Archive for the ‘Great Wall of China’ Category

Xuliukou Great Wall

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Xuliukou section of the Great Wall is just linked to the west section of Liujiakou Great Wall. We don’t have enough time to hike from Liujiakou Great Wall to Xuliukou Great Wall, instead again we drive from Liujiakou Village to Xuliukou Village where Xuliukou Great Wall is located.

If you keep on hiking from Xuliukou Great Wall to the east, you will get to Shanhaiguan Pass; to the west, you will reach Badaling Great Wall around Beijing.

Xuliukou section of the Great Wall on the Great Wall east of Beijing


Xuliukou Village is under the administration of Yanggezhuang Town of Qian’an County of Tangshan City, Hebei Province. So Xuliukou Great Wall is the most eastern section of the Wall within Tangshan City in Hebei Province.

Xuliukou Great Wall has been turned into a scenic area officially known as Xuliukou Jiulongquan Scenic Area, classified as AA national scenic spot, which is mainly composed of Xuliukou Great Wall, Jiulong Pool, forest…

Xuliukou Great Wall now has 11 remaining forts, one of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall dating back to over 400 years. Xuliukou literally means “Xuliu Pass”. But now the Great Wall pass is gone. The wall in this section is heavily damaged and the forts as well.

We stop at the entrance to Xuliukou Jiulongquan Scenic Area and pay RMB 5 as environmental protection fee before allowed to enter the park with a well paved cement path leading to the Great Wall of Xuliukou.

The slopes on both sides of the cement path are planted with tiny plots of grass and bushes. The black grass on the mountain high on our right side tells us the mountain has been burned. The Wall is in sight.

planted with tiny plots of grass and bushes

A good place to view the Xuliukou Great Wall winding on the mountain across the valley before us and the path curves to the left.

A good place to view the Xuliukou Great Wall

 
Driving further along the curved path along the valley. Soon we see two forts high on the top of the mountains planted with pine trees, like a city park with a giant dragon lying there.

two forts high on the top of the mountains planted with pine trees

We stop at the cement platform where it was a great wall pass dividing the Wall into East Section and West section. We climb on the west section and take a picture of the shallow valley (the former pass).

We climbed on the west section and took the picture of the shallow valley

The wall on the west section is severely damaged.

The wall on the west section is severely damaged.

The bricks in the wall are in pieces and some of them you could find in the stone courtyards in Xuliukou village where many of them are the descendants of the army and builders of the Great Wall.

Hopefully the past is past  and the present wall will remain here much longer for people to remember the great history of China’s Great Wall construction.

The bricks in the wall are in pieces

We are walking on the wild and damaged wall to the first fort on the west section.

We are walking on the wild and damaged wall to the first fort on the west section.

It is not easy to hike on the rubble of the wall.

It is not easy to hike on the rubble of the wall.

The two-eye fort is still there, but quite rundown

The two-eye fort is still there, but quite rundown

View the watch tower on the west section with the east section of Xuliukou Great wall in a distant.
We see the second fort from the first tower.

We see the second fort from the first tower.

Zoom in the dilapidated fort on the east section of Xuliukou Great Wall.

The dilapidated fort on the east section of Xuliukou Great Wall

Before we leave the cement platform below the wall, I snap of the two forts on the west section of the Wall.

I snap of the two forts on the west section of the Wall

Any questions, just drop a line.

Baiyangyu Great Wall

Monday, October 29th, 2018
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Plan your Great Wall Tour? If you’d like to have a weekend hike on a wide and overgrown section of the Great Wall around Beijing, Baiyangyu Great Wall is highly recommended.

This section of the Wall is located about 250km northeast of Beijing. It is under the administration of Dacuizhuang Town of Qian’an County in Tangshan City, Hebei Province.

Baiyangyu Great Wall on the Great Wall east of Beijing


“Baiyangyu” literally means “White Sheep Valley”. A river called Baiyang River passes the valley from north to south. There used to be a grand water pass of the Great Wall bridging the valley which now still divides the Baiyangyu Great Wall into two sections – East and West.

The two sections of Bauyangyu Great wall are a 4552m-long fairly well preserved wall with 21 guide-towers. Baiyangyu Great Wall was originally built in Northen Qi Dynasty (550-577) and reinforced in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) by the builders and army led by Qi Juguang.

Baiyangyu Great Wall has some unique features different from other sections of the Wall. Firstly, its water pass town had a double water wall – upper part and lower part, constituting a solid water town which was easy for self-defense and attacking invaders as well, part of the military defense system in Baiyangyu Great wall.

Second, the east section of the Wall has a 1.5km unique marble wall, 10km high and 5m wide, rarely seen among other sections of the wall. Third, among other towers,  Shenwei Tower (Powerful Tower) on the west section of Biayangyu Great Wall is the most remarkable. Unlike other watch-towers sitting on the wall, it was constructed to the outer side of the wall.

