How to Get to Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus

February 17th, 2019
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Mutianyu Great Wall by bus.

If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
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Latest Updates from Marek & Denis:

H! thanks for your very detailed instructions. We have successfully followed them today.

Important notice for all – in Hairou, several stops before 15th stop at Huai Rou Bei Da Jie 怀柔北大街站( where you should officially get off ), one guy in uniform came into a bus and with perfect English said to all foreigners, that those coming to Great Wall should get off at this stop. He was so convincing, that all foreigners got off, so did we.

It turned out that it was one of those black taxi drivers with colleagues who offered us the drive to the wall. So if it happens to you, be calm, and follow the following instructions, get off at the stop of Huai Rou Bei Da Jie 怀柔北大街( and everything will be OK. Enjoy!

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Hi, your instructions are great – followed them and got to Mutianyu and back without any problems. I can confirm, that a few stops before Huai Rou Bei Da Jie Stop a man in a uniform very similar to public transportation uniform entered the bus and said, that those, who was going to the Great Wall should leave here.

There were lot’s of black taxis on that stop as well. I didn’t leave the bus and continued to go, and get off at Beidajie Stop where I took a metered taxi without any problem.

On the way back two metered taxis were waiting right on the roundabout. But I also found out, that now it’s possible to get DiDi app in English, so if there is no taxi, but one has mobile internet – the one can be ordered by DiDi without any problem.

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Unlike Badaling Great Wall which has a direct Bus 877 starting at Deshengmen Bus Terminal on the northern second ring road,  Mutianyu Great Wall doesn’t have a direct public bus line connecting downtown Beijing. For this, I often get  some online inquiry about how to get to Mutianyu Great Wall by public bus.

When googling “How to Get to Mutianyu Great Wall by bus”, I discover some of the Mutianyu bus related travel information is outdated and even a bit misleading.

Recently I made a fam trip to Mutianyu Great Wall by public bus starting from Dongzhimen Transportation Hub. Below is my trip report, detailing the whole process of how to get to Mutianyu Great Wall By Public Bus from downtown Beijing. Hopefully, my trip review will help you a little bit plan your own bus trip to Mutianyu.

I try to keep my trip report updated. Any updating information is welcome!

tips-1Tips for Getting from downtown Beijing to Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus

1. Get to Dongzhimen Transport Hub early in the morning

The Sign “Exit C ” at Dongzhimen Subway Station ( Subway Line 2 and 13 ) leading to the bus transfer hall.

Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub (东直门交通枢纽) is mainly composed of three forms of public transport –Dongzhimen Bus Station ( or officially called Bus Transfer Hall) where you take Bus 916 Express ( 916快) for the direction of Mutianyu Great Wall), Dongzhimen Subway Station ( Subway Line 2 and 13 ) and Dongzhimen Airport Express ( for Beijing Capital Airport Express Train).

These three forms of public transport are connected underground as a whole in a massive building.

Try to get to Dongzhimen Transport Hub early in the morning either by subway or taxi. For subway, you may take the subway line 2 or 13 and exit from Exit C leading to the massive transport hub.

916 Express Bus has to be taken from inside of the building of the Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub.

When you leave the subway there are a lot of stops at your right side and you have to get into the building and will see the signs since your bus is inside the transfer hub hall.

The Bus Transfer Hall on the ground floor is mainly composed of two parts – North Platform and South Platform.

Your Mutianyu-bound Bus 916 Express ( 916快 / 怀柔方向) is on the northern platform. There are signs overhead to guide you in the direction to the 916 Express Bus Stop.

Overhead Chinese Sign " 916 快“ ( 916 Express )

Overhead Chinese Sign ” 916 快“ ( 916 Express )

 

Chinese and English Sign for Bus 916 Express Overhead

Chinese and English Sign for Bus 916 Express Overhead

 

Wait in line for Bus 916 Express

Wait in line for Bus 916 Express

Wait in line for the Bus 916 Express and the bus fare at 12 yuan.  In the 916 bus you have to pay the exact amount. In the bus entrance door, at your left, there is a small box where you have to put the exact amount. You get ready for the small money and often they don’t have the change.

Below is updated by Chris Nguyen relative to the payment for Express Bus 919:
The 916 express bus accepts transportation cards (tap when you hop on and tap when you hop off) and also accepts cash. We paid 12 RMB each based off of your suggestions but it seems as though the bus works off of the honor system as there is no one checking if you put the correct amount into the collection box. On the outside of the bus, there is a sign that says “self ticketing”.

2. Taking Bus 916 Express and Get off at the 15th stop of Huai Rou Bei Da Jie in Huairou District
( 62km – One Hour Drive)

916 Express Operating Hours: 5:50 – 19:50 ( Dongzhimen Transport Hub to Huairou )
04:50 – 18:50 (Huairou to Dongzhimen Transport Hub)

The 916 buses are clean and air-conditioned.

The 916 buses are clean and air-conditioned.

916 Express buses are clean and air-conditioned.

There are totally 20 stops for Public Bus 916 Express and you get off at the 15th stop of  Huai Rou Bei Da Jjie (怀柔北大街 ) in Huairou District. Then connect a local taxi ( about 50 yuan per taxi ) or further connect the local public Bus H23,( 5 yuan ).

