Great Wall of China at Shanhaiguan


RMB 30 (May - Oct); RMB 20 for the other months


8am-6pm daily

How to get there:

Minibuses go from Qinhuangdao and Beidaihe to Shanhaiguan, usual price is RMB 2; trains are also available from Beijing, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao and Beidaihe. Buses No. 34 or No. 25 also arrive there at the Shanhaiguan Stop.

Shanhaiguan (Shānhǎiguān, 山海关), literally "the pass between the mountains and the sea," is a town at the northern tip of the Bohai Gulf. Originally built as a fortress in the Ming Dynasty, the town was an outpost to defend the eastern end of the Great Wall. This section of the wall still runs through the eastern part of the town, before winding south to the sea. The First Pass Under Heaven (Tiānxiàdìyī Guān, 天下第一关) is the portion closest to the sea, where a double-story, double-roofed tower built in the Ming Dynasty attracts the most tourist attention.

The Great Wall Museum (Chángchéng Bówùguǎn, 长城博物馆; RMB15, open 6:30am-6:30pm in summer, 8am-5pm in winter) is next to the gate. It exhibits some interesting pictures, relics and clothes, depicting the life of this section of the wall. From the top of the wall you can see the crumbling wall as it zigzags on the mountain ridges northwards and as it winds south before plunging into the sea at the Old Dragon's Head.

The town is small enough to walk around, peaceful and pretty. And the surrounding countryside contains some sturdy fortifications and remnants of the wall. The best thing to do here is to rent a bike and spend a few days exploring.

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