Archive for the ‘Beijing Excursions’ Category

How to visit the Shilinxia Scenic Area

Sunday, July 28th, 2019
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Plan your Beijing excursion to escape the bustle and hustle of city life? The Shilinxia Scenic Area (石林峡) is a good destination out of Beijing city to touch the unique stone ans rock formations in a 6-km long valley or gorge. “Shilinxia” literally means “stone forest gorge”.

The gorge is located in Diaowo Village at Huangsongyu Township of Pinggu District, 100km east of Beijing city proper. Besides its official name as “Shilinxia Scenic Area”, it also has several different names such as “Jingdong Stone Forest Gorge”, “Pinggu Stone Forest Gorge” and “Jingdong Stone Canyon”.

The Shilinxia Scenic Area is only 10km to the north of Jingdong Karst Cave, both of which are part of Pinggu Huangsongyu National Geopark. Many travelers would like to put the two attractions together on a day trip. To get to the Shilinxia Scenic Area,you may take the public bus 852 or 918 from Dongzhimen Transportation Hub for Pinggu District.

The Bus 852 is faster than Bus 918. Arriving at Pinggu District Bus Terminal, then you change for the local bus No.25 for the Pinggu Stone Forest Gorge or Valley. For self-drive, just drive along the Jingping Expressway and get off at Pinggu District and follow the road sign leading to the Shilingxia scenic Area.

Entrance Ticket: 78 RMB
Cable Car (one way):100 RMB
Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:30 (all year round)
Add: Diaowo Village,Huangsongyu Township, Pinggu District

Enquiry: 69986123, 60987678 ( Beijing Tourist Information Center)
Complaint: 60987678Rescue: 60987922

Travel Tips:
Smoking, campfires and barbecues are forbidden in the scenic area. Just follow the road sign and keep from unmarked areas.

The rocks in the Shilinxia Scenic Area is composed of marine sedimentary sandstones that dates back to 1.9 billion years ago. At that time, the canyon or the gorge was just a crystal basement consisting of metamorphic rocks.

Then like the whole area of Beijing, this area was attacked for the first time by the sea transgression in the history of geology, which lasted one billion years. As a result, the sedimentary rock like the sandstones came into being.

The sandstones in the Shilinxia was formed under a coastal environment. Well, follow me and enter the Shilinxia Scenic Area.

At the entrance, there is a signboard with a brief introduction to the Shilinxia Scenic Area and its 1 and half hour travel route.

To walk close to the entrance to the Shilinxia Scenic Area, you have to cross over a stone bridge leading to the final entrance.

cross over a stone bridge leading to the final entrance

A man-made huge rock-typed entrance carved with three big Chinese characters “石林峡” – the Shilinxia.Once you are inside the scenic area, you have two choices to travel the 6km long valley – either walk on foot or you pay extra RMB50 to take a cable car up to the top of the Shiling Peak.

pay extra RMB50 to take a cable car up to the top of the Shiling Peak


Most travelers prefer to hike along the narrow (about 3 meters wide) valley to touch the greatness of the sandstone gorge. Walking on the rock mountain road gives you a kind of adventure.

Walking on the rock mountain road gives you a kind of adventure.


A stream is winding down past the cracks of the rocks.

A stream is winding down past the cracks of the rocks.


This is the Shilinxia Peak (Stone Forest Peak). The peak looks like a forest of stones, hence the name for the Shilinxia Scenic Area.
 Carry a giant rock on the back. Walking along the deep valley brings much romance to the couple.

Walking along the deep valley brings much romance to the couple.

A huge rock on the cliff

A huge rock on the cliff


Move on further in the gorge for a kind of adventure.

Move on further in the gorge for a kind of adventure.

The world’s largest glass sightseeing platform is open to the public starting from May 01,2016, attracting a consistent flow of visitors. No extra payment. It stands on the highest point on the mountain in the scenic area.

