Time flies! It has been two weeks since I visited the Great Wall at Badaling section on my trip to Beijing. Over the last couple of years, I have left my footprints on many continents, but I never been to China before, so I really wanted to make the most of my trip there! And after a series of preparations, I set out from my hotel and hit the road to Badaling Great Wall.
It did not take me long to reach the wall and the wall was not packed yet when I got there – I thought to myself maybe it was because I got there way earlier than the others. Having taking care of the entrance, I hopped on a cable car to get to the flat portion of the wall. As soon as I landed on the solid steps, I started to hike up. As it was not packed with crowds I got to explore the wall at my own pace, and behind my back the crowd started to gather. The spectacular scenery was all there for me to take in, and great pictures were everywhere! I also took my time to get a good look at the structure of the wall, including the watch towers and the crenels. I got to say it was really hard to imagine that the snaking wall was built upon the rugged mountains. I guess something is better left unexplained and that is part of its beauty.
By the way, I had to catch breath from time to time while hiking up the wall because the trek was really consuming, but it was fun and rewarding when I finally got to see the fantastic sight of the winding wall meandering into the horizon afar. I got to say it was really a great chance to get away from the fast-pace of the city of Beijing and just enjoy what comes your way! Moreover I also paid a visit to the Ming Tombs on my way back. It was also worth my time! I enjoyed a relaxing walk around and visited an underground palace – kind of creepy though lit-up by lights! Anyway it was some wonderful time I spent!
Anyway I had so much fun exploring the outdoors of Beijing! I definitely want to come back for more! Great outdoor experience! Great memories!
My brother Steven I had seen pretty much everything about the city over the last couple days and we both decided it was time to venture out to visit the great wall. However, we did not want to see the touristy sections of the Great Wall, so we opted for the Jiankou section, because it is well known for amazing panoramic views, unrestored wall and lack of tourists.
As one of the most dangerous sections, famous for its steep and difficult paths, Jiankou section is very hard to handle, no matter how well prepared you are. The more dangerous it is, the more challenged we both were! Unlike the other sections of the Great Wall where a cable car or a smooth path leads you up the hill, the Jiankou section is quite left to nature, zigzagging upon rugged mountains with almost no sign of travelers or locals. After walking for a bit and taking a few different turns we finally managed to get to the starting point at Jiankou Great Wall. After about an hour of hiking along the wall, the path led us to some ruins left of the watch tower, and we snapped tons of photos with the sunrise. The trek on the wall, though challenging, was not overly strenuous, because we were not in a rush but took our time to move along.
Every time we passed some sections that we found impressive we would stop for some pictures and take in the panoramic views as well. The sight of the snaking wall meandering upon craggy mountains was really much of a marvel to the eyes. We were both glad we made it here, otherwise we would not catch such an amazing view! The section of the wall we hiked was mostly completely fallen apart, sprawling with crumbling bricks and overgrown with weeds. Along the way besides the fascinating views we also checked out a bunch of long abandoned watch towers, and sometimes we would climb up some solid ones to get a better view of the horizon.
After hours of hiking on the wall at Jiankou section, we finally made our way to the Mutianyu section. And by the time we got there hardly any travelers out there. We picked up our pace and got down the wall with a ride on the grass track and made our way back in town around 5:30. Really a fun-filled excursion! Just loved every minute of it!
As everyone already know before, Great Wall has separated into some different sections of it, depend with its characteristic, location and function. Among all of those sections, there is Jiumenkou Great Wall which was first built in Northern Qi Dynasty (479 - 502) and was an important military pass over a long period of time. For you who interest to know about the characteristic about this section of Great Wall, read the details below.
Introduction about Jiumenkou Great Wall
Whole Overlook of Jiumenkou Great Wall
Jiumenkou (Entrance to Nine Gates) Great Wall is located in Suizhong County in Huludao, is the eastern portion of the Jizhen Great Wall from the Ming Dynasty. This section of Great Wall located 15 kilometers to the north of Shanhaiguan Pass and have a nicknamed called the "first pass east to Beijing". This Great Wall section was originally built during Northern Qi period then during the Hongwu period of the Ming Dynasty, it expanded under the supervision of General Xu Da.
Construction of Jiumenkou Great Wall
The 110-meter-long bridge on Jiujiang River
Jiumenkou Great Wall consist a total of sixteen watch towers and one beacon tower. The Great Wall extends 1,704 meters from north to south and the Jiujiang River runs beneath it. This river is about 100 meters wide, over which this section of the wall was built, as a bridge with nine arches. Because of that, Jiumenkou Great Wall has known as the 'Great Wall on water', the only Great Wall that was partially built over water.
The 110-meter-long bridge on Jiujiang River is a representative for the fame of the Great Wall on the water. Tourists also can see two walled fortresses at each end of the bridge as well as the Jiumenkou tunnel, another impressive feature which built during the Ming Dynasty.
The walls spanned the mountainous terrains and hugged the area's numerous peaks and valleys. Because of its harmonious relationships between architecture and nature, in 2002, Jiumenkou Great Wall was listed to the World Cultural Heritage.
The best time to visit Jiumenkou Great Wall is from May to Oct and it is extremely cold in the rest of the year. The admission ticket costs 90 RMB (All Inclusive Ticket, including Great Wall Tunnel and Rare Birds Park).
How to Get Jiumenkou Great Wall
In the high season, there are buses from Shanhaiguan Pass to Jiumenkou, but during the off-season, tourists can rent a car instead.
Take a train to Shanhaiguan, get off at Shanhanguan Railway Station, then go to Jiumenkou by taxi. The taxi fare is about 20 RMB.