The H23 buses are few and far between, so taking a taxi from Beidajie (Huai Rou Bei Da Jie ) is a good option. Taxi drivers are nice and aren’t trying to scam passengers.

Below is the current bus stop plan (bus line 916 express) submitted by Franziska  from Berlin):

The current bus stop plan (bus line 916 express) and you get off at the 15th stop of Hairou Bei Da Jie 怀柔北大街 from right to left and vice versa if you go back .

The 916 express runs every couple of minutes, so there is no much waiting.  A lot of people get off at Huai Rou Bei Da Jie ( 怀柔北大街),  so even if you don’t speak Chinese, you’ll know when to get off.

Basically, the bus makes a couple stops in Beijing after leaving Dongzhimen, then doesn’t make any stops for a long time, until it gets to Huai Rou District, where it makes stops every couple of minutes. After a handful of those stops, you’ll be at Huai Rou Bei Da Jie ( 怀柔北大街).

For each stop, Bus 916 Express will announce the name of the bus stop both  in English and Chinese. But only the Chinese stops will be shown on the electronic screen on the front of your bus, and make sure you get off at the 15th stop of Huai Rou Bei Da Jie ( 怀柔北大街).

The following bus interior photo shows the Chinese name of the bus station “Huai Rou Bei Da Jie” ( 怀柔北大街) where you should get off. The photo was provided by Franziska  from Berlin.

The electric bus stop screen shows the stop is Huairou Bei Da Jie (怀柔北大街)

After you get off, you will see there is an official bus stop sign for Huai Rou Bei Da jie ( 怀柔北大街)  now as shown in the picture below:

The picture of Huairou Bei Da Jjie Stop taken by Roxanne & Maartje

Huai Rou Bei Da jie ( 怀柔北大街) Station is located by the sidewalk in front of the large governmental building (Beijing Huai Rou Department of Civil Affairs) 民政局.

You get off the 15th stop pf Beidajie ( North Street ) by the side of the large governmental building.

You get off the 15th stop of Huairou Bei Da Jie by the side road in front of  the massive governmental building (Beijing Huairou Department of Civil Affairs) 民政局

Google maps location of where you need to get off at Huairou Bei Da Jie at Bus 916 express in front of the large governmental building (Beijing Huairou Department of Civil Affairs) 民政局

Google maps location of where you need to get off the 916 express.

Note:
1) The bus fare is 12 yuan. Be ready for the small amount of money to pay for the bus fare. You get ready for the small money and often they don’t have the change. If you have a transportation card, you just swipe, and you are entitled to half price.
2) Try to get to the 916 Express bus stop as early as possible to beat the crowds on the Great Wall. The first bus leaves at 5:50 am.
3) You should get off at the 15th stop of Huai Rou Bei Da Jie ( 怀柔北大街)  There is a bus stop sign for Huai Rou Bei Da Jie ( 怀柔北大街)

3.  Connecting Bus H23 for Mutianyu ( 18 km – 50 Minutes Drive)
Once you get off 916 express Bus, you have two options for next transport to your destination – Mutianyu Great Wall: Connect the local bus H23 ; or take a local taxi for Mutianyu.

Below is the way how to connect the local buses for Mutianyu:

You can continue to take Bus H23 for Mutianyu Great Wall. The Bus Stop for Bus H23 is just across where you get off Bus 916 express at Huai Rou Bei Da Jie ( 怀柔北大街). Important notice:  This Bus Stop for Bus H23 is the same bus stop area for 916 Express back to Beijing.

By the way, on your 916 Express back to Beijing, there are two kinds of 916 buses here, the express and the normal one. Take the express one! The express 916 bus is recognizable because it has 2 Chinese characters after the number. The return 916 bus leave you in a different place. After leaving the bus you have to continue and turn right and you will be in the Dongzhimen entrance where you started.

For easy memory,  the location of the bus stop H23 is just in front of the China Mobile Building ( Keep in mind that this is the same bus stop for 916 Express back to Beijing).

Kindly reminder:  basically you need to wait for quite some time before you can get on Bus h23.

The picture is taken by Roxanne & Maartje

Cost 3 yuan paid to ticket lady on the bus. The Bus  h23 is green and there is a blue cardboard sign in the window next to the driver saying h23. The sign on the bus H23 are very small.

You should pay attention to the place ( Mutianyu Roundabout ) where you get off.  The easier way to identify Mutianyu Roundabout stop is a big aqueduct bridge over it.

Google maps location of where you need to get off h23:

There are totally 41 stops for Bus H23, keep in mind that you will alight at the 17th stop of Mutianyu Roundabout (慕田峪环岛)

Mutianyu Roundabout is recognizable because of the big aqueduct bridge overhead.

The Bus H23 runs the route between Yujiayuan ( 于家园) and Tiekuangyu (铁矿峪)
passing by Beidajie ( Huairou ) and Mutianyu Roundabout.