The major Attractions in Pinggu, Beijing

1) Flying Dragon Valley
2) Bolitai Great Wall
3) Jinhai Lake
4) Pinggu Glass Sightseeing Platform
5) Jingdong Karst Cave
6) Huangsongyu Reservior
7) Diaowo Village

Hassle-Free Private Tour to Visit the Glass Sightseeing Platform
If you don’t want go the daunting do-it-yourself-route and prefer an organized hassle-free private tour to visit the glass sightseeing platform, no worry and we have the following options:

Beijing Family Visit Springtime Day Tour
Beijing Family Visit Summer Day Tour
Beijing Family Visit Autumn Day Tour

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.

 

Gubei Water Town‍

Wednesday, July 24th, 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 Departure Direct Shuttle Service:
Timetable for the bus service from Donghzimen to Gubei Water Town:
Mon – Fri: 9:00, 12:00 and 15:30
Sat – Sun: 9:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:30
Location for Departure:
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 Dongzhimen Wai Bus Terminal (also for Bus 942 and 855, and shuttles going Mutianyu Great Wall), 800 meters Northeast of the main building ( Dongzhimen Transport Hub).

Note: It is a bit tricky to find Dongzhimen Wai Bus Station. So how to get to Dongzhimen Wai Bus Station Compound ( 东直门外车站)?

The open-air Dongzhimen Wai Bus Station  Compound is about 800 meters away to the northeast of Dongzhimen Transport Hub. It is also a 10-minute’s walk ( 800 meters)from Exit E of Dongzhimen Subway Station.  You exit from Exit E of  Subway Line 2 at Dongzhimen, walk along Dongzhimen Wai Dajie (东直门外大街), then turn left and walk along Dongzhimen Wai Xiejie (东直门外斜街),  soon you will find the open-air bus station compound on your left side.

Timetable for the bus service from Gubei Water Town to Donghzimen
Mon – Fri: 12:00, 17:00 and 21:00 ( so the last bus leaving at 21:00 )
Sat – Sun: 12:00, 17:00, 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.

How to Visit Jiankou Great Wall

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019
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When you are planning Beijing Tour, an excursion to one of the sections of the Great Wall will be definitely on your agenda. Mutianyu Great Wall is listed as the No.01 attraction in Beijing according to the recommendations by Beijing Tripadvisor Community. But nowadays the temptation is increasing to visit its west neighboring section of the Great Wall known as Jiankou Great Wall due to its wildness, originality and its state of unrestoredness.

Jiankou Great Wall is about 20km long starting from the 23rd Tower of Mutianyu Great Wall to Beijing Knot, the most northwestern tower of Jiankou Great Wall. There are some interesting names given to some dangerous or unique sites along  Jiankou Great Wall.

From its east to west, we just name some of these interesting places on the Wall – Ox Horn Edge,  Jiankou (Arrow Nock ), Sky Ladder, Upward Flying Eagle Tower, Beijing Knot and 9-Eye Tower. We’ll explain all these intriguing names later.

The 20km long Jiankou Great Wall runs generally in a form of “W”, like a bow fully stretched, and the lowest point is know as Arrow Nock ( “Jiankou” in Chinese), hence the name of Jiankou Great Wall. So when we are talking about Jiankou Great Wall, we either refer to the wall itself or the particularly low point of the Wall where it is often used as the starting point for the wall hiking.

Then, how to get to Jiankou Great Wall? How to visit Jiankou Great Wall? What’s the hiking level and am I fit for the hike? Questions like these are often tantalizing people. Lets’ go step by step to answer all these questions.

1. How to Get to Jiankou Great Wall
Generally there are three most used ways of getting up to the Wall: 1) Hiking up from Xizhazi Village (西栅子村) on the north hillside of the Wall 2) Scrambling up from Wofo Mountain Villa (卧佛山庄) on the south  hillside of the Wall 3) Walking from the 23rd Tower on the west of the Mutianyu Great Wall.

So you have three starting points – Xizhazi Village, Wofo Mountain Villa and Mutianyu Great Wall. Which starting point to choose? If you are in a process of Mutianyu Great Wall hike, and at the same time you’d like to have a glimpse of Jiankou Great Wall,  you may choose to walk from the western tip ( the 23rd tower) of Mutianyu Great Wall and then walk on the wild apart of Jiankou Great Wall; if you want to save your energy on the hillside climbing and put your energy on the wall hike itself, you’d better choose to start from Xizhazi Village since the walk from Xizhazi Village to the Arrow Nock (Jiankou) only takes about half hour while scrambling up from Wofo Mountain Villa takes 1.5 – 2 hours.

