Archive for the ‘Great Wall of China’ Category

How to Visit the Great Wall of China around Beijing?

Friday, March 2nd, 2018
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following quick guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors visiting the Great Wall around Beijing. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
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Plan your Great Wall Tour? Needless to say, you will visit the Great Wall of China on your first trip to Beijing China. So, when to visit, which sections of Great Wall to visit and how to visit?

The Great Wall of China was built mainly during the three dynasties – Qin Dynasty (221 B.C to 206 B.C), Han Dynasty (206 B.C.– 220 A.D ) and Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D – 1644 A.D).

The most powerful Yuan Dynasty and the last Dynasty – Qing Dynasty did nothing about the building of the Wall since they were “barbarians” against whom the Great Wall of China was supposed to have been built.

Actually the history tells us the Great Wall played no effective role in preventing the “barbarians”. Rarely did the Wall stop any invasions, large or small. But the Great Wall did do many things: it proclaimed the frontier, it employed the thousands, it prevented defections, it displayed the mighty of the emperor and provided numerous frontier areas for trades.

The Great Wall is not an “it” as you think. It is a “them”, walls in the plural, and they do not form a continuous line. They are in bits, built in different dynasties.

Those “bits” of the Great Wall snake across the northern China stretching from Shanhaiguan Pass in the east  to Jiayuguan Pass in the west, totaling 21196 km long with the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty being  the longest –  8851 km.

Beijing is a good place to visit the “sections” of the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty. Most of the “sections” of the Great Wall open to tourists here are tamed and reconstructed for the safety of travelers. But still there remain many wild ones (original and unrestored) – crumbling, overgrown and barred to walkers, but attracting adventure hikers.

Here are some tips for planning ahead your visit to Great Wall of China around Beijing:

Tip # 01: The best time to hike the Great Wall of China
In Beijing, all the  officially-administered sections of the Great Wall are open to tourists all year round. The ideal months for the Great Wall hike fall on spring, early summer, and autumn: later March, April, May, June, September, October and early November.

Great Wall Hike in Spring (March 15 to May 15)
Each year, March 15th is the official day of turning off the heating system in Beijing. This special date indicates the dry, harsh cold of Beijing’s winter is coming to an end though Beijingers will still have some chilly days in March.

A warmer spring usually starts early April and ends early May. So a warm springtime in Beijing lasts over one month. Kindly reminder: There are possibly dust storms in March. But things are getting much better with the efforts put into the local environment management. Generally speaking, Beijing is dry and windy in spring.

Spring is a delightful time to visit the Great Wall – mild climate, green trees and flowers. But if you hike the Great Wall, you still feel chilly and a bit cold especially in March, wearing jackets in the morning and evening due to the big temperature drop between day and night.

Visiting Great Wall in Summer (May 15 to September 15)
If you happen to visit the Wall in summer – later June, July and August, be prepared for heat stroke prevention – sunglasses, sun cream,  sun block, hat, and water.  Summer is the rain season in Beijing and just bring waterproof in case. The weather in July and August is a bit muggy, so be well prepared for your hiking in summer.

You will expect a long queue, waiting to buy entrance tickets for the Great Wall mainly due to the large number of domestic tourists because of school vacations in July and August.

Hike Great Wall in Autumn (September 05 to November 15)
The foggy and cloudy days in Beijing’s oppressive summer are leaving us, coming with Beijing’s cooling autumn, with a blue sky, comfortable sunshine and the colorful leaves in and around Beijing.

Beijing autumn, specifically the two months from the mid-September to mid-November are the best season to visit Great Wall in a year. It’s always comfortably cool outside.

The best period autumn colors starts from October 15 throughout November 15 in Beijing with many trees changing theirs colors with charming autumn hues. Snap pictures or just take in a feast for the eyes!

Fairly big difference in temperature between early morning and afternoon. Wear a thin  jacket, or a warm coat in the morning, long-sleeve shirts or short T-shirts in the afternoon. So be mindful of the temperature difference in Autumn, comfortable sport shoes, rubber soled shoes for hiking. In afternoon, sometimes the autumn sunlight could be very strong, get ready for sunglasses, sun cream and sun hat.