You may show your bus driver the Chinese characters “我要去慕田峪长城” ( I want to go to Mutianyu Great Wall) and the driver will remind you of the stop when the bus arrives at Mutianyu Roundabout (慕田峪环岛).

A photo of the Mutianyu Roundabout, it is recognizable because of the big aqueduct bridge overhead.

You can see both sides of the H23 bus stop. The right side is the arriving stop and the left one, where the people is standing, is the returning one.

The Picture below shows the bus station of Bus H23 at Mutianyu Roundabout:

Bus H23 at Mutianyu Roundabout ( Photo by Franziska  from Berlin )

4. Transfer to Mutianyu by Taking a Local Taxi ( 18km – Half Hour Drive)
When getting off Bus 916 express at Beidajie ( North Street ), alternatively you can choose to take a local taxi directly bringing you to the ticketing box offices at Mutianyu.

The fact is that the moment you get off Bus 916, you will be approached by “black taxi drivers”.  We suggest you use the official metered taxis. Most of the official taxi drivers would stay inside their taxis and wait for customers ( maybe they don’t want to have any conflicts with black drivers).

Most of the Huairou official taxis are waiting by the side of the governmental building known as Beijing Huairou Department of Civil Affairs) 民政局. They use meters and the taxi ride costs about 42 yuan per taxi.

Huairou Local Taxi

Huairou Local Taxi

Taxi transfer is fast and comfortable.

Taxi transfer is fast and comfortable.

Taxi transfer is fast and comfortable.

When you arrive at Mutianyu, you should ask for a printed receipt which shows the taxi fare, distance and timing.

Printed Taxi Bill ( Receipt ).

Printed Taxi Bill ( Receipt ).

If you cannot find any official taxis by the governmental building,  just wait for a while and they will definitely will come back after their business.

Black taxi drivers will charge you about 50 yuan for the ride plus 20 yuan for so-called parking fee at Mutianyu. Actually, Mutianyu official parking lot offers free parking within 20 minutes.

Huairou Taxi Hotline: 69651168
Huairou Taxi Complaint: 60697889

5. Buying Your Tickets at Tourist Service Building
The large tourist service center mainly consists of ticketing offices, toilets, a Great Wall exhibition hall and a large tourist information hall where you can use ATM machine.

 

Mutianyu Tourist Service Building

Mutianyu Tourist Service Building

Price Information:
Entrance Fee Adults: 45 yuan ( 25yuan if you have valid student card)
Children between 1.2 meters and 1.4 meters in height: 25 yuan
Children less than 1.2 meters in height are free of charge
Cable Car:100 yuan(single way ); 120 yuan ( return )
Chairlift + toboggan : 100 yuan(single way ); 120 yuan ( return )
Cable car up + toboggan down: 100 +100 = 200 yuan.
Ferry Shuttle Bus: 15 yuan ( shuttle from the ticketing office to the starting point of the 600-meter long ramp up to the chair-lift station, cable car station and the walking starting point up to the Wall.

Opening Hours:
April to October: 8:00 -17:00
November to March: 8:30-16:30

Important Notice:
Cable car up and down is operated by one company; while chair-lift up and down ( or toboggan down) are operated by another company. They sell their tickets separately through the same ticketing window. This is a tricky part in Mutianyu Great Wall.

A return ticket is cheaper. But if you are going to take cable car up and the toboggan down ( so you are using two different companies), you have to buy two single tickets. If you take the chair-lift up and the toboggan down, you are able to buy a return ticket. This is a tricky part in Mutianyu Great Wall.

Cable car brings you up to the place below the 14th Watch Tower;
Chair-lift takes you up to the place below the 6th Watch Tower;
Walking up along the stone steps (like a mountain hike – 30 minute hike ) – to the 10th or 8th Watch Tower.

Note: After you get off the shuttle from the ticketing office, you still need to walk up a 600-meter long ramp leading to the cable car station. But on the way up, you will first come across the chair-lift ( toboggan ) station. They are different companies with separate accounts.

So it is up to you to decide whether you use cable car up and down, or chair-lift up and toboggan down, or cable up and toboggan down, or lastly just walk up to the summit for the Wall.

So once inside the wall area,  you have four choices with three prices:

1.Cable Car:100 yuan(single way ); 120 yuan ( return )
2.Chairlift + toboggan: 100 yuan(single way ); 120 yuan ( return )
3. Cable car up + toboggan down: 100 +100 = 200 yuan.
4. Walk up: free of Charge

Ferry Shuttle Bus: 15 yuan

Click the Map of Mutianyu Great Wall for more information.

There are 23 towers on the Mutianyu Great Wall snaking the ridge for about 3000 meters. The watch towers at the Mutianyu Great Wall are distributed at short intervals. The 23 watch towers are numbered from right (east) to left (west). The or 23rd tower is highest point of the Mutianyu Great Wall.

Wait in line at Ticketing Box Offices

Wait in line at Ticketing Box Offices

Note: Two different companies operate cable car and chairlift (toboggan) separately. You either choose cable or chairlift (toboggan).  The ticketing staff will ask you which you prefer, cable car or chairlift ( or toboggan down )?

