Great Wall of China at Simatai



How to get there:

On the weekends, tour bus 12 leaves for Simatai from the South Cathedral at Xuanwumen (RMB 50). Minibuses leave from the Dongzhimen bus station (RMB 20) early in the morning and many hotels can arrange minibus trips for around RMB 60.

The Simatai (Sīmǎtái, 司马台) section of the Great Wall, located near Gubeikou, is known for its steepness as it plunges and climbs to the east and west of Simatai reservoir. Like most of the wall, much of this section has been reconstructed, but there is plenty left from the Ming Dynasty reconstruction under the leadership of General Qi Jiguang, which is one of the reasons UNESCO recognizes this part of the wall as a heritage site.

This is a whimsical part of the wall with many unique features and strenuous climbs, unsuitable for anyone with a fear of heights, which are particularly acute from the narrow bridges on this part of the wall. Both the eastern and western halves follow the rugged hillside terrain with great views from several watchtowers. The Fairy Tower is one of the most beautiful of the whole wall with a white marble entry carved with lotus flowers. Past that is Wangjing Tower, the highest point around, where on a clear day you can see Beijing over 100 km away.


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