If you walk eastward from Baiyangyu Great Wall, you will reach Xuliukou Great Wall and on to Shanhaiguan Pass meeting the ocean; walking westward, you get to Badaling Great Wall around Beijing.

Of course, again we don’t have time nor strong legs to hike from Xuliukou Great Wall to Baiyangyu Great Wall, we rely on our royal Buick van going from Xuliukou Great Wall to Baiyangyu Valley. The 22km drive proves to be easy and comfortable driving on the newly completed New Sanwu Road.


In the middle of the way on the New Sanwu Road, still 9km from Baiyangyu Valley 

still 9km from Baiyangyu Valley

Baiyangyu Valley has now become a scenic area planned and constructed by the local government and some individual sponsors. On weekends, middle class urban residents come here for a pleasant escape from polluted and noisy cities, drinking, climbing, outdoor activities and eating organic food prepared by the local farmers.

Now we turn off the New Sanwu Road and drive towards the entrance to Baiyangyu Scenic Area.

drive towards the entrance to Baiyangyu Scenic Area

We enter the valley flanked by farm restaurants and inns with the two sections of the Wall looming overhead and Baiyang River passing from north to south, a picturesque view, but unfortunately it is still early spring, not much green nor blooming around.

Recommended by Mr. Zhang, the Great Wall protection warden at Chengziyu Great Wall, we park our van on the parking lot in front of Mr.Yu Haiwen’s farm house . He is the only local great wall protection warden at Baiyangyu Great Wall.

we park our van on the parking lot in front of Mr.Yu Haiwen’s farm house

 The picture also shows both the west and east sections of the Wall with Baiyangyu Village nestled in the valley and the river winding from north to south.

Baiyangyu Valley divides the Wall into two section – West and East with the Baiyangyu Village in between.

We choose our hike from the east side of the valley and walk along a mountain road leading up to the wall. 

walk along a mountain road leading up to the wall.

On the hillside, not yet on the Wall, I turn right to the west and look at the west section of Baiyangyu Great Wall.

the west section of Baiyangyu Great Wall

The first fort is ahead of us, dilapidated, sitting on the broken wall built of hoary rocks and its tower base made of slabs.

Hiking along the mountain path by the slab built wall, we are heading towards to the second fort.

Hiking along the mountain path by the slab built wall

Now we are on the crumbling wall and look at the second watch tower and a wire fence is fixed nearby keeping rubble from falling down the mountain.

Now we are on the crumbling wall

We continue to walk along the dilapidated wall to the so called “Wild City”, which looks like a castle surrounded by the wall on its four sides.

I turn right and look down, just have a clear view of the valley with the village and the river in the middle.

the valley with the village and the river in the middle.

I turn back and see the first tower with the west section of the Wall as its background.

I turn back and see the first tower with the west section of the Wall as its background.

We are approaching the “Wild City”, no path leading to the wall, we have to get off the wall and hike along a mountain path by the wall, bushes and saplings.

we have to get off the wall and hike along a mountain path by the wall

Before we enter the “Wild City”, again I turn right and look down, just see a picturesque view of the terraced fields on the hillside on the west of the valley.

a picturesque view of the terraced fields

The path leading to the entrance to the “Wild City” is overgrown and crumbling.

The path leading to the entrance to the Wild City is overgrown and crumbling

The so called “Wild City” is an open space with a four-sided wall, now rife with bushes and saplings.

The so called Wild City is a four-sided wall, now rife with bushes and saplings.

The wall leads to the east and reaches Shanhaiguan Pass as its eastern tip.

The wall leads to the east and reaches Shanhaiguan Pass as its eastern tip.

We backtrack from the Wild City and climb down the mountain. Mr.Yu Haiwen’s farmhouse provides meals and accommodations. Again we have an authentic farm lunch.
Onions and wild vegetables

Onions and wild vegetables

Mushroom and carrot

Mushroom and carrot

Fried eggs produced by his own backyard chickens

Fried eggs produced by his own backyard chickens

 

Taking a picture with Mr.Yu Haiwen

 

Further Readings


How to visit Huangyaguan Great Wall.
How to visit Panjiakou Great Wall.
How to visit Xifengkou Great Wall.
How to visit Baiyangyu Great Wall.
How to visit Xuliukou Great Wall.
How to visit Liujiakou Great Wall.
How to visit Chengziyu Great Wall.
How to visit Xiaohekou Great Wall.
How to visit Zhuizishan Great Wall.
How to visit Jiumenkou Great Wall.
How to visit Jiaoshan Great Wall.

Any questions, just drop a line.

 

Panjiakou Great Wall

Sunday, October 28th, 2018
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

After visting Baiyangyu Great Wall, we head to Panjiakou Great Wall, about 100km to the northeast of Baiyangyu Great Wall.