Visit Great Wall in Winter  (November 15 to March 15)
Winter Great Wall Hike is a bit challenging mainly due to the frozen weather in later December, January and early February each year in Beijing. You are advised to dress warmly – winter hat with ear flap, ear warmers, gloves, scarf, warm jackets and their winter accessories.

The Great Wall is impossible to hike only because the roads leading to the  sections of the Great Wall are blocked due to the heavy snow or other extreme weather. If you plan to do the hike in winter, we do suggest you check the weather report.  Check out  How to dress for visiting Great Wall in winter.

Tip # 02: Avoid weekends or public holidays for the Wall
It is better to hike the Wall during the weekdays instead of weekends. Strongly advise you not to visit the Wall during China public holidays ( Especially May 1-3, and October 1-7).

Crowds at Badaling Great Wall

Crowds at Badaling Great Wall during holidays.

On these special days you will waste much of your valuable time on the way from your hotel to the Wall. On the Wall, you have to take group photos since there are a great number of people on the Wall.

Tip # 03: Select the right bit of the Wall (Great Wall Guide)
There are  8 major sections of the Great Wall around Beijing. 7 of the 8 sections of the Wall are legally open to tourists home and abroad. “legally open” means these sections of the Wall are tamed, repaired and controlled by a local Great Wall administration bureau with well-managed facilities like parking lots, guard rails, restaurants, toilets and more.

Within the officially-managed sections of the Great Wall, the entrance fees are collected, police stations are set up and security guides are dotted along the Wall.

These “legal” sections of the Wall are Juyongguan, Badaling, Mutianyu, Jinshanling, Gubeikou, Huanghuacheng ( certain sections opened) and Simatai.

Jiankou is not open to common tourists due to their wildness and treacherousness.

Below are the tips for choosing the right bit of the Wall you most like:

1) If you don’t have much time, but you still want to have a glimpse of the Wall, especially on a busy day, choose Juyongguan Great Wall. Juyongguan, literally “Juyong Pass”(居庸关), is situated in a valley named “Guangou” as long 20 kilometes, which is within Changping District, about 50 kilometers north of downtown Beijing. It is one of the three most famous passes of Great Wall in China。

Juyongguan Grea tWall

Juyongguan Great Wall


2) If you want to see the most popular and gorgeous restored section of the Wall in Beijing, go to Badaling Great Wall.  Badaling is also wheelchair friendly , accessible by the handicapped.

Badaling Great Wall

Badaling Great Wall


3) If you want to visit the Wall with beautiful green scenery and environment ( travel with kids or seniors), less crowded, then visit Mutianyu Great Wall.

 

Mutianyu Great Wall

Mutianyu Great Wall


4) If you want to hike the wild and original sections of the Wall (half restored or unrestored), go to visit Shixiagan Great Wall, Jiankou Great WallJinshanling Great Wall, Gubeikou Great WallHuanghuacheng Great Wall and Simatai Great Wall  or put them together.

Check out: Hike from Jiankou Great Wall to Mutinayu Great Wall.
Jiankou Great Wall is forbidden to hike according to the official rule and regulations concerned. Hikers are responsible for their own safety while hiking Jiankou Great Wall.

Jiankou Great Wall

Check out Hike from Gubeikou Great Wall to Jinshanling GreatWall.
Today’ Gubeikou Great Wall is only composed of two parts – Panlongshan Great Wall and Wohushan Great Wall. “Panlongshan” literally means “Coiled Dragon Mountain” while “Wohushan” literally means “Crouching Tiger Mountain”.

The two mountains faces each other with a valley in between from south to north, a strategic passage in the ancient times linking Inner Mongolia and Beijing. Now the valley has been turned into a fast developing Gubeikou Township under Miyun County of Beijing City.

Gubeikou Great Wall


Check out Simatai Great Wall.

There are totally 16 watch towers distributed on the Simatai Great Wall snaking the ridge of the steep mountain. The 13th-16th towers are forbidden to hike due to their steepness and treacherousness.

Simatai Great Wall


Check out Hike Across Shixiaguan GreatWall.

Shixiaguan Great Wall ( literally means “Stone Gorge Pass Great Wall”) is officially known as Ruined Badaling Great Wall. It is 5km southwest of the restored Badaling Great Wall,a western gate of the Badaling Defense Works.

Shixiaguan Great Wall


Check out Huanghuacheng Great Wall.

