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!
Jiankou Great Wall known as one of the great example of the Chinese Wild Great Wall. Recently, it has also become a popular photographic hotspot and hiking destination.
A Short Brief about Jiankou Great Wall
Jiankou which also known as Arrow Nock in English located at Xizhaizi Village, 30 km from Huairou District, and 70 km from Beijing. From Beijing, you could reach Jiankou for about 2 hours. Originally Jiankou Great Wall was built in Tang Dynasty and was restored largely in the Ming Dynasty. It connects to Mutianyu Great Wall in the east and Huanghuacheng Great Wall in the west.
Jiankou Great Wall Hiking
Jiankou Great Wall stretches from "The Ox Horn Edge Wall" in the east to "The Nine-Eye Tower" in the north via "The Beijing Knot" with total length of 9.3 miles. It consists of 28 towers, and the most popular towers include The Nine-Eye Tower, The Beijing Knot and Stairway to the Heaven. 'The Nine-Eye Tower' was an important command post during the ancient wars which also become the place where visitors could enjoy fantastic views around from above. Stairway to Heaven is a precipitous stair whose angle of elevation is 70 to 80 degrees. Zhengbeilou Tower is the right place to appreciate the beauty of sunrise and sunset.
Jiankou Great Wall relatively less crowded in the weekdays. Come to Jiankou when the weather is good and ideal for the hiking activity. Avoid rain or lightening season. In additional, you should watch your step carefully in some of dangerous and quiet steep loose sections along the Wall. Definitely kids and seniors are not recommended here.
Watchtower on Jiankou Great Wall
Comfortable shoes and sport clothes are necessary. Some sections of the wall are seriously damaged, so you must watch your step. By visiting Jiankou Great Wall, you are really could feel the dramatic and difficult hiking path there.
How to Get Jiankou Great Wall?
Take Bus No.916 at Dongzhimen, get off at Huairou Fangshan (diagonally opposite Huairou First Hospital). There you can find local buses to Jiankou Great Wall. The buses run between 10:00 and 15:00. Sometimes you get confused and puzzled of find the local buses, so you can negotiate with local taxi drivers with RMB 150-200 for a round trip.
Jiankou Great Wall is rather difficult to reach by your own. So it is better to go with the travel agency that can help bring you get the convenient hiking experience in Jiankou Great Wall.