Beijing Layover Tour
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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Karenkatz,
Westborough, Massachusetts
Reviews onTour-Beijing.Com
Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall Hiking & Camping


Dave Mallard

It was 7:00 am in the early morning. Jinshanling Great Wall is the only great wall that allowed the camping overnight.

Great Wall Hiking and Camping

The previous day we had hiked the 12km section of the wall from Jianshanling to Simatai, and returned to Jinshanling by taxi for camping on the Jinshanling Great Wall. This four hours' hiking covers the stretch sits on rolling ridges. This section of the great wall straddled the border of Beijing and Hebei. It was first built in the sixh century AD. The great wall here took its present shape during the Ming dynasty. The sections beside the gates of Jianshanling and Simatai have both been “improved” for mass tourism. But the renovations soon end and the wall returns to its crumbly five-hundred-year-old self. This makes hiking awkward in some places. But more stable paths run parallel in places where the possibility of doing damage to the wall or yourself is high.

Great Wall Hiking and Camping

You could not consider this section of Great Wall a hiking paradise. Each day, luxury coaches took lots of tourists. You would find locals hawking drinks and souvenirs standing in wait under the shade of the towers. But the trek is long- at least four hours. You do find some peace in some areas.

Great Wall Hiking and Camping

Looking northward. I couldn’t help but imagine myself a Ming soldier inspecting the green landscape beyond for evidence of approaching Mongols. The warrior sensations came into me. It was slightly embarrassing when my friend caught me making the archer motions- and sound effects-at on an arrow lit. I raced up the last hike before we descended into Simatai. I looked triumphantly over the great wall we had just conquered.

Great Wall Hiking and Camping

On a fine day in summer, the wild lushness of the surrounding landscape stretches on for miles and makes an inimitable Great Wall experience. At night, this effect is magnified: the stars become visible in this poetic surrounding and the vegetation turns dark and spectral. Jinshanling is one of the only sections of the Great Wall where you are allowed to stay ovenight, and in the dusk and dark it is transformed. With the crowds and hawkers dispersed, we had the Wall to ourselves. For few hours, it was no longer a tourst attraction, but our private campsite.

Great Wall Hiking and Camping

In between recounting stories of the day, we stared at the stars. Before the candles buned down and we lay down to sleep, the mice began to scurry about and we stuck close to each other. Grateful for the friendship among soldiers.

Great Wall Hiking and Camping

Tips:
The Beijing Backpackers hostel organizes trips to this section every two days year round. RMB 180 for transportation and tickers, and leaves at 7:00am and returns after 5:00pm.
Bring acharcoal pencil and paper for rubbings of bricks that still bear the stamp of the date they were fashioned. Experts recommend drinking one liter of water for every hour you spend hiking.
When you cross the border between Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province midway during your hike, you’ll have to purchase a second ticket for the section into which you are entering.
Simatai Great Wall
Daily 8am-5pm. RMB 40, RMB 20 RMB 35.
Jinshanling Great Wall
24 hours. RMB 30, additional RMB 50 for over night camping.

How to get there:
Simatai:
Car: From Sanyuan Qiao on Third Ring Road, take Jingcheng Highway to Miyun. At Tanghe Daqiao before the bridge, turn right, then follow sings to Simatai Great Wall for the next 10km to get there.
Bus: On weekends take the 8:30am luxury tour bus from Qianmen. Round trip tickets are RMB 95. Bus leaves Simatai around 4:00pm. Or, from Dongzhimen, take 980 to Miyun station then switch to a Simatai boundbus Approx distance: 120km
Jishanling:
Car: From Sanyun Qiao on Thired Ring Road. Take Jingshun Lu all the way past Miyun. A Gubeikou follow signs towards Chengde and then follow signs to Jinshanling Great wall.
Bus: From Dongzhimen long dstance bus station, take a Chengde bound bus and get off at Jinshanling. Then take a cab to the entrance for RMB 10
Approx distance : 120km

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