Huanghuacheng (literally meaning “Yellow Flower City”) Great Wall (黄花城), about 65 km north of downtown Beijing, is one of the most ruined sections of the wall in Beijing.

It has become popular with hikers in recent years. This section of the great wall is about 1000 meters long and connecting Juyongguan Pass Great Wall and Badaling Great Wall in the west and Jiankou Great Wall and Mutianuyu Great Wall in the east. Now it is a quite challenge to climb the wall since it is overgrown and treacherous.

Huanghuacheng Great Wall


Check out Jinshanling Great Wall

Jinshanling Great Wall (金山岭长城) is located about 130 km in the northeast of the downtown Beijing. To its east stands the Simatai Great Wall and the west stands Gubeikou Great Wall. Jinshangling Great Wall was named after the mountain called Jinshan Mountains. The Jinshanling Great Wall was first constructed built in the Ming Dynasty.

The famous general, Xu Da, of the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) supervised and directed the construction of the Great Wall. Later, Qi Jiguang led a number of defense works while guarding the north area in 1567.

Jinshanling Great Wall

Tip # 04: Choose the right transportation to get to the Great Wall

How to Get to Badaling Great Wall

1)Take Badaling Great Wall Bus No.877 (Bus Fare: RMB 12)

Deshengmen (德胜门)- Badaling (八达岭)
Operating Hours:
06:00-12:00(Apr.1-Oct.31)
06:00-12:30 (Nov.1-Mar.31)

Return:
Badaling (八达岭)- Deshengmen (德胜门)
10:30-17:00(Apr.1-Oct.31)
11:00-16:30(Nov.1-Mar.31)
From: Deshengmen Bus Station

Note:
Bus 919 has two kinds of bus lines: 919 express (919快) and 919 slow (919慢) with their final destinations being Yanqing County. Bus 919 will stop at the Badaling Great Wall ( the drop-off stop is a bit far from the ticketing office). You are still advised to take 877, the special bus for Badaling Great Wall tourists.

By the way, there is a bit chaos around Deshengmen Bus Station with some touts pushing you to take theirs vehicles or group. Just forget it and insist on taking the official Bus 877. Have a good day!

2. Go to Badaling Great Wall by Train

Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule
The S2 Train Timetable below is just for your reference and subject to possible changes. Note: The 7:58 train out of Beijing is quite crowded. One has to run to get a good seat.The return trip at 11:50 is mostly empty. In tourist high season, the trains fill up quite fast and once it is full, you will have to wait for the next train.

(A)Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station → Badaling Great Wall Train Schedule
(4 Daily Trains, 3 trains on Tue, Wed and Thu) and  4 trains on Fri, Sat and Sun )

Train S201: 06:30 – 07:37 ( Daily)
Train S205: 08:40 – 09:05 ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S207: 09:06 – 10:15  ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S209: 11:06– 12:13  ( Daily )
Train S211: 12:38– 14:01  ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S213: 13:20 – 14:25 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S215: 13:44 – 14:50 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S217: 15:34 – 16:43 ( Daily )
Train S219: 17:09 – 18:30 ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S221: 17:50 – 18:57 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S227 21:30 – 22:38 ( Tue, Wed and Thu )

(B)Badaling Great Wall → Beijing Huangtudian Ralway Station Train Timetable
(4 Daily Trains, 3 trains on Tue, Wed and Thu) and  4 trains on Fri, Sat and Sun )

Train S208: 08:26 – 09:41 ( Daily)
Train S210: 10:35 – 12:03 ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S214: 11:38 – 13:10  ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S216: 13:20 – 14:53  ( Daily)
Train S218: 14:45 – 16:31  ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S220: 15:30 – 17:04 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S222: 16:05 – 17:40 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S224: 17:17 – 18:54 ( Daily)
Train S226: 19:18 – 20:47 ( Tue, Wed and Thu )
Train S228: 19:42 – 21:22 ( Fri, Sat and Sun )
Train S232: 21:18– 23:01 ( Daily)

Take the S Train from Beijing Huangtudian Railway Station to Badaling

From: Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub (东直门交通枢纽)

To:Mutianyu Great Wall 慕田峪长城

Check out ” How to Get to Mutianyu Great Wall by Public Bus” for more information.

