Simatai Great Wall

 Towers 8 - 10 are closed currently for repairs, and the reopening time is unknown.

Simatai Great Wall has been partially restored and opened. The tourist area is limited to its east section, so the hiking from west Simatai to Jinshanling is not allowed. The Great Wall at Simatai is also the only section opened for a night tour. As one needs to go through the Gubei Water Town to reach Simatai, a reservation is required if you only plan to visit the Great Wall itself.

Simatai Great Wall in Beijing
Simatai in Beijing
Simatai Great Wall Ruins
A Time-honored Watchtower

 4-Day Beijing Tour with Simatai from $619     Simatai Great Wall Tour from $329

Why Visit Simatai Rather Than Others

 Distinct from other developed sections like Badaling and Mutianyu, renovations here have focused only on essential reinforcement work. Its original appearance is still preserved to let you feel the truly historic atmosphere.

 It was ranked first in the list of the 'World's Top 25 Scenic Spots' by the Times newspaper in 2012.

 A Simatai Great Wall night tour can be undertaken, which will offer you a different viewing experience.

 A cable car is available allowing visitors to save energy, making it possible for everyone to ascend it, even seniors and little kids.

 Mandarin Duck Lake lies at the foot of the wall, with a water town (Gubei Water Town) by the lake. Travelers can experience at the same time the beauty of the water town as well as the grand Great Wall.

Basic Facts of Simatai Great Wall

 This section was constructed under the supervision of Qi Jiguang, a famous general in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

 It stretches 5.4 kilometers (3.4 miles), and is separated into eastern part and western part by Mandarin Duck Lake.

 This section has 34 beacon towers, with 18 of them in the western part and 16 in the east. They are relatively close to each other, with the average distance apart about 140 meters (460 feet).

 Presently, only the eastern part from No. 1 Tower to No. 10 Tower has been restored and officially opened.

Simatai Great Wall displays various patterns of construction. Here, you can not only view the conventional appearance of the Great Wall, with battlements on each side of the track, but also see on steep cliffs the half-wall style, with battlements built only on the outer side. The slope and width also change dramatically depending on the different terrain. Some segments along the gentle slopes are so wide and mild that even horses can walk on them. At other narrow points, only one person at a time is able to pass.

Another feature of Simatai is the diverse architectural styles of the beacon towers; there are two-storey or three-storey towers, and towers of square shape, oval shape, or hexagonal. The number of arrow holes on each tower also varies, and includes two, three, four, and even 24 holes. Of the towers, the most distinctive are the Fairy Maiden Tower (No. 15 East Tower) and Wangjing Tower (No. 16 East Tower). The former is the narrowest tower of this section, while the latter occupies the highest point of the whole scenic area. There is an almost vertical stairway with large steps leading to the Fairy Maiden Tower. Built over the sheer cliff, it makes the tower very hard to reach.

Great Wall at Simatai
Zigzag Wall
Simatai Cable Way
Cable Way over the Mountain Slopes

How to Tour Simatai Great Wall

 The steps