Archives For Walls
It’s a sharp contrast between the restored one (Mutianyu section) and ruined one (Jiankou section).
From Jiankou hiking to Mutianyu is a superb excursion with incredible and spectacular views of the wall. Your guide have a detailed briefing to introduce you to the tour, answer your questions and then head for Jiankou (3 hrs drive).
Jiankou hiking starts from Xizhazi village–around 587m / 1926 ft above sea level. Once you leave the village, the hike is a decent uphill to reach the ruined tower-Zhengbeilou–around 830 m / 2723 ft above sea level. (1 hr walk in general). From the tower you can see the Jiankou basin and other sections of the wall. Due to theovergrown bushes, you have to walk along the very edge, quite high above the ground. There are a few vertical climbs and scrambles.
After passing through many towers along the way, you’ill reach the so-called Ox Horn Edge–a dangerous section looks like Ox Horn Edge in shape, which is about 1011m / 3317 ft above sea level. From there take a forest detour past a campsite. It takes about 10 minutes to walk along the footpath back to the Wall. Passing through several towers then reach the restored Mutianyu. The vehicle is waiting at Mutianyu exit parking lot.
|Jiankou Hiking Tour Car Cost|
|Number of Travellers||Type of Vehicle||RMB per car/van||Duration||Book Online|
|1||car||576||* 10 hours. ||Book|
An exciting day of hiking to Jinshanling Great Wall begin in the morning when your driver will pick you up at the hotel and drive all the way there. It takes around 2.5 hours for your to get to the Jinshanling Scenic Area from downtown Beijing.
Jinshanling Great Wall is said to be the most stunning and best preserved part of the Great Wall. Located on the junction of Miyun County of Beijing and Luanping County of Hebei province, Jinshanling Great Wall is also a most preferred part of the Great Wall for photographers. The hiking is very tough and challenging, but well worth a try.
While hiking along the wall, you will pass Crenel Building (Zhuanduokou Tower), the East Terrance Kufang Tower, Xiyu Tower and Shalingkou before you finally reach the edge of Jinshanling Great Wall. Crenel Building is known for its military importance in history and you will find precious inscriped bricks that are of high relic and sightseeing value. Before you reach East Terrance, a most stunning part of Jinshanling Great Wall, you will pass many shooting and loop holes of a variety of designs such as peach, sagittate and zigzag shapes.
Your next stop will be Kufang Tower, a large and representative watchtower of the Great Wall which is deemed as the third line of defense. You can climb up and stand on the watchtower to appreciate a spectacular view of the Great Wall winding in the distance. After passing Xiyu Tower, you will reach Shalingkou where you will see the special Black Tower. The hike is about 12 KM and takes about 4 hours.
On your way back to downtown Beijing, you will have time to stop at the 2008 Olympic Green to enjoy an outer view of the iconic architecture of the 2008 Olympic Games: the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube (If you want to go inside of the stadiums, the entrance fee is on your own).
|Jinshanling Great Wall Tour Car Cost|
|Number of Guest||Type of Vehicle||RMB per car/van||Duration||Book Online|
|1||car||677||* 10 hours|
* Side tour: Olympic Venues photography
If you are tired of the maddening hordes of tourists on the most popular stretches of the Great Wall like Badaling or Juyonguan, then maybe it is time to try out some less crowded alternatives. The mountains surrounding our fair city of Beijing contain a veritable treasure trove of largely unspoilt stretches of the Great Wall just waiting to be explored by the intrepid trekker. These unspoilt and generally unrestored parts of the wall make up what is known as “The Wild Wall,” and wild it certainly is, with many of these sites virtually impossible to visit for the casual tourist.
Unspoilt Yet Accessible
Once upon a time all the areas of the Great Wall were wild, unspoiled and largely in ruins, but in the name of tourism development, several stretches have been rebuilt essentially from scratch, with all that entails in the lamentable form of parking lots, restaurants and souvenir stalls. Luckily, it is still possible to find places that are accessible but relatively unspoiled and in original condition. Jinshanling and Simatai are two such places. They are situated in the mountains northwest of the city on the border between Miyun County and Hebei province. Their main claim to fame is the trekking route stretching between them for about 6 kilometres, easily accessible for a day trip from Beijing.