Look at the Jiankou Tourist Map  below for a clear picture of the Wall.

Jiankou Great Wall

Jiankou Great Wall

Though the mountain climbing from Wofo Mountain Villa up to the Arrow Nock (Jiankou) – the lower part of Jiankou Great Wall, there

are still many travelers use this passage to reach Jiankou Great Wall either because Wofo Mountain Villa has better food service and accommodation facilities since it is a holiday resort and also because hiring a van from Huairou District to Wofo Mountain Village is cheaper than to Xizhazi Village. Wofo Mountain Villa is not far from the entrance to Mutianyu Great Wall,and can be reached by hiring a van from the downtown Huairou District ( about 30 yuan per person).

We recommend you go to Xizhazi Village to start your one day or 2 day Jiankou Great Walk hike.

2. How to Get to Xizhazi Village (西栅子村)
Xizhazi Village is located on the foot of the north hillside of Jiankou Great Wall. The village is administrated by Badaohe Township, 30km northwest of Huairou District and Huairou District is about 70 km north of Beijing city center.

To enter the village, you need to purchase an entry ticket of 20 yuan, and the ticket is not for visiting the village nor Jiankou Great Wall since Jiankou Great Wall is free of charge as it is a wild section. The 20 yuan entrance fee is paid for Heituoshan Scenic Area which is situated in the village. Heituoshan is the second highest peak in Huairou District, just 4 km north of Xizhazi Village facing Jiankou Great Wall to its south.

Xizhazi Village has become a base for Jiankou Great Wall enthusiasts. They eat and stay here. One family in the village with the surname of “Zhao” (赵) is most popular with hikers and photographers who amiably nickname their farm courtyard as “A Photographers’ Home”. They kindly call the host of the family as “Lao Zhao” ( old Zhao ). If you are going to have a 2-day Jiankou hike tour,  you may stay here in Zhao’s home by calling him in advance – 61611762.

Zhao’s Home in Xizhazi Village

Zhao’s Home in Xizhazi Village

That said,  how to get to the village? Early in the morning at 7:00 am, you take the bus 919 or 936 from Dongzhimen Transportation Hub to downtown Huairou District where you share a van ( 40 – 60 yuan per person ) for Xizhazi Village ( or Heituoshan Scenic Area ) – 西栅子村(黑坨山风景区).

3. How to Visit Jiankou Great Wall in One Day
Jiankou Great Wall, especially the west 10 km part of the Wall is dangerous and treacherous. For many international tourists,  not well prepared with hiking gear, we only suggest to hike the east part of the wall, comparatively mild and secure.  The current Jiankou – Mutianyu Great Wall hike day tour is most sought after and very popular among international travelers.

Xizhazi Village has 6 natural sub-villages (or Teams).  If you are going to walk from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutianyu Great Wall, you will start from the No.02 Team  also known as Nanjili Village. Let your driver drop you off at the Nanjili Village of Xizhazi Village (西栅子村南吉利).

The most difficult part of the hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu is the scramble from the No.02 Team of Xizhazi Village (615m sea level) up to Zhengbeilou Tower ( 975m sea level). This one hour uphill climb is done along steep bushy mountain path in a beautiful pine forest. Very often you have to have your hands on rocks, roots, and bushes for balance.

Zhengbeilou Tower ( 975m sea level)

Zhengbeilou Tower ( 975m sea level)

Zhengbeilou Tower is most visited by Jiankou hikers, a starting point for the walk eastwards Mutianyu. Standing on Zhengbei Tower, have a look at the Upward Flying Eagle Tower, Sky Ladder on the west. On the northeast, you will clearly see the Upturn “U” Wall – the Ox Horn Edge Wall. If you don’t have strong legs,  you may take a short cut to circumvent it.

It is a scenic walk from Zhengbeilou to the 23th tower of Mutianyu Great Wall. Steep slopes with loose bricks and stones also add the difficulty of your climbing the Ox Horn Edge Wall up and down. So just skip the the Ox Horn Edge Wall by walking a short cut along a dirt path below the wall instead of hiking uphill along the crumbling steep brickwork.