If you have strong legs and prefer to hike up to the Great Wall, you can do the hiking without using the service of cable car or chairlift.

On the right side of the Tourist Service Building is the Exhibition Hall for Great Wall Culture, a brief introduction to the Great Wall of China and Mutianyu Great Wall in particular.

 Exhibitional Hall for Great Wall Culture

Exhibition Hall for Great Wall Culture

The large service center building where you can use ATM machine.

The large service center building where you can use ATM machine

The large service center building where you can use ATM machine

Clean and modern toilet.

Clean and modern toilet

Clean and modern toilet

6. Taking a ferry Shuttle Bus  ( 2.5km ) to the Starting Points for the Mutianyu Great Wall
At the ticketing box office, you are required to buy a 15 yuan ferry shuttle bus. From the tourist service center, you till need to walk about 200 meters to get to the shuttle bus terminal.

The road leading to the Shuttle Bus Terminal is lined with restaurants and vendor stalls.

The road leading to the Shuttle Bus Terminal is lined with restaurants and vendor stalls.

The 200-meter road leading to the shuttle bus terminal is lined with restaurants on the left side and vendors on the right side.

You have the choices of King Burger, Pizza, and Chinese food and more. Bottled water on the vendor stalls here is much cheaper ( 3 yuan per bottle ) than that sold up on the Wall ( 15 yuan per bottle ).

The 5-minute free shuttle ride brings you to the area close to the starting points for Visiting Mutianyu Great Wall.

Ferry Shuttle Bus

Ferry Shuttle Bus

7. Three Ways to Go up to Mutianyu Great Wall
When you get off the ferry shuttle bus, you need to walk along an accessible stone path (600 meters long ) leading up first to the entrance area for chairlift ( or toboggan down ), second to the walking path up to the Wall and last to the area for cable car up to the Wall respectively.

The Cable Car Station is at the end of the 600-meter stone slope. That said, there are three ways to go up to Mutianyu Great Wall.

The Cable Car Station

The Cable Car Station

1) Taking a chairlift to the Great Wall – to the 6th Watch Tower ( or take a toboggan down).
2) Walking up the Great Wall along the stone steps (like a mountain hike – 30 minute hike ) – to the 10th or 8th Watch Tower
3) Taking a cable car up to the Great Wall – to the 14th Watch Tower
Click the Map of Mutianyu Great Wall for more information.

Note:
1) There are 23 towers on the Mutianyu Great Wall snaking the ridge for about 3000 meters. The watch towers at the Mutianyu Great Wall are distributed at short intervals.

2) The 23 watch towers are numbered from right (east) to left (west). The 23rd tower is highest point of the Mutianyu Great Wall.

Mutianyu Great Wall in summer

Mutianyu Great wall in summer

Mutianyu Great wall in summer

A good spot for selfie.

A good spot for selfie.

A good spot for selfie.

Basically it is more convenient to use its smooth and gentle ramp leading up Badaling Great Wall. You don’t need to  use the cable car. The area for the upper cable station is not wheelchair-friendly and teem with domestic tourists.

On the Mutianyu Great Wall, wheelchair users may take a cable car up and then use the accessible lane leading to the platform below the 14th watch tower for a good view of Mutianyu Great Wall.

8. The accessible paths in Mutianyu Great wall are too steep, not so wheelchair user-friendly!
4293-20011On the Mutianyu Great Wall, wheelchair users may take a cable car up and then use the accessible lane leading to the platform below the 14th watch tower for a good view of Mutianyu Great Wall.

The steep accessible ramp at Mutianyu Great Wall

The steep accessible ramp at Mutianyu Great Wall

But unfortunately, the accessible ramp leading from the upper cable station to the platform below the 14th watch tower is too steep, very much challenging for wheelchair users.

Note:
Badaling Great Wall is more wheelchair user-friendly. Basically it is more convenient to use its smooth and gentle ramp leading up Badaling Great Wall. You don’t need to  use the cable car. Click: The Most Wheelchair-Friendly Great Wall to Visit.

9. Going Back on the Same Way
At the end of your Mutianyu visit, just retrace on the same travel route.  You may  have the following options for your transfer from Mutianyu to the 916 express bus stop at Huairou.

1) Walk from Mutianyu Great Wall Service Area to the Mutianyu Roundabout and take the h23 back as well. Stops opposite to where you drops off. You can flag it down if you are not  sure if it would have stopped.

2) Take an official taxi from the parking lot of Mutianyu Great Wall Service Area to 916 express bus stop at Huairou. But , it is not easy to find an official taxi back to Beidajie Huairou since it seems that the official taxis are outnumbered by black taxis. In addition, most of the black taxi drivers are local people. Basically people are not willing to offend them. You just wait until you see someone drops off and hail the same taxi back.

3) If you have to take a black taxi back ( not recommended ), you should bargain with them. Take a “black taxi” at the parking lot bringing you back to 916 express bus stop at Huairou ( a choice of no choice).

By the way, when back to the Express Bus 916,  there are two kinds of 916 buses, the express and the normal one. Take the express one! The express 916 bus is recognizable because it have 2 Chinese characters after the number. The return 916 bus leave you in a different place. After leaving the bus you have to continue and turn right and you will be in the Dongzhimen entrance where you started.