The trek between these two scenic spots is probably one of the most worthwhile excursions you could take out of the city, and is definitely a must for anyone whose dreams of a visit to the wall don’t include crowds of tourists, fume-belching tour buses and tour guides with screeching megaphones. Here the only sound you can hear is the wind blowing over the long forgotten walls and howling through the empty doorframes of the watchtowers. The view of the Wall snaking its way over the mountains in majestic solitude is sure to make any sore legs or blisters worthwhile!
Feel History Come Alive
Standing on the wall, the predatory birds circling overhead, pondering the history that created this structure… this is one of those precious, rare moments in China where you can actually feel history coming alive.
If you happen to feel an irresistible urge to raise your arms and signal your imaginary army of a thousand bowmen let arrows rain down over your Mongolian foes, do not worry! This is but a normal reaction to standing on one of the few parts of the wall virtually unchanged since those heady days in the Ming dynasty when battles with Northern barbarians were the order of the day.
This particular part of the wall was originally constructed much earlier than that and goes all the way back to the northern Qi dynasty between 550 and 577 AD. Through the ages, the Wall fell into disrepair until the Hongwu emperor of the Ming dynasty (who reigned from 1368 to 1398) decided to rebuild it in the face of ongoing Mongolian attacks on Beijing. It is the wall of Hongwu which we can see today in all its wild glory.
Most people do the trek between Jinshanling and Simatai through a group trip arranged by one of the city’s many youth hostels. Though it is possible to go here by public transportation, we strongly recommend going on one of these hostel-arranged tours. It is very convenient since they will take you from a fixed location in Beijing to Jinshanling, and then pick you up in Simatai after you’ve finished the trek. The tours generally leave early in the morning around 08:00 and take approximately three hours to reach Jinshanling. You will have three to five hours to complete the 6 kilometres. These tours do not generally visit shops or include other unwanted stops on the way.
Please note that there is almost no shade on the trek apart from inside the numerous watchtowers. Since the hiking route passes through terrain that has not been developed for tourists, be aware that there are no railings whatsoever and some stretches of the trek are very precipitous and potentially dangerous.
Jinshanling Great Wall
Add: Luanping County, Chengde city, Hebei Province
Tel: 031 4883 0222
Getting there: Take the long distance bus No. 980 or No. 970 from Dongzhimen to Miyun town. From Miyun town you will have to take a taxi or minibus the rest of the way. It should cost around 130 RMB for one car.
Simatai Great Wall
Add: Gubeikou Town, Miyun County, Beijing
Tel: 010 6903 1051, 010 6903 5025
Note: At the time of writing, the main gate of Simatai great wall was closed for restoration. Therefore individual travel is not permissible in the Simatai section of the Great Wall, although groups are still allowed in.
(Blog posted by Niels Flintholm on Jul 01, 2011. You can see the original article by following this link to eChinacities.com)
Ming Great Wall fortress. Named due to location on main river, according to <Fangyu Minutes> “Hefangkou pass is in the second pass of Yuanniankou east, north of the county. Outside of it is Lianyuanzhan, and to the north is Shalinger. The fortress is narrow and can impede horses. It is easy to defend.” Also according to <Jiajing Jizhou records> “It is 8 li from the northeast to Dashuiyu, and 10 li from southwest to Shentangyu. The mouth of the water is tens of zhang. Ten horses can stand abreast. Both outside and inside are wide.” <Three towns’ border general minutes> records “Hefangkou goes to big rivers. The mouth of the river and the middle of two mountains in the east and west are open and can be passed.” Hefangkou’s tianbei records show that during Ming Muzong Longqing (1567-1572), three official guards were once sent to defend it. This pass was also the fortress toward Fengning Dage Town in Qing Dynasty. The southern side of the pass is Hefangkou village and there was a castle in the village on the eastern bank of the river. The pass was built in Yongle year. In the Ming Dynasty, it belonged to the jurisdiction of ****anlu, Ji town. The southern door was open and there were three characters “He Fang Kou” above the door. The Great Wall near the castle and pass was detached from 1953 through 1963. The castle’s inscribed board still exists. In the beginning of September, 1933, Ji Hongchang and Fang Zhenwu led anti-Japanese allies to the south through Dushikou and advanced southward separately through Hefangkou, Yuanniankou and Dashuiyu. On September 20, Fang’s army entered into Huairou. On 23rd, Ji and Fang met together in Huairou. From 1939 through 1943 the Huaifeng Road was built.