Important Notice: The final destination of the Bus 916 Express is actually Huairou Beidajie (怀柔北大街)in Huairou District, then you have to change for the local bus H23 or 24 (Huairou – Dongtai 怀柔至洞台), continue to take the bus for another 18.6km, pass 8 stops and get off at Mutianyu Great Wall finally.

Bus 916 Express (916快)Fare: RMB 12
Bus H23, or 24 Fare: RMB 5
Bus Operation Time: 6:00-17:00 ( every 20 minutes )From: Dongzhimen Public Transport Hub (东直门交通枢纽)

Bus No. 980 Express (980快) To: Destination: Jinshanling Great Wall 金山岭长城.
Very Important Notice: Actually the Bus 980 Express stops at Miyun County ( 密云汽车站 ), and then you take a mini bus from the downtown Miyun to Jinshanling.

Bus Fare: RMB 15

Minibus Fare: about RMB 50 ( you have to share a mini-bus for Jinshanling Great Wall)

Take a taxi to the Great Wall
You can also charter a taxi for day trips to the Great Wall. The drive ranges from 1.5 hour to 2.5 hours from the city center according to the different sections of the Great Wall.

Below are the approximate taxi fares to the different sections of the Great Wall with waiting for about 2-3 hours while touring the wall:

Beijing Mutianyu Great Wall: 85km – RMB 600
Beijing Badaling Great Wall: 80km – RMB 500
Beijing Simatai Great Wall: 140km – RMB 700
Beijing Juyongguan Great Wall: 60km – RMB 400
Beijing Jinshanling Great Wall: 160km RMB 800
Beijing Gubeikou Great Wall: 150km – RMB 750
Beijing Jiankou Great Wall: 85km – RMB 650
Beijing Huanghuacheng Great Wall 85km – RMB 600

Tip # 05: Book a Great Wall Bus Tour
Don’t want to make the do-it-yourself route? No worries, you can easily book Great Wall Bus Tour (daily group tours) through your hotel or local tour operators.  Check out Beijing Group Tour for more information.

Each morning, you will be picked you up from your midtown hotel, then you will go to visit the Wall together with other tourists.

Groups are kept to about 10 passengers in a comfortable modern 22-seat coach with professional Beijing chauffeurs and English speaking tour guide.

Tip # 06 Stay near the Great Wall
If you want to stay one night or more near the Wall, below are some of the inns and hotels for your consideration:

Juyongguan Great Wall Hotel
the Cummune by the Great Wall
Huanghuacheng Fuwang Courtyard Farmhouse
the Schoolhouse by the Mutianyu Great Wall
Jinshanling Hote
Simatai Great Wall Courtyard Hotel
the Chateau Changyu AFIP Global Beijing

Tip # 07 Tips for Wheelchair users (Beijing Disability Travel)
Both Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall have accessible ramp paths.  On the Badaling Great Wall, a special flat lane is built for wheelchair users to get to the third watch tower of the Great Wall. Even two elevators are equipped for easy ascending the wall if you book the elevator service in advance.

Badaling Great Wall has the upper hand over Mutianyu Great Wall with its gentle ramp leading to the first watch tower of the Great Wall.

 

 

The gentle ramp leads to the Badaling Great Wall.

The gentle ramp leads to the Badaling Great Wall.

Check out “The Most Wheelchair-Friendly Great Wall to Visit” for more tips for accessible Great Wall of China.

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.

The accessible paths in Mutianyu Great wall are too steep, not wheelchair user-friendly!
The accessible lane from the upper cable car station to the platform below the 14th watch tower on Mutianyu Great Wall.

The steep ramp at Mutianyu Great Wall

The steep ramp at Mutianyu Great Wall

The accessible platform for wheelchair users below the 14th watch tower on Mutianyu Great Wall.

Tip # 08 Tips for Experienced Travelers
you may choose half restored or wild sections of the Wall. But you have to be responsible for your own safety.

Travel Notes for wild great wall hiking:
1. Things to take: sports shoes or hiking boots, sticks, cap, sun-glasses, sunscreen, bottles of water, snacks, pocket knife, lip balm and first aid kit.
2. Using toilets at the entrance of the Wall. No toilets on the hiking route. Please always carry toilet paper by yourself.
3. Wearing pants and long-sleeves even in summer to hike through jungles and bushes.
4. You are responsible for your travel insurance for your coverage of injury or accident.
5 Be a green and responsible hiker, taking nothing but photos and leaving nothing but footprint.