The rest of the hike is relatviely manageable though you still have to walk through the crumbling brickwork with many soil-grown obstacles, the totally unrestored section of the Wall. Walking up and down, wists and turns. In 2 hours, you will reach the 23th watch tower, the final restored tower on Mutianyu Great Wall.

Mutianyu Great Wall is a restored wall with 23 watch towers snaking along the ridge from the first watch tower in the east up to the final tower (23th tower) in the west,which is linked to Jiankou Great Wall on its west.

If you feel tired after walking directly from Zhengbeilou Tower, you may take a cable car down to the hill from the cable car station below the 14th Watch Tower at Mutianyu Great Wall. If you have strong legs, you may walk downhill from the 10 or 8th watch tower, or you may walk to the 6th tower where you are able either to take a cable car or toboggan downhill. Cable car: RMB60. At the time of my writing, no need to buy the entrance ticket for Mutianyu Great Wall if you walk from Jiankou Great Wall.

4. How to Visit Jiankou Great Wall in 2 Days
Two-day Jiankou Great Wall hikers are either seasoned travelers or adventure-takers. They both come here, well prepared or fully armed, for the most dangerous part of the wall – the 10 km Beijing Knot to Arrow Nock (Jiankou) part of Jiankou Great Wall. Many of them would choose to stay overnight at Zhao’s home ( Tel:61611762;Host: Mr. Zhao Fuqing) in the Team 5 ( or Jiushuikeng Sub-Village ) of Xizhaizi Village ( 西栅子村旧水坑).

Day One: Xizhazi Village  – Jiankou (Arrow Nock) – Sky Ladder – Upward Flying Eagle Tower – Xizhazi Village

Get up early and take the bus 919 to Hairou where share a van for Xizhazi Village. Ask your driver to drop you off at Team 5 ( or Jiushuikeng ) of Zizhazi Village. Take a short break at Zhao’s Family Home, and start your first day hike to Jiankou.

Up to the Upward Flying Eagle Tower

Up to the Upward Flying Eagle Tower

First have a less than one hour’s walk from Zhao’s home to the low part of the wall – Jiankou ( Arrow Nock), then start the hike from Jiankou (Arrow Nock ) west to the Sky Ladder ( See the map above). The Sky Ladder is difficult to climb, narrow just for one person to pass with a slope of 70-80 degrees.

Climb over the Sky Ladder,  you continue west and you will conquer the most difficult part – the Upward Flying Eagle Tower. As the name suggests, the tower is the highest point along Jiankou Great Wall, even hard for an eagle to fly over. Take great care since the tower is built on the tip of the mountaintop,  crumbling and treacherous, you need to take great care! .  After climbing over the tower, choose a short cut back to Xizhazi Village.

the Sky Ladder

the Sky Ladder

Day Two: Xizhazi Village – Beijing Knot – Xizhazi Village

Today you will start up for Beijing Know from Xizhazi Village. Beijing Knot is the most northwest tower along Jiankou Great Wall, high above the mountain. Actually three sections of the wall intersect here at the tower, hence the name of Beijing Knot – one goes to the 9-Eye Tower of the Great Wall running further to the north; the second going west to Huanghuacheng Great Wall and Jiankou itself on the east.

Beijing Knot

Beijing Knot

Alternatively, today you may choose to hike from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutianyu Great Wall.

5. Personal Equipment
1. Good shoe wear and thick socks
2. Sticks
3. Cap, sun-glasses, sunscreen
4. Bottles of water, snacks, pocket knife
5. Lip balm and first aid kit
6. Mobile
7. Carry bottles of water in your travel bags.
8. Wear pants and long-sleeves even in summer to hike through jungles and bushes.
9. Toilet paper.

6. Important Tips and Notice
1. Leave nothing but prints, take nothing but photos
2. Avoid bad or extrem weathers: rain, storm, lightening and foggy days.
3. Use a local tour guide or a local villager as your guide. Don’t recommend solo travel.
4. Take great care since some walls are crumbling and treacherous.

Add on
Jiankou Great Wall Map
Jiankou Great Wall
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

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:

Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$ 75

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.