Newest Updated:
The blue taxi cabs are not allowed to wait and collect passengers at Mutianyu. Not sure what happened, but didn’t find a single cab while returning from Mutianyu and the office closed. There were several people asking me to board their taxi or minibus. I walked to the public bus stop and i waved down a passing blue cab. He was worried that someone might notice my getting into his cab.

10. Possible Tourist Scams at Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub and fake bus staffers on Bus 916
2000px-warning_icon-svg-p111ng
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A fake official bus station employee (‘friendly lady”- don’t trust her) told us to take the Bus 980 because it would be a shorter ride and that we should get off at the 4th stop. At the 4th stop, there was an older man waiting with a “black taxi”. It was all planned. He was just waiting for us so we were pretty sure that the lady and him were working together.

We ended up taking the bus back to Beijing. He was not gonna get our money, that’s for sure.
So we lost a couple of hours there, unfortunately.

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Hi, your instructions are great – followed them and got to Mutianyu and back without any problems. I can confirm, that a few stops before Beidajie Stop a man in a uniform very similar to public transportation uniform entered the bus and said, that those, who was going to the Great Wall should leave here.

There was lot’s of black taxis on that stop as well. I didn’t leave the bus and continued to go, and get off at  Beidajie Stop where I took a metered taxi without any problem.

On the way back two metered taxis were waiting right on the roundabout. But I also found out, that now it’s possible to get DiDi app in English, so if there is no taxi, but one has mobile internet – the one can be ordered by DiDi without any problem.

———————

11. Hassle-free Mutianyu Great Wall Guided Tours
06611If you don’t want to go the seemingly daunting do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Mutianyu Great wall.

Mutianyu Great Wall Group Day Tour ( No shopping )
Mutianyu Great Wall Half  Day Private Tour ( No Shopping )

Further Readings


How to Get to Badaling Great Wall by Bus
How to visit Great Wall of China around Beijing

Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

Gubei Water Town‍

February 17th, 2019
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Gubei Water Town (古北水镇)is officially known as Beijing Miyun Gubei Water Town (Simatai) International Tourism Resort (北京密云·古北水镇(司马台长城)国际旅游度假区). It is not a historical water town, it is a replica of  Wuzhen Water Town in the Southern China.

Gubei Water Town is built and managed by Beijing Gubei Water Town Tourism Co.,Ltd.which is jointly invested by China CYTS Tours Holding Co.,Ltd., Wuzhen Tourism Development Co.,Ltd., Beijing Energy Investment Holding Co.,Ltd.and Strategic Investor.

The Construction of Gubei Water Town
The water town is built on the former 5 sub natural villages of Simatai Village at the foot of Simatai Great Wall.  The displaced Simatai villagers have moved to the new apartments and townhouses in Simatai New Village, 1.5km west of the old Simatai Village.

This water town is situated in Gubei Township of Miyun County northeast of Beijing, hence the name of Gubei Water Town. It has a charming location with a massive backdrop of the world famous Simatai Great Wall with the romantic Yuanyang Lake ( Mandarin Duck ) below.

The Simatai village was developed from Simatai Castle built during the reign of Emperor Wanli ( 1573 -1620 ) in Ming Dynasty ( 1368 – 1644 ). So the Gubei Water Town resort is a rare combo of Great Wall, Mountains, Lakes and Ancient Villages.

The Gubei Water Town holiday resort  takes an area of 9 square km and the scenic area of the water town resort occupies an area of 0.43 million square meters that is composed of Ming, Qing and Republic era style courtyards, two 5 star hotels, 6 boutique hotels, 400 B&B, restaurants and shops, as well as over 10 cultural exhibition areas with good facilities.

It is not a historical water town, it is a replica of  Wuzhen Water Town in the Southern China.

Gubei Water Town Sightseeing & Leisure Area
The sightseeing and leisure travel area of Gubei Water Town basically consists of 6 areas including Old Barracks Area,  Minguo Street Area (Republic of China Street ),  Water Street Area, Wonglong  Fort Folk Cultural Area, Tanghe Ancient Castle Area and Food & Accommodation Area.

1. Minguo Street Area (Republic of China Street ) 民国街区
When you cross the stone bridge spanning over the Tanghe River, you will come cross an east – west street known as Minguo Street ( literally meaning “Republic of China Street”) which is designed to duplicate a street in the time of Republic of China ( 1912–49).

It seems to me walking on the Minguo Street reminds me of Qianmen Street south of Tiananmen Square. Minguo Street is an open street free of charge outside the paid area. You will see banks, posts, markets, drug stores, clinics, book stores and more on the street.

2. Water Street Area 水街风情区
The Water Street Area is the highlight of Gubei Water Town.  It  brings vividly to life the water towns in Jiangnan ( the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River) represented by Wuzhen Water Town,  Zhouzhuang Water Town  and Tongli Water Town.

It reproduces in the northern China  winding rivers, the waterfront houses, arch stone bridges, cobblestone and stone  slab paths,  old buildings and folk life.  On the Water Street Area, you will visit Simaxiaoshao Distillery and Yongshun Dyehouse and other attractions.

