Lying in the Gubeikou Town northeast of Miyun County about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Beijing, the Simatai Great Wall stretches about five kilometers (three miles) from the Wangjinglou Tower in the east and connects to the Jinshanling Great Wall in the west. It has 35 beacon towers. Constructed under the supervision of Qi Jiguang, a famous general in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it is the only part that still has the original appearance of the Ming Dynasty.
The wall is celebrated for its steepness, queerness and intactness. The main tourist attractions include the Stairway to Heaven, the Fairy Tower, the Heaven Bridge and the Wangjing Tower.
|Simatai in Beijing|
The eastern part of the Wall has 15 watchtowers and was constructed on the steep ridge of the mountain. It looks like a winding dragon jumping out of the lake. There tourists can appreciate the Stairway to Heaven, the Fairy Tower, the Heaven Bridge and the Wangjinglou Tower.
In order to reach the Fairy Tower, tourists must climb the 85 degree slope Stairway to Heaven which is about 100 meters (328 feet) long and allows only one person to pass. Legend has it that the Fairy Tower was transformed from an antelope and that once the Lotus Flower Fairy lived there, hence its name. On the tower, there are some marble arches carved with lotus patterns.
Compared with eastern part of the wall, the western part is smoother. One can enjoy the intact pack walls, crenels, and kylin, animal and flower embossments.
There is also a wide range of activities. Tourists can go boating, swimming or fishing in the Mandarin Duck Lake. Besides, to taste the local authentic "peasant food" is also a good pastime. Simatai Great Wall Mountain Villa in the scenic area is a traditional Chinese courtyard which offers good board and accommodation. Visitors can also go there to enjoy traditional Chinese musical instrument performance.
CNY 50 (Round Trip); CNY 30 (One Way)
Reach the 8th gate tower in the eastern section
Trolley to the Peak:
CNY 30 (Round Trip); CNY 20 (One Way)
Slippery Rope plus Boat:
a. Beijing Hub of Tour Dispatch has tourist buses to Simatai.
09:00 (Monday - Friday)
The south side of the embrasured watchtower in Qianmen
07:30 – 08:30 (Saturday and Sunday)
Xuanwumen Dispatch Branch Center
(Exit B, Subway Line 2, the northeast corner of Xuanwumen Road)
Monday to Friday
Less than five people: CNY 300 per adult and CNY 280 per student; Five to eleven People: CNY 220 per adult and CNY 220 per student; Twelve or more people: CNY 160 per adult and CNY 140 per student
Weekends and Public Holidays
CNY 160 per adult and CNY 140 per student
Note: The service is closed from Oct.26 to the next mid April. The above prices include the round trip bus tickets and the ticket of the wall. Visitors are arranged to have a three hour tour on the wall. The tickets are available at No.5 and No.6 window at each visitors dispatch branch center.
b. Take a bus from Beijing Dongzhimen long distance bus station to Fengshan, Hebei. It will take you to Gubeikou from where you can climb to Simatai.
c. Take bus No.980 to Miyun County from Beijing Dongzhimen long distance bus station. From Gulou Dajie Street in Miyun County, there are taxies to Simatai.
d. Take a bus to Chengde City at Dongzhimen long distance bus station. The bus will pass Simatai, and you can ask the bus driver or the bus ticket seller to stop there.
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Around the wall, there are many farmhouses serving the authentic "peasant dishes". We suggest you taste the local famous dish – Kuai Dun Fish (Stewed Fish). The fish are boiled in the water where they lived, as the locals believe the fish tastes fresh cooked in this way. The fish soup is as white as milk, tasty and healthy.
A room to accommodate four people in the hostels at the foot of the wall will cost CNY 15/person/night. The local inns cost CNY30-CNY40 per person. Visitors can also find farmhouses Huagoulou Village.
Simatai Great Wall Mountain Villa
Chinese name: 司马台客栈 (Sī Mǎ Tái Kè Zhàn) / 司马台长城山庄 (Sī Mǎ Tái Cháng Chéng Shān Zhuāng)
Location: in the Scenic Area and close to cableway terminal
Special dishes: barbeques, braised chicken with mushroom, stewed fish, baked corn cake, scrambled eggs, wild vegetable, millet gruel and cornmeal dumpling with vegetable stuffing
Accommodation: All the rooms are equipped with TV, Air conditioner, telephone, electric water heater, toilet and toilet articles.
Entertainment: bonfire, fireworks, Chesses & Cards and Karaoke
Chinese name: 司马饭庄 (Sī Mǎ Fàn Zhuāng)
Location: in the scenic area, close to Yuanyang (Mandarin Duck) Lake at the foot of the wall
Dining: Mountain flavor dishes, barbecue and western food
Accommodation: It is a traditional north China courtyard. There are 15 guest rooms in the back yard, including single rooms, double rooms, family rooms and multi-share rooms.
Simatai Great Wall International Youth Hostel
Chinese name: 司马台国际青年旅社 (Sī Mǎ Tái Guó Jì Qīng Nián Lǚ Shè)
Location: in the area, close to Yuanyang (Mandarin Duck) Lake at the foot of the wall
Dining & Accommodation: 80 restaurant seats; 26 standard double rooms to sleep 52 guests
a. Badly out of repair for years, the wall is noted for its great danger. Simatai Reservoir divides it into the two sections (eastern and western) which are connected by a suspension bridge. Cable car can reach the 8th gate tower in the eastern section. For safety concerns and the protection of the wild wall, visitors are only allowed to climb to No.12 gate tower in the eastern section. Do be careful when you are with kids.
b. Prepare enough water. The water is sold almost at every gate tower. But a bottle of water of 500 ml will charge visitors about CNY 10, which is much more expensive than the normal price.
Related Link: Hiking from Jinshanling to Simatai