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.
Only a 70 km (44 mi) drive from Beijing, Badaling (Bādálǐng, 八达岭) is the most visited section of the Great Wall. Constructed during the Ming Dynasty, Badaling..
Fragrant Hills Park (Xiāngshān Gōngyuán, 香山公园) is located some 20 km (12 mi) northwest of Beijing, not far from the Summer Palace. Though the name..
Home to the biggest bell in China, the Great Bell Temple (Dàzhōng Sì, 大钟寺) was built in 1733 during the Qing Dynasty. The bell itself, known as..
The Temple of Heaven (Tiāntán, 天坛), completed in 1420 during the reign of the Ming Emperor Yongle, was the most sacred space in which the..