Tip # 09 Hassle-free Great Wall Guided Tours
Don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route? No worries, We at Tour Beijing have some options for guided tours to Great wall Tours:

Mutianyu Great Wall Group Day Tour
Mutianyu Great Wall Half  Day Private Tour
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Tour
Hike from Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall Tour
Hike from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall West Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall and Underground Palace Day Tour
Badaling Great Wall + Forbidden City + Tiananmen Square Day Tour

Add on:
Visit Badaling Great Wall by Train
Visit Mutianyu Great Wall by Bus

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 Huangyaguan Great Wall

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
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Huangyaguan ( Huangya Pass ) Great Wall is located 130km to the east of Beijing and 30km in the north of Ji County ( or Jixian County) in Tianjin. Huangyaguan Great Wall is a restored section of the Great Wall of China including a military fortress. It is is a by-product of the massive rebuilding and revamping of the Great Wall of China in 1980s.

This section of Huangyaguan Great Wall used to be 54km in length with 52 guide-towers and 14 beacon-owers connected to Jiangjunguan Pass Great Wall (now in Beijing region) in the east and to Malanguan Pass Great Wall, extended to Panjiakou Pass Great Wall(Tangshan Hebei Provicne) in the west. It was originally built in 556 in Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577).

It was rebuilt with bricks and towers by Qi Jiguang (November 12, 1528 – January 5, 1588), the commander in chief Qizhen Garrison, one of the nine garrisons responsible for the frontier defence and the building of the Great Wall from Beijing to Shanhaiguan. Hiking westward from Huangyaguan Great Wall, you’ll get to Badaling Great Wall and eastward to Shanhaiguan Pass.

From Sept, 1984 to Sept, 1987, the repair work of Huangyanguan Great Wall was carried out. As a result, a total 3025m section of the Wall was restored and rebuilt with a completion of 20 watch towers and one fortress, one of the longest restored section of the Great Wall of China.

Huangyaguan Great Wall Contact Information

Tel: 022-22718080
Fax: 022-22718106
Add: Huangyaguan Village, Xiaying Town of Ji County in Tianjin
Entrance Fee: RMB 50 per person
How to get there from Beijing:
1) Self-drive: Drive along Jingping Express and turn left at Wangzhuangqiao, then drive directly to Huangyaguan Great Wall, 131km totally.
2) Long-distance bus: take the bus from Beijing Sihui Long Distance Bus station to Jixian County. Operated every ten minutes from 06:30 to 19:30. While in Jixian County, you are supposed to take a taxi or van to the Huangyanguan Great Wall at the cost of about RMB50.

When reaching the main entrance to Huangyaguan Great Wall, we are told that there are two sections of the restored great wall with the pass or the castle in the middle nestled in an valley flanked by Banlagang Mountain (Half a Clinder Mountain) in the west and Wangmaoding Mountain in the east. We are further advised to hike the east section since the west section is very easy for hiking with only 3 or 4 towers, suitable for kids and senior hikers. Ok, we prefer the east section for exploring Huangyaguan Great Wall.

The east section of Huangyaguan Great Wall is also known as Taipingzhai Great Wall, 2152m long with its east linked to the steep ridge of Banlagang Mountain and its west connected down to Huangyaguan Pass, or the castle in the valley. So to climb the east section, we have to drive up to the fortress of Taipingzhai Great Wall with a sea-level of 900m , then hike about 2152m down to the pass.

One and half hour 2150m hike from Taiping Zhai to Huangya Pass (also known Bagua Labyrinth Castle).

Our hike starts with the fortress of Taipingzhai (900m sea-level). Our Buick Van driver Zhou takes us to the parking lot below Taipingzhai Fortress along a zigzag mountain cement road.

Our hike starts with the fortress of Taipingzhai (900m sea-level)

 

Our one and half hour climb covers a 2150m long wall winding up and down the ridges with a final destination at the castle – Bagua Labyrinth.