3. Wonglong  Fort Folk Cultural Area 卧龙堡民俗文化区
Along the Tanghe River after the Water Street Area is Wolong Fort Folk Cultural Area. This area is focused on the presentation and preservation of the Chinese folk culture, especially the folk culture in the northern China.

In this area you will appreciate the Chinese traditional houses, Yangwudi Temple, the village theater stage,  Yinghua Academy of Classical Learning and more.

Yinghua Academy of Classical Learning and more.

Yinghua Academy of Classical Learning and more.

4. Tanghe Ancient Castle Area 汤河古寨区
Built along the branch of Tanghe River the Tanghe Ancient Castle Area depicts the ancient fortress or castle life in Ming and Qing dynasties. In this area, you have the opportunity to experience the Eight Banner Guild and Zhenyuan Escort Agency.

Built along the branch of Tanghe River the Tanghe Ancient Castle Area depicts the ancient fortress or castle life in Ming and Qing dynasties

The Tanghe Ancient Castle Area

 5. Food & B&B Accommodation Area 民宿餐饮区
This is the Food & B&B Accommodation Area where you could find 400 B&B and bars.  Most of the B&B are built in the style of traditional hutong or courtyard in Beijing.

Most of the B&B are built in the style of traditional hutong or courtyard in Beijing.

Most of the B&B are built in the style of traditional hutong or courtyard in Beijing.

The interior of the Great Wall Bar at the foot of Simatai Great Wall.

The interior of the Great Wall Bar at the foot of Simatai Great Wall 11123

The interior of the Great Wall Bar at the foot of Simatai Great Wall 11123

6. Simatai Great Wall 司马台长城
The water town has a charming location with a massive backdrop of the world famous Simatai Great Wall. Simatai Great Wall is 5 km long with all together 28 watchtowers ( East 16 and West 12 ).

Simatai Great Wall

Constructed by the Ming Dynasty general Qi Ji Guang, it is one of the few stretches of the Wall that still preserve the original look of that period. It not only features unique points from other Great Wall sections, but also shows some features found nowhere. To the west there 12 watchtowers snaking on the sloping hills. To the east there are 16 watchtowers atop peaks up to 1,000 meters high.

The views are amazing. The wall at Simatai has received very little renovation. So Simatai Great Wall still retains all its original look. It is well beyond the reach of the great crowds of visitors who come to the more popular and easily accessible parts of the Wall.

7. The Old Garrison Town  老营区
The Old Garrison Town Area is outside the Guebei Water Town proper.  It mainly refers to the old fortress or castle area built during the reign of Emperor Wanli ( 1573 -1620 ) in Ming Dynasty ( 1368 – 1644 ).

The Old Garrison Town ( or popularly known as Simatai Castle)  was a small fortified city where the soldiers  and their family members stationed and lived at the foot of Simatai Great Wall in Ming Dynasty. They were responsible for guiding Simatai Great Wall and watching the movements on the top.

In Ming Dynasty, garrisons were required to be self-sufficient on food supplies through local settlements.  So less than a third of a soldier’s time was spent on actual military duties. Instead, most of his time was spent on working on the fields. The present Simatai Village was developed from the old garrison town or Simatai Castle.

The Simatai Castle is located on the west of the huge parking area south of the south entrance to Gubei Water Town.  The Old Garrison Town is under renovation.

8. Hotels within Guobei Water Town 酒店和客栈
The Gubei Water Town plans to build  two 5 star hotels, 6 boutique hotel and quite some guesthouses.  Some hotels have been opened to the public, such as Wtown Hotel,  Wuzhen Hui Boutique Hotel,  Baqi Guesthouse, Biaoju Guesthouse, Liyuan Guesthouse,  Wolong Guesthouse and more.

Wtown Hotel is a 5 star hotel sitting on a hillside and by the Tanghe River. Based on the concept of the European castle and Chinese Great Wall Watch Tower,  Wtown Hotel has been built into a modern and massive construction palace that can be  viewed anywhere in the resort. Wtown Hotel has over 400 rooms including standard rooms, superior rooms, Great Wall View rooms, suites and presidential suites.

Liyuan Guesthouse is a theme guesthouse based on the stories from Peking Opera. Each guesthouse depicts one act from the stories in Peking Opera. It has totally 15 rooms sitting in a two-storey building.

Each guesthouse depicts one act from the stories in Peking Opera. It has totally 15 rooms sitting in a two-storey building.

Each guesthouse depicts one act from the stories in Peking Opera. It has totally 15 rooms sitting in a two-storey building.

 Gubei Water Town Entrance Fee  门票价格

1.  Entrance fee: RMB 150
Senior over 60 years old: Half Price

2. Opening Hours: 8:00- 17:00 (  ticket  selling till 16:30)

2. Simatai Great Wall: RMB 40  ( You need to book your ticket by phone one day in advance)

Ticket Booking Phone Number: 010 – 81009999

Note:
1.If you buy the ticket for Gubei Water Town, then you don’t need to book your Simatai Great Wall ticket one day in advance.
2. Gubei Water Town + Simatai Great Wall Combo Ticket: RMB 170
3. Cable car at Simatai Great Wall: RMB 80 (single); RMB120 (return)

Gubei Water Town Transportation 交通

Self-driving: Driving along Jingcheng Expressway and get off at the 24th Exit of Simatai. Then drive according to the roadside direction signboard for 2-5 munites.

