Simatai Great Wall

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In Gubeikou, a strategic step in the Miyun area, in northwest Beijing is the section of the Simatai Great Wall. Simatai is the most famous passage of the Great Wall and as the Chinese themselves is because of its five characteristics: Simatai is precipitated, dense, witty, unique and comprehensive.

Simatai Great Wall

Fotografía por gds

Simatai is the only section of the Great Wall that preserves the original appearance when it was built during the Ming Dynasty. The construction was supervised directly by Simatai Juguag Qi, a famous general during the period Wanli of the Ming Dynasty. Simatai is designed to be a single structure and the spectacular scenery where you are and your height make it one of the best sections of the Great Wall near Beijing and in China. The Simatai section is also in the list of world wonders by UNESCO.

A deep valley, which coincides with the entry of the section of the Simatai wall separates into two sections the wall of Simatai, but are linked by a long rope bridge. The western section is the one that is less steep and twenty towers are to be maintained in very good condition. In the tower of the Generals (Jiangjun Watchtower) is carved jade sculptures in a magnificent relief in the tower.

However, the eastern section of Simatai is the best. Is densely distributed on a ridge with mountains of over a thousand feet high, fifteen towers can see a spectacular sight. Xiannü tower (Fairy Maiden Watchtower) presents the architectural splendor used in the construction of the towers of Simatai, with a lotus carved in white marble. There is also a beautiful legend connected with this tower, near the bridge tower is the platform that measures a hundred yards, and has an impressive cliff on either side, it is said that whoever passes through this bridge is considered a hero.

With a height of almost 1000 meters above sea level Xiannü tower is considered the tallest building in all sections of the Great Wall near Beijing. From that point you can see in the Wuling Mountain (sometimes with snow on the summit) and in the west, the impressive wall of Simatai, at this point during the night you can see the light coming from Beijing.

After describing the Simatai section, I would like to clarify that section is a beautiful yet harsh. It is one of the least reformed of all sections is near Beijing and the gap is very large, so if you simply try to walk maybe this is not the best section because from the very beginning it should go very high slopes and steps. However, you will not find many tourists here as Badaling and Mutianyu, which on some days can barely walk.

The Simatai

Fotografía por Hector Garcia

Sleeping on the Great Wall:

Sleeping on the Great Wall is one of the goals of many explorers who are visiting Beijing. In the Great Wall you can sleep without any problem, however, there are people with holiday homes near the Great Wall (it is fifty meters from the entrance to the Simatai wall), but many people in Simatai near the villages that offer a place to sleep at very affordable prices and with lunch included.

Suggestions to sleep in the great wall, it is recommended to bring a sleeping bag at night because it cools a bit, also some large and comfortable to sleep on and possibly a mosquito net to prevent insects and mosquitoes at night. Also some kind of light, either a front or something that brightens in the tower, along with food and water.

How to get to Simatai?

To get from Beijing to Simatai, there are various options, but basically you can advise both. The first is the classic and the easier it is to agree to a travel agent or hotel that you prepare the trip with more people in a minibus with air conditioning to get to Simatai. Possibly the best option, you collect on your hotel / hostel and leave you there. The second option to visit Simatai, is the option of traveling on our own with a Chinese guide, this can help us by example to know the correct bus to get to Simatai.

When we turn to the bus station in Beijing, take the bus 980 which leaves us to Miyun for payment of 0.6 €. These buses are very comfortable and are not completely full. After nearly two hours away by motorway will reach the bus station in Miyun where taxi drivers and wait for the tourists who want to go to Simatai. As for the cost of the taxi this is an average cost of 12 €.

the bus station in Beijing

Fotografía por Ronnie Macdonald

Things to know to get to Simatai:

- The entrance to Simatai is 4 € and must be entered before 5 pm but the ticket offices are closed. Although it should not be difficult to get into the great wall without having to pay!

- The Beijing Simatai taxi costs about 30 €, although it may be difficult to get this price if you do not speak Chinese. However, for 30 € or a bit longer, arriving in less than three hours to Beijing, and not have to travel over roads that are on dangerous curves.

- End soon now a motorway that will pass very close to Simatai.

Bon voyage!

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