Badaling Remnant Great Wall

The Badaling Remnant Great Wall is located 3 miles (5 kilometers) southwest of the Badaling Great Wall in Yanqing County, Beijing. It is also known as the Shixiaguan Great Wall, and functions as the west gate of the defense system of Badaling Great Wall. With a total length of 1.2 miles (2 kilometers), the V-shaped wall is comprised of two sections, with a breach in the middle, and four beacon towers. More importantly, the Remnant Great Wall is a witness to the construction of Great Wall, the largest military defense project in human history.

The wall is closely associated with a peasant uprising led by Li Zicheng. He established his regime "Dashun" in Xian in 1644. Later, the leader marched his troops eastward to Beijing, but was stopped by the Badaling Great Wall. It was very difficult to break through. Finally, a local elderly advised him to attack the Shixiaguan Great Wall which was lower. Li Zicheng took his advice, and won the battle. As a result, Li and his troops occupied Beijing and overthrew the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Ascending the mountain tops, you will see the broken, but time-honored wall crawling on the ridges, and the old beacon towers standing there quietly, like old wrinkled men. The bricks are so seriously weathered that some pieces would collapse if you touch them. Some stone steps have become piles of stones due to disrepair. The wall is leaning and collapsing, while the beacon tower has severe cracks. Compared with the well-renovated section at Badaling, one can feel a stronger sense of historical changes here.

Apart from the broken wall and watchtowers, you can see two historical sites that disclose the architectural secret of the wall. One is the ancient brick kiln complex. Construction of the Great Wall needed a large quantity of bricks. But transporting bricks from other places to mountain top was quite time-consuming and energy-consuming. Thus, it was a wise decision to manufacture bricks right beside the wall. These brick kilns explain the conjecture and are evidence of the ancient Chinese people's intelligence.

The other is the stone quarry. The foundations of the wall were made from processed granite. Thus demand for the granite was rather huge during the construction. Finished and half-finished granite was found in the stone quarry. Additionally, the gunpowder plates found in the stone quarry indicated that gunpowder was used to level off hilltops. Thus, the mystery of how ancient people collected and transported granite when the productive forces were primitive was finally unveiled.

When is the best time for a visit?

It can be visited all year round, except on cold and windy winter days. The best time is in spring, or more specifically in early April, when the apricot trees are in full blossom and the wall becomes a sea of apricot flowers. The flowers contrast finely with the dilapidated wall. It looks as if a pretty young girl was showing off beside a weathered veteran hero. Green buds, pink apricot flowers, and the grey wall are quite harmonious with one another. Wandering on it and appreciating the beautiful flowers will for sure bring you lots of pleasure!

How to Get There

 By Bus:
 Take the non-stop bus 877 from Deshengmen to Badaling Great Wall, then change to bus 879 to the spot. Duration is about 70-80 minutes and ticket price is CNY 14. This is the fastest way. But the bus 877 is only available before 12:30.
 If you plan to go after 12:30, take bus 919 from Deshengmen to get there. Ticket fare is CNY 12 and the trip takes as long as 2 hours. Bus 919 has many branch lines and some of them do not go to the site, you’d better confirm with the driver before boarding.

 By Train:
Take a train from Beijing North Railway Station to Badaling Railway Station. There are 13 departures per day from 06:12 to 21:18. The trip takes about 70-80 minutes and ticket fare is CNY 6. Upon arrival, take bus 879 or 919 to get there. There may be a long queue at the ticket office, so you'd better arrive early, about 2 hours before departure in peak season and 1 hour before on usual days. If you have a Beijing Transportation Smart Card, it will save you much time and energy, as you can get onboard by swiping the card and no paper ticket is needed.
 
Opening Hours 8:00 – 17:00
Ticket Price CNY 50
Children less than 4.6 feet (1.4 meters) in height are admitted free.