Fixed Deaprture Shuttle Service:
Timetable for the bus service from Donghzimen to Gubei Water Town:
Mon – Fri: 9:00, 12:00 and 15:00
Sat – Sun: 9:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00
Location for Deparure:
In Chinese: 出发地点:东直门外(公交站) 东直门公交枢纽站北侧 942、855路公交车场内
English: Departure: in the compound of the terminal for Bus 942 and 855, North of the main building ( Dongzhimen Transport Hub)

Timetable for the bus service from Gubei Water Town to Donghzimen
Mon – Fri: 12:00, 16:00 and 21:00 ( so the last bus leaving at 21:00 )
Sat – Sun: 12:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 21:00 (so the last bus leaving at 21:00)

Public Transportation:
Take public bus No.980 from Dongzhimen Transportation Hub and get off the stop of Gulou (Drum Tower) at Miyun County, then connect local bus  No.51 or 37 to Simatai Village.  Then walk to Gubei Water Town.

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Simatai Great Wall & Gubei Water Town Day Tour   from US$85 p/p

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

China Snow Town

February 16th, 2019
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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Yabuli and Snow Town from Harbin. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
_______________________________________________________________

If you are thinking of Harbin tour, it is worth having a two-day side trip from Harbin to China Snow Town if you are interested in experiencing the coldest weather and heaviest snow in China.

China Snow Town, also known as China Snow Village or literally Zhongguo Xuexiang (中国雪乡) in Chinese is reputed as the most desirable place to experience the thickest snow and plentiful snow activities in China.

China Snow Town is the nickname of Shuangfeng Forest Farm (双峰林场) in Changting Township (长汀镇) at Hailin City (海林市), Mudanjiang (牡丹江), Heilongjian Province. The forest farm is under the administration of Dahailin Forestry Bureau (大海林林业局).

Shangfeng Forest Farm is located roughly between Harbin (280km to the southeast of Harbin ) and Mudanjiang (170km to the west of Mudanjiang).

The seat of Shuangfeng Forest Farm ( China Snow Town) is a one-street town nestled in a valley surrounded by the thick mountain forest. Like many other forest farms, Shuangfeng Forest Farm is no longer allowed to cut trees for logging trade due to the new policies from the central government. The main task of these forest farms is to raise or take care of the trees in their controlled areas respectively.

Shuangfeng Forest Farm’s unique geological location results in nearly 7-month snowing period in the town, the thickest snow in China. The snow in the town is both thick and sticky, a feature making the town a snow fairyland.

In winter, the traditional houses and courtyards are decorated by the thick snow, creating magnificent natural snow engraving arts – snow mushrooms, snow curtains, snow rabbits, snow horses.

At night, the whole town is lit up by the red lanterns hanging outside their houses and on the streets, making the snow town a romantic place for wandering and unwinding.

Since 2000, Shuangfeng Farm has become more and more popular for its snow landscape featuring the snow arts bestowed by the nature. Gradually Shuangfeng Forest Farm has been transformed from a traditional forest farm into a hot snow destination, attracting thousands of visitors each winter. The RMB 95 entrance fee collected from all visitors have become the main income for the forest farm.

Now China Snow Town has become the password of Shuangfeng Forest Farm which has gradually disappeared from the public. The best time to visit China Snow Town ranges from December to February. Harbin and Mandanjiang are the two main entry cities where you can take long-distance buses or hire a vehicle to get to China Snow Town.

At the time of my writing, there are 7 hotels in the town like Days Hotel & Suites Xuexiang and Xueyunge Hotel. The hotels in the town are far from meeting the increasing demand of tourists coming to the town at peak season.

Most of the workers at the forest farm have turned their courtyard homes into family inns which are mainly composed of several 4-person stone-bed room ( kang ) with shared or private bathrooms. Beside accommodation, they also offer food service, or three meals a day if you prefer. They even go out of their way to help you assisting in planning your local travel arrangement.

Top things to do in China Snow Town
1. Get up early to catch sunrise view at Yangcaoshan Mountain or Tudingshan Mountain. Book your tickets through the official agents or your host family.
2. Hike across from China Snow Valley (雪谷) to Snow Town, a challenging 15-km walking on the snow.
3. Go skiing at Snow Town Ski Resort
4. Taking photos freely on the street or around the houses in the town.
5. Taking pictures at the two paid sites on the street.
6. Just experience the coldest weather.
7. Have a bite of the local food.
8. Enjoy the local Er-Ren-Zhuan (Two-person performance).

Entrance Fee: RMB 95 ( valid for two days )

China Snow Town Tourist Center ( You can buy bus tickets )
China Snow Town is a one-street town. The street is known as “Xueyun Dajie”, about 500 meters long. The tourist center is located in the middle section of the street, near Xueyunge Hotel 雪韵阁酒店.
Enquiry Phone Number in China Snow Town: 15714539911
Enquiry Phone Number in Harbin: 0451 – 84695670
Enquiry Phone Number in Yabuli:    0451 – 83289006

24-hour enquiry in China Snow Town: 400-000-0453

The Highly Recommended Hotel in China Snow Town
Xueyunge Hotel 雪韵阁酒店 ( check out hotel.elong.net/90254432/ )
Rack Price: RMB 980 ( Changing with the market )
0453 – 7410858
Add:  This hotel is located in the middle section of the one-street China snow town, close to the tourist center where you can buy the bus tickets for Harbin or Yabuli.

For more hotel booking in Xuexiang ( Snow Town), please check out the link below:
hotel.elong.net/xuexiang/

How to get to China Snow Town?

China Snow Town Tourist Map

China Snow Town Tourist Map

China Snow Town Tourist Map

Nangang Bus Station 南岗客运站
Kindly reminder:  You’d better take the special buses from Nangang Bus Station ( 南岗客运站) in Harbin though there are other on-route bus stops in Harbin.

Nangang Passenger Bus Station Address: No.26, Shenchun Street, Harbin ( just across Harbin Railway Station by the side of Dicos fast food chain restaurant )
Tel: 0451 – 53634528, or 82830118

Very important notice
If you arrive by high speed train at Harbin West Railway Station, you don’t need to go to Nangang Bus Station for the shuttle bus, you can easily take the shuttle bus starting from Harbin West Railway Station to Yabuli or China Snow Town. The shuttle will pass by Nangang Bus Station.

地址:黑龙江省哈尔滨市春申街26号 (哈尔滨火车站出站口正对面的一栋楼,挨着德克士,写着客运站)
电话:0451-53634528或0451-82830118

Harbin – Yabuli – China Snow Town Shuttle Bus Route:
Operating Time:Mid-December to February
Ticket fares:
Harbin – Yabuli Ski Resort RMB 55;
Yabuli Ski Resort – China Snow Town RMB65
Harbin – China Snow Town RMB 120

Shuttle Bus Timetable ( Harbin – Yubuli – Snow Town )
Harbin – Snow Town:  6:00; 10:00 and 13:00 ( 3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 5 hours;
Harbin – Yabuli:  6:00; 10:00 and 13:00 ( 3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 3 hours;
Yabuli – Snow Town: 9:20, 13:20 and 16:20 (3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 1 hour;

Shuttle Bus Timetable ( Snow Town – Yabuli – Harbin )
Snow Town – Harbin:  7:00; 10:30 and 13:30 ( 3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 5 hours;
Yabuli – Harbin:  9:20; 12:50 and 15:20 ( 3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 3 hours;
Snow Town – Yabuli: 7:00, 10:30 and 13:30 (3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 1 hour;

For me, China Snow Town is a paradise for photography with much opportunity for picture-taking.

The One Street China Snow Town

One of the street-front stores

One of the street-front stores

 

Street vendors are doing business despite of the extreme cold outside.

Street vendors are doing business despite of the extreme cold outside

Street vendors are doing business despite of the extreme cold outside

Dreamland (梦幻家园) is a pay attraction with much opportunity for photo taking.

Have a bite of baked potato.

Have a bite of baked potato.

Have a bite of baked potato.

Snow covered houses

Snow covered houses

Snow covered houses

Rows of houses and courtyards are blanketed by white snow

Rows of houses and courtyards are blanketed by white snow

Rows of houses and courtyards are blanketed by white snow

The snow house resembles a huge mushroom

The snow house resembles a huge mushroom

The snow house resembles a huge mushroom

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Harbin Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Harbin:

Harbin China Snow Town 2 Day Tour from US$ 289p/p
Harbin Yabuli China Snow Town 4 Day Tour from US$ 579p/p

Harbin China Snow Town Private Transfer

Harbin 3 Day Winter Tour Package  from US$335 p/p
Harbin 4 Day Winter Tour package  from US$495 p/p
Harbin Yabuli 1 Day Round Trip   from US$85 p/p
Harbin Yabuli 2 Day Round Trip  from US$360 p/p

Beijing Harbin 3 Day Winter Round Trip by Bullet Train  from US$460 p/p
Beijing Harbin 3 Day Winter Round Trip by Flight  from US$740 p/p
Beijing Harbin 4 Day Winter Round Trip by Bullet Train  from US$630  p/p
Beijing Harbin 4 Day Winter Round Trip by Flight  from US$910  p/p

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Harbin Ice Festival
Where to Stay in Harbin
Top Things to Do in Winter in Harbin
Harbin Ice and Snow Happy Valley
Harbin Ice and Snow World
Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo
Harbin Winter Swimming
Madieer Popsicles in Harbin
Harbin Jihua Ski Resort

Yabuli Ski Resort
Harbin – Yabuli – China Snow Town Shuttle Bus
China Snow Town
Scenic Drive from Harbin to China Snow Town
Sunrise Glow over China Snow Village
Night View of China Snow Village

Any questions, just drop a line.