We hike westward. While to our east direction, the wall winds up and meets the steep top of Banlagang Mountain serving as a natural barrier.

the steep top of Banlagang Mountain serving as a natural barrier

Unlike the wild and unrestored sections at Panjiakou, Xifengkou, Baiyangyu, Xuliukou, Liujiakou, Chengziyu, Xiaohekou and Zhuizishan, this section of the Wall is new. Hiking along the restored wall doesn’t give you a sense of history, or you cannot feel and touch the history behind the wall. It is more like doing a hiking exercises than hiking a Great wall of China. 

this section of the Wall is new

Taipingzhai Great Wall stretches along the mountain ridges up and down

Taipingzhai Great Wall stretches along the mountain ridges up and down

This flight of stairs is treacherous. Even a moden day repair section is not easy, let along the its original construction 1400 years ago.

This flight of stairs is treacherous.

Huangyaguan Great Wall, though lack of originality due to its recent restoration, remains a haven for family outing, a safe and interesting place.

Huangyaguan Great wall remains a haven for family outing,

This is a Saw-tooth Great Wall, steep, 85 degree!

This is a Saw-tooth Great Wall, steep, 85 degree

After the saw-tooth wall, we continue to hike to a round and yellow tower.

we continue to hike to a round and yellow tower

We hike past the yellow tower built of loose slate.

We hike past the yellow tower built of loose slate

Before we hike down to the castle, we still have two towers to conquer. This section of the wall was built on the ancient wall constructed with slabs in Northern Qi Dyasty (550-577).

This section of the wall was built on the ancient wall constructed with slabs in Northern Qi Dyasty

This tower is known as Widow Tower, hand-built by 12 widows from Henan Province with the consolation money given by Qi Jiguan. All the widows’ husbands had given their lives fo the building of Huangyaguan Great Wall.

This tower is known as Widow Tower

We have just conquered the last two towers of Taipingzhai Great Wall and I look back with a satisfied heart.

We have just conquered the last two towers of Taipingzhai Great Wall

The east section of Huangyaguan Great Wall ends up at a steep mountain ridge which makes a wall unnecessary. Here we can clearly view the west section of Huangyaguan Great Wall with its castle down in the valley.

a steep mountain ridge which makes a wall unnecessary

We leave the wall and turn right on a make-shift mountain road down to the castle. Here we can have a clear picture of the castle or the fort of Huangyaguan Pass Great Wall. The castle is a city like Bagua Labyrinth with its east part as a five-arch water pass great wall.

a clear picture of the castle or the fort of Huangyaguan Pass Great Wall

On the way to the castle in the valley, we meet a great wall warden, picking litter and rubbish on the great wall.

we meet a great wall warden

Have a close look at the five arch water gate wall linked to the castle in the east. The castle has a circumference of 890 m in a shape of irregular nife.

a close look at the five arch water gate wall

Now we are on the water gate wall leading to the castle with the west section of Huangyanguan Great Wall looming overhead in a distance.

We walk down to the castle and take a pciture of the grand pass tower of Huangyaguan Pass.

the grand pass tower of Huangyaguan Pass

Any questions, just drop a line.

Xifengkou Great Wall

Thursday, April 19th, 2012
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At 5:30 am we’ve luckily caught the rising sun over Panjiakou Great Wall, and we are back to our farmhouse at the foot of Panjiakou Great Wall. The distant water area on the right side of the farmhouse, you are still able to see the wall submerged in water, the underwater great wall pass (Panjiakou Great Wall Pass ) which are viewed much clearly during the dry season.

Not far from and to the east of Panjiakou Great Wall Pass is another famous great wall pass, Xifengkou Great Wall Pass which is also submerged in the reservoir. After breakfast, we’ll explore Xifengkou Great Wall.

you are still able to see the wall submerged in water

On the right side of the farmhouse, you are still able to see the wall submerged in water

Now before breakfast, I walk around the small penisular since when we came her yeaterday night, it was quite dark and had no time to appreciate the views. This is the boat-turned restaurant which also has several rooms for travelers to stay overnight.

Last night we had dinner on the boat house and will have breakfast soon on the same place.

This is the boat-turned restaurant.

This is the boat-turned restaurant

The farmhouse host – Mr.Liu, an early riser, now he is tugging his speedboat to the shore. The underwater great wall pass is behind him, constituting a beautiful scene.

The underwater great wall pass is behind him

A cute dog and chickens live peacefully here at the foot of Panjiakou Great Wall.