We first take a 50km drive westward to Santunying Town, where we get off the New Sanwu Road and continue to drive 50km north towards Panjiakou Reservoir where the famous Panajiakou Underwater Great Wall is located.

Historically Sanyingtun was once the general garrison and commanding center of the important military Jizhen Town led by Qi Jiguang. Sanyingtun is only about 30km south of both Panjiakou Pass Great Wall and Xifengkou Pass Great Wall.

In 1568, General Qi Jiguang stationed at Sanyingguan and commanded the security of the border for the reinforcement of the Great Wall from Shanhaiguan Pass to Badaling Great Wall and Juyongguan Great Wall.

Panjiakou Great Wall on the Great Wall east of Beijing

At sunset we reach the principal dam of Panjiakou Reservoir, the largest of this kind in Hebei Province. The dam is located in Qianxi County of Tangshan City in Hebei.

The dam is 107.5m high and 1040m long. Panjiakou Reservoir has a capacity of 2,930,000,000 m3 and surface area of 67 km2. The main purpose of the reservoir is to provide water for the cities of Tianjin and Tangshan. The dam is also capable of flood control and its power plant has a capacity of 420 MW.

At sunset we reach the principal dam of Panjiakou Reservoir

The first stage construction of Panjiakou Reservoir started in 1971 and finished in 1985. Then the second stage began in the same year of 1985 and completed in 1993. The Panjiakou Reservoir has submerged the town of Panjiakou and some sections of the Great Wall.

The submerged sections of the wall went through the pass and the part of the Wall on the low hills are also submerged. If during the drought season and the reservoir has less water, you will see the underwater Great Wall, which has become a tourist scene, attracting a great number of tourists and photographers.

Panjiakou Dam, 107.5m high and 1040m long

To snap the pictures of the Panjiakou Great Wall at sunrise, we decide to rent a speedboat to ferry us to the farmhouse at the foot of Panjiakou Great Wall for an overnight stay.

An ex-farmer, Mr. Liu now owns a speedboat living on tourism centered on Panjikou Resevoir and Panjiaklou Great Wall.

Here comes the speedboat, we have to walk down a steep and long flight of steps to be on board.

Here comes the speedboat

Mr.Liu says it only takes a few minutes to get to the farmhouse. He continues to say the total length of the watercourse of Panjiakou Reservoir is 70km!

But only 10% of the watercourse is located within his county -Qianxi County in Tangshan City and the rest belongs to Chengde City in the same province – Hebei Province. Panjiakou Great Wall ( the section which we are going to visit ) is the dividing line between Qianxi County of Tangshan City and Chengde city.

Mr.Liu says it only takes a few minutes to get to the farmhouse.

Mr.Liu says it only takes a few minutes to get to the farmhouse.

Before we put up in the farmhouse on a hill, we first have a local farm dinner in the boat-turned restaurant by the shore.

we first have a local farmer dinner

The room is quite basic, but acceptable

The room is quite basic, but acceptable

We set the alarm clock at 5:00 am and the sun is supposed to appear at 5:30am. A bad sleep with several wake-ups. At 5:0am we leave our bedroom and enter the courtyard outside.

To our pleasant surprise, a round and bright moon hanging high in the sky over the mountains and reservoir.

a round and bright moon hanging high in the sky over the mountains

We climb on the north section of Panjiakou Great Wall and the wall is dilapidated and overgrown. Standing on the first fort, I look at the farmhouse below.

The Panjiankou Great Wall Pass is almost totally submerged. There are two farmhouses on the small peninsula protruding from the hill and the Great Wall at our feet. Some sections of the Wall are underwater.

The Panjiankou Great Wall Pass is almost totally submerged.

The Panjiankou pass is alomost totally submerged

To get a better of the sunrise over the Panjiakou Great Wall, we continue to hike and stop at the third watch tower.
The rising sun is about to appear and it first lights up a large cloud in the sky.

The rising sun is about to appear and it first lights up a large cloud in the sky.

I zoom in for a close look at the rising sun half over the mountain line in the distance.

the rising sun half over the mountain line in the distance

Now the rising sun is above the skyline in the distance.

The sun is just above the skyline.

The rising sun is becoming brighter and rising higher, like a fire ball over the mountain.

The rising sun is becoming brighter and rising higher

The fire-ball is turning bigger and dazzling.

The fire ball is turning bigger and dazzling.

The fire ball is disappearing, turning the sky golden and white and the morning is in!

The fire ball is disppearing, turning the sky white and the morning is in

The reservoir and the Great Wall turns golden and bright under the fresh sunshine.

The reservoir and the Great Wall turns golden under the fresh sunshine.

Turn back and look at the Great Wall coated with golden sunlight, lonely and silently lying on the mountain.

Great Wall coated with golden sunlight

Satisfied with the mesmerizing view of the sunrise over the reservoir and the Wall, we hike back to our farmhouse below.

we hike back to our farmhouse below

Any questions, just drop a line.