: Road to confluence #5: Taxi driver #6: Temple of Heaven #7: Forbiden City

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  40°N 116°E (visit #5) (incomplete) 

#1: Confluence N40 E116 at 160 meters

(visited by Fabrice Blocteur)

24-Jun-2006 --

Story starts at 37N 137E

After spending more than a week in Beijing, I had decided to leave the capital the next day and slowly head to Mongolia. Today was Saturday, and although I already had something plan for the afternoon, I had a few hours to kill in the morning. The closest confluence was also the only one located in the municipality of Beijing, an area roughly the size of Belgium. My hotel was near the Temple of Heaven and, according to my GPS, at a distance of 37.5 km from the point.

I got up early and walked to Tiananmen Square to take the East-West subway line to its terminal stop at Pinguoyuan. From there I was still 16 km away and could have taken a bus but I had to be back by noon at the latest and instead I decided to hire a taxi for a $ 10 return trip. It was cloudy and very humid. After thirty minutes, we entered Xiaweidian village and we were closing on the confluence.

I told the taxi driver to pull onto a dirt road on the left and after a hundred meters we came to a dead end. I got off the car and told the driver to wait for me. The confluence was less than 400 meters. There was a small trail heading between two small mountains in its direction. I first thought that the trail was used to collect firewood in the mountains but as I found out a few minutes later it lead to a query… and a cul-de-sac.

At this point I was 160 meters from the confluence. I tried to climb through the dense vegetation and the rocks behind the query but it looked that it would take me a while before I got there. Furthermore, I was at the beginning of my trip and there was no need to put an end to it by taking unnecessary risks to visit that confluence.

I came back down and I made a final attempt by asking the taxi driver to drive a bit further up the road to see if we could find a closer and easier way. Unfortunately we couldn’t and we went back to Beijing.

Story continues at 42N 114E

 All pictures
#1: Confluence N40 E116 at 160 meters
#2: GPS position
#3: Trail to confluence
#4: Road to confluence
#5: Taxi driver
#6: Temple of Heaven
#7: Forbiden City
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)