The cute dog and chickens live peacefully here at the foot of Panjiakou Great Wall

Our simple breakfast include millet porridge, millet bread, tofu, steamed buns and salty eggs.

Our simple breakfast

After breakfast, we’ll take the speedboat to Xifengkou Great Wall. 

After breakfast, we’ll take the speedboat to Xifengkou Great Wall

Now we are saying goodbye to our hostess and her family member. They are very helpful and hospitable during our short stay.

Now we are saying goodbye to our hostess and her family member

We are leaving Panjiakou Great Wall and the farmhouse. With the speedboat going faster, the mountain and great wall become smaller.

We are leaving Panjiakou Great Wall and the farmhouse

This section of Xifengkou Great Wall was orginally built in the early years in Ming Dynaty (1368 – 1644) under the command of by General Xuda. Xinfengkou Great Pass was one of the 32 strategically imortant passes built on the Yanshan Mountain Ranges. It was successively repaired and rebuilt due to the numerous flights and battles in different dynasties.

Between March 09 and April 13, 1933, the Kuomintang’s 29th Army led by Song Zheyuan fought successfully against the Japanese invaders in and around Xifengkou Great Wall Pass. A few years again, the famous film maker and actor – Jiangwen shot a film titled “The Japanese Invaders are coming” and one of the scenes were selected here around Xifengkou Great Wall.

In 10 minutes, our speeboat takes us close to Xifungkou Great Wall with its pass city submerged under the reservoir. Xifengkou Great Wall is sectioned into two parts – north part (north of the pass city) and southeast part (south of the pass city). It is said that Xifengkou Pass was impregnable with a pass city built of three pass doors.

Xifengkou Great Wall with its pass city submerged under the reservoir. Now we are approaching a makeshift quay and clearly see a “Japanese” blockhouse high on a hillside with a huge placard written with the film name “The Japanese invaders are coming.” So the blockhouse is a used stage property, which has been well preserved as a magnet attracting domestic tourists.

a “Japanese” blockhouse high on a hillside

a Japanese blockhouse high on a hillside

Jumping from from our speedbaoat taking up a berth at a make-shift quay, we walk along a path leading up to the Xifengkou Great Wall. The courtyards and rooms are used stage properties by the film named “The Japanese Invaders are coming”.

The courtyards and rooms are used stage properties

We trudge up the hill and walk along a trodden path by the wall.

We trudge up the hill and walk along a trodden path by the wall.

We are on the wall starting from the third watch tower of its south section of Xifengkou Great Wall. From this angle, we clearly see the submerged pass city in the reservoir with its north and south (on our side) sections of Xifengkou Great Wall.

we clearly see the submerged pass city

we clearly see the submerged pass city

We walk past the third fort and turn back taking a picture of the tower sitting on an overgrown and crumbling wall winding up on the hillside.

taking a picture of the tower sitting on an overgrown and crumbling wall winding up on the hillside

 

On our left side below, we spot our speedboat docking at the simple pier at a bay and Panjiakou Reservoir looks a huge lake surrounded by mountains by all sides.

we spot our speedboat docking at the simple pier at a bay

We continue to walk on the trodden path teemed with bushes and sapplings on the wall top down to the second watch tower.

walk on the trodden path teemed with bushes and sapplings

Pass through the dilapidated fort and move on to the first tower on the south section of Xifengkou Great Wall. This fort is still preserved in a better shape than the previous two towers we have just walked through.

We are insidet the first tower on the south section of Xifengkou Great Wall.

We are insidet the first tower on the south section of Xifengkou Great Wall.

Again we walk through the first tower and step down to the most northern tip of the south section of Xifengkou Great Wall where it was once linked to the great wall pass city, but submerged in the reservoir.

step down to the most northern tip of the south section of Xifengkou Great Wall

The wall is disappearing into the water of Panjiakou Reservoir.
Again we are back to our speedboat and asks Mr.Liu our boat driver to come closer to the north section of Xifengkou Great Wall which is also disappearing into the water of Panjiakou Reservoir.

come closer to the north section of Xifengkou Great Wall

Now we are returning to Panjiakou Dam where our Buick Van is parked and finish our fam trip to Panjiakou Great Wall and Xifengkou Great Wall.

Now we are returning to Panjiakou Dam where our Buick Van is parked

Any questions, just drop a line.