Shuidonggou Site

In the Ming Dynasty (1271-1368), Shuidonggou Site was a military defense base along the Great Wall of China, where a lot of military buildings and facilities were built to defend against the northern nomadic tribes. Nowadays, many of the relics can still be seen here.

In 1923, two French biologists dug out a large number of stone tools and animal fossils in Shuidonggou, making it China’s earliest excavated site of the Old Stone Age (300 million to 10 thousand years ago) and the “Birthplace of Prehistoric Archaeology in China".

Located at Linhe Town in Lingwu city, 19 kilometers (12 miles) from Yinchuan City in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Shuidonggou Site is part of a Yardang landform with cliffs, hollows, and quicksand. To co-exist harmoniously with these natural features, the buildings are the same color as the soil, stone or wood and bridges are built of wood or stone.

All of these features, together with azure sky, beautiful reed catkins, and clear water, integrate into a wonderful picture scroll.

Excavation Sites of the Old Stone Age Period

Up to now, seven pits have been excavated. Each time a pit is excavated, a great many animal fossils and stoneware are dug out which contribute to the study of prehistoric archeology. Nowadays, most of these objects are displayed in the Shuidonggou Site Museum located in the south of the scenic area. In the museum, you can also learn about the life of the people hundreds of thousands of years ago through a 3-D film which will give you a good view of their daily lives, including scenes of forging stone tools, hunting, and disasters.

Shuidonggou Great Wall Relics of Ming Dynasty

As an important defense base during the Ming Dynasty, Shuidonggou preserves a number of military relics, such as the Beacon Tower, the Ming Great Wall, the Troops Hidden Cave, and the Hongshan Fortress.

The Beacon Tower was used for message delivery. In ancient times, if intruders approached, the soldiers on-guard would create smoke in the daytime or light a fire at night to warn their troops.

The relics of the Great Wall at the Shuidonggou Site are known today as the East Line of the Ming Great Wall. It was made by piling up rammed earth 10 to 14 centimeters (4 to 6 inches) tall, and is still standing solid after years of wind and rain.

To the south of the Ming Great Wall, the Troops Hidden Cave was used for hiding soldiers and as a base for sneak attacks on invaders. The cave has all kinds of military facilities including galleries, gears, concealed weapons, observatories, weapons storeroom, etc.… There are a variety of rooms such as lounges, meeting rooms and kitchens for generals and soldiers. Visiting the cave, you will be surprised by its labyrinth-like structure and excellent design.

Passing through the cave, you will come to the Hongshan Fortress. It is said that there are three different passages leading to the Hongshan Fortress from the Troops Hidden Cave, but only one has been found. Hongshan Fortress is in the shape of square measuring 302 meters (330 yards) on each side.  It was an essential defense base for soldiers to hide and beat back the enemies.

Yardang Landform

The Yardang landform can be appreciated in Ghost City with lots of pillars of different shapes . The pillars resemble images of ghosts in legends when looking from different angles. When there is a strong wind, all kinds of strange sounds can be heard. Sometimes the sound is like a penetrating whistle, sometimes a deep howl, and sometimes a frightening crying… All of these make Ghost City a mysterious place. Grand Canyon, in the east of the scenic area, is also a great place to appreciate the greatness and miracle of the Yardang landform.

Another famous attraction in Shuidonggou Site is the Reed Catkins Valley. Measuring 3 kilometers (2 miles) long, it is surrounded by steep cliffs on both sides. Reed catkins have different colors each season, creating different atmospheres for visitors.

Across Reed Catkins Valley, you will see Hongshan Lake, a natural lake covering an area of 1.8 square kilometers (444.8 acres). It is rare to see such a big lake in this Yardang-landform site. You can see the Ming Great Wall across the lake. You can also take a sightseeing boat or bamboo raft for a short cruise across this wonder.

In addition to the splendid natural and cultural sites, thrilling and interesting entertainment activities are waiting for you. In Crocodile Hall, fishing for crocodiles and taking close-up photos with crocodiles will be exciting. To the east of Crocodile Hall, the Ostrich Farm is a good place to lean about ostriches and to watch interesting performances.

How to travel around inside the Shuidonggou Site

Inside the scenic area, you can take many kinds of transport from one site to another, including ox carts, horse-drawn carriages, camel carriages, donkey carts and pedicabs. While riding a camel carriage, you can pay CNY 5 and the driver will sing a folk song for you .

How to get to the Shuidonggou Site

1. Take a bus from Yinchuan Bus Station to Shuidonggou at 8:00 or 11:40 in the morning.
2. Take a bus from Yinchuan Beimen Tourism Bus Station to Shuidonggou and it's available from 9:00 to 11:00 in the morning.
3. Take a bus from Yinchuan Xinnanmen Bus Station.
Entrance Fee CNY 60;
Combo Ticket: CNY 240;
Free for children under 1.2m (3.9 feet).
Opening Hours Apr. - Oct.: 8:00 - 20:00
Nov. - Mar.: 8:00 - 18:00
- Last updated on Sep. 18, 2018 -
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