Posts Tagged ‘Yunmengshan Great Wall’

Yunmengshan Great Wall, My Favorite Bit of the Great Wall Around Beijing

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
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Plan your Great Wall tour? The Great Wall of China is not a continuous wall. The wall exists in bits. These bits don’t form a continuous line. Most of the bits of the remaining Wall have their own names. Usually their names are given with regard to their geographic location, historical factors or the necessity of the local tourism promotion.

Yunmengshan Great Wall is such named because it is located to the east of Mt. Yunmeng ( Yunmengshan Mountain ). Yunmengshan literally means “a mountain always covered by mist”. Yunmengshan is locally referred as “Huangshan of North China” due to its stunning view.

Yunmengshan Great Wall is a small bit of the Wall around Beijing. It was built under the General Qi Jiguang during the Ming Dynaty (1368 -1644). To its west, is located Mutianyu Great Wall, to its east Gubeikou Great Wall  and Jinshanling Great Wall.

It takes you 1 and half hours by car from your downtown hotel in Beijing to the Yunmengshan Great Wall Relic Park, which lies about 90km northeast of Beijing.

There still exists 3 forts (watch towers) and one beacon tower on the Yunmengshan Great Wall with the beacon tower on the top of the mountain, the final destination of the hiking trip.

To reach the beacon tower on the top, we have to clamber up, passing the 3 forts all the way. The first tower is called “Three Side Building” (altitude: 334m); the scond tower “THe General”s Tower” (altitude: 402.4m); third tower “Square Building”(altitude:504m) and the final beacon tower has the sea-level of 679.3 meters.

Normally it takes approxi. 2 and half hours hiking to the top beacon tower. For most of the time we have to walk along the paved stone step path or a well-trodden walking path paralleling the Wall because Yunmengshan Great Wall is too wild, original and treacherous for you to walk.

In addition, most part of the Wall were built on the steep cliff. The most important is all the wild sections of the Wall around Beijing are protected and forbidden for hiking.

One big difference between Yunmenshan Great Wall and other formal and standard bits of the Wall like Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall is the making of the Wall itself. Yunmengshan Great Wall is made of rocks and stones used from the local mountains while Badaling Great Wall and Mutianyu Great Wall are made of the bricks used from the official kilns.

If you are not used to hiking, you can walk to the second tower ( The General’s Tower ), then turn back. If you are phyically fit for the whole trip hiking up to the beacon tower on the top,  you are encouraged to trudge up to the round beacon tower since the view west of the signal tower is stunning – the steep Yunmengshan Ravine behind it!

Well, now follow us clambering up. There are three paths leading from the entrance to the Great Wall – left, middle and right. The right path leads to the first tower; the left path leads to the second tower and the middle path leads to the trail between the first tower and second tower.

We plan to walk along the right path going to the first tower and return along the left path which forks at the second tower to skip over the second and first tower.

We choose the right path up to the Wall.

Walking to the First Tower – Three Side Building ( 30 minutes )
It is a half hour hike from the entrance to the first tower – Three Side Tower (三边楼). The first tower is 334m at sea level. We only can see the tower and cannot enter it.

It is a half hour hike from the entrance to the first tower – Three Side Tower (三边楼).

The wall is made of the rock stones used from the local mountain. 

Walking from the first tower to the second tower ( 50 minutes )

Now we walk from the first tower to the second tower – The General’s Tower. The two towers are 450m apart.It is very dangerous walking on the wall. The surface of the wall is overgrown with bushes and saplings. We jump on the wall and brave ourselves for a few minutes’ walking on the wild and treacherous wall.

The surface of the wall is teemed with bushes and saplings.

On the way from the first tower to the second tower, for most part, we have to hike along the path by the Wall.

On the way from the first tower to the second tower, for most part, we have to hike along the path by the Wall.

The second tower is in sight. It takes 50 minutes walking from the first tower to the second tower.

The second tower is in sight.

The Second Tower – The General’s Tower
It was a general’s tower (将军楼), the headquarters of the local military forces. In Ming Dynasty, each tower held 50 soldiers with a captain to in charge. Every 5 tower had a major and 10 towers had a general in charge. This tower is square, 10 meters long and high.It has two arrow windows on north and south, three arrow windows on east and west. The lower part is made of stones and upper part made of bricks.

The lower part is made of stones and upper part made of bricks.

Walking from the second tower to the third tower ( 1 hour and 30 minutes )
The second tower and the third tower are about 800m apart. This is the most difficult part of the hiking on the trip. It takes approxi. 1 and 30 minutes hiking.This section of the Wall is only one fifth walkable on the wall starting from the second tower.

From the second tower to the third tower, for the most of the time, we have to walk on the path by the Wall. The third tower is in sight.

The third tower is in sight.

The Third Tower – The Square Tower
This building is locally referred as”Square Tower” (四方楼). It has two stories with windows on four sides.

It has two stories with windows on four sides.

 

Standing on the second floor of the third tower, you can have a clear view of the beacon tower on the top.

Walking from the third tower to the top beacon tower ( 30 minutes )
Now we are marching towards our destination – the beacon tower (烽火台. It is about 350 meters from the third tower. It is not easy to hike along the steep path.

It is not easy to hike along the steep path.

On our right side is the Chestnut Forest Valley with stunning view!

On our right side is the Chestnut Forest Valley with stunning view!

 

 We are approaching the beacon

We are approaching the beacon

We are approaching the beacon tower.

We are approaching the beacon tower.

We are approaching the beacon tower.

Its stunning view reminds me of my trip to Huangshaun.

Its stunning view reminds me of my trip to Huangshaun.

Its stunning view reminds me of my trip to Huangshaun.

Behind the beacon tower is the Yunmengshan Canyon

 

Behind the beacon tower is the Yunmengshan Canyon

Behind the beacon tower is the Yunmengshan Canyon

Walking Back ( 1 and 30 minutes )
After a short break, we start to walk back. We hike down to the second tower, where we use the Left Path (or second ring road – 二环路 as the signboard posted at the second tower), a short cut directly to the entrance instead of walking again to the first tower.
Walking Back

Walking Back

This placard is a good reminder on your right path back to the entrance.

The total hiking trip takes about 4 and 30 minutes.

It is a pleasant walk back to the entrance.

 

» Yunmengshan Great Wall Tour
Yunmengshan Great Wall Tour Yunmengshan Great Wall is such named because it is located to the east of Mt. Yunmeng ( Yunmengshan Mountain ). Yunmengshan Great Wall is a small bit of the Wall around Beijing. It was built under the General Qi Jiguang during the Ming Dynaty (1368 -1644). To its west, is located Mutianyu Great Wall, to its east Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall.Yunmengshan Great Wall Hiking Day Trip from US$ 40

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