Posts Tagged ‘Chengziyu’

Chengziyu Great Wall

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

 

Planning your Great Wall tour? If hiking on unrestored and original sections of the Wall is your main interest, then Chengziyu Great Wall is not to be missed. This section of the Great Wall lies to the west of Xiaohekou Great Wall. If you keep on walking from Chengziyu Great Wall to the west, you will reach Badaling Great Wall in Beijing; to the east and south, you will get to Shanhai Pass.
 
Chengziyu Great Wall is named after the village for the name’s sake. Chengziyu Village is under the administration of Fuxiang County of Qinhuangdao in Hebei Province. We drive westward about 15km from Xiaohekou Great Wall along the asphalt mountain road past Xigu Village (3km), Damashan Mountain(6km) and Dongjiakou Village (14km),  and finally get to Chengziyu Village.
 
Actually there are much to see on the Great Wall near Xigu Village, Damaoshan Mountain and Dongjiakou Village. Not enough time, we have to give up. Maybe next time. There were three castles built in Ming Dynasty – Damaoshan castle,Dongjiakou Castle and Chengziyu Castle.
 
On our way to Chengziyu Great Wall, we ask our driver to stop at Dongjiakou Village to snap some pictures. Dongjiakou Pass was an important Great Wall pass north of Shanhaiguan Pass. Most of the villagers in Dongjiakou Village are the descendants of the army and builders coming from Yiwu and Shaoxing led by Qi Jiguang, the architect in chief  in charge of the rebuilding of the great wall from Beijing Juyongguan Pass in the west to Shanhai Pass in the east.
 
Pass by the dilapidated castle at Dongjiakou Village with the Great wall looming overhead. 

the dilapidated castle at Dongjiakou Village

 
Dongjiakou Village and the Great Wall

Dongjiakou Village and the Great Wall

  
Move further west for about one and half kms, we reach Chengziyu Great Wall. “Chengziyu” literally means “castle’s valley”. The remaining arch of the castle was too treacherous, it was rebuilt last year. The restored castle remnant looks ugly, a little disappointing, lacking the originality.

The restored castle remnant looks ugly

 
Mr.Zhang Heshan is the only Great Wall warden in Chengziyu Great Wall. He is also a memeber of China Great Wall Protection Association. He is the 14th generation of the descendants from the army and builders led by Qi Jiguang from Yi Wu, a town in southern China. He is our guide today.
 
With Mr.Zhang taking the lead, we walk along the narrow lanes in the village.

With Mr.Zhang taking the lead, we walk along the narrow lanes in the village

 
Each family has a stone courtyard in the village.

Each family has a stone courtyard in the village.

 
We come across a placard saying “Take nothing but photos; leave nothing but footprints; keep the wall wild and wonderful”.

Take nothing but photos; leave nothing but footprints; keep the wall wild and wonderful

 
The so called Chengziyu Great Wall is divided into two sections with the wide valley in the middle – east section and west section. Mr. Zhang suggests we climb the west section since we come to the village in the afternoon. He says it is better to come to enjoy the Chengziyu Great Wall in the morning an hike the east section for better views. he also introduces that in the past between the two section lied the valley pass of the Great Wall. Now Chengziyu Pass is totally disappeared. 
 
Half way on the hill, we turn back at the village down blow. Mr.Zhang says the village is nestled in the valley in the shape of the Big Dipper.
 

the village is nestled in the valley in the shape of the Big Dipper.

Look at the east and zoom in the line of the Great Wall towers on the east secion, east side of the valley. 

Look at the east and zoom in the line of the Great Wall towers.

Follow Mr.Zhang hiking up to the west section along wall path rife with bushes and sapplings. 

Follow Mr.Zhang hiking up to the west section along wall path rife with bushes and sapplings

We climb past the first fort and again have a glimpse of the village below.

We climb past the first fort and again have a glimpse of the village below.

 

We continue to move to the second fort.

We continue to move to the second fort.

 
The wall is faced with bricks with dressed slat base.

The wall is faced with bricks with dressed slat base.

 
Taking a photo with Mr.Zhang west of the second three-eye tower (three windows).

Taking a photo with Mr.Zhang west of the second watch tower.

 
We stop at the middle way between the second and the third tower. I snap a picture of the third fort and stop moving further. 

I snap a picture of the third fort and stop moving further

Mr.Zhang asks me to turn right (east side) and say it was once a large trade and market area on the border area. On the right side (south) was inside the wall while on the left side was outside the wall. If the residents from outside the wall entering the Great wall pass, they must show their ID documents in the past. He says now his village is on the south under the administration of Hebei Province while the village on the north (left side) of Liaoning Province.

it was once a large trade and market area on the border area

 
It is almost dinner time and Mr.Zhang asks us to have dinner at his home. Climb down the hill, we see smoke from a kitchen chimney.
 

we see smoke from a kitchen chimney.

Mr.Zhang’wife has already been busy with preparing us for a local dinner.

Mr.Zhang'wife has already busy with preparing us for a local dinner.

 
His house is a two-storey building, one of the two two-storey buildings in the village, belonging to the part of the people who have got rich first.

His house is a two-storey building

 
One of their bedrooms, clean and spacious. 

One of their bedrooms, clean and spacious.

In less than half hour, an organic meal is presented on the table; fried egges from their own naturally raised chichens; braised pork in soy sauce with the pork from their own raised pigs and vegatables from their fields, which, for urban residents, is too luxury!
 

an organic meal is presented on the table

Any questions, just drop a line.