This past weekend, the CPG Beijing office went on an overnight company hiking trip to the Great Wall near XiangShuiHu. The entire week leading up to the trip was filled with rain and dreary weather. However, the weekend weather couldn’t be more perfect, nothing but pure sun and clear blue skies! Everyone was glad to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and spend some time in the countryside of Beijing. The entire team had a great time spending the weekend together and participating in various team building activities!

Saturday morning, we started our trip and split into several cars and even motorbikes to make the trip to the Great Wall. We stayed in this beautiful siheyuan (courtyard) home stay, with a great view of the mountains and Great Wall. It was also within a short hiking distance to the Wall. The sleeping arrangements were extremely accommodating and included amenities such as a courtyard, outdoor leisure area, dining area, and even a dedicated karaoke room! We were very fortunate to have wonderful hosts who provided great entertainment and, more importantly, delicious organic food.

The CPG team in front of the Siheyuan entrance

The first day, we decided to participate in a team building game involving water guns, which somehow turned into a massive water gun fight. Soon after the guns were handed out, everyone quickly became soaking wet! Luckily, the sun was out in full force, so everyone seemed to enjoy getting a break from the heat. The CPG team then decided to go apricot picking in the mountains towards the Great Wall. We ventured through a wooded area behind the village and started to see plenty of ripe apricot trees. The apricots were lightly sweet and very tasty!

Picking for fresh apricot in the mountains

After the fruit-picking excursion, we rested with some card games and soon enough it was time for another huge meal. Soon after, it got dark and the weather became cool and lightly breezy. The stars were very visible in the sky which was a rarity coming from the city center! The night concluded with friendly conversation and karaoke.

The next morning, the team was treated to a delicious breakfast of homemade dumplings, hard-boiled eggs, barbequed fish, and crispy bread. Afterwards, we all equipped ourselves with multiple bottles of water and headed to the Great Wall. Everyone particularly enjoyed the area that we visited due to the more natural and unrestored appearance of the Wall and its surrounding areas. The forest was engulfing the wall, which made for some very nice pictures. This section was also not well known, so we were able to avoid large crowds and tourists who frequent the Wall on a daily basis. Once we made our way to the top of various steep hills, we were able to experience a truly breathtaking view of the mountainous region that surrounded us. After multiple rounds of picture taking, the CPG team headed back to the village for one last meal and to thank our gracious hosts for a wonderful weekend.

A view of the Great Wall

Our weekend company trip to the Great Wall will definitely be one to remember. Great company, excellent hosts, amazing food, a serene setting and beautiful weather were all elements that helped create an unforgettable experience. More importantly, it was great to have an opportunity to spend quality time and strengthen relationships among the CPG Beijing team! We are all definitely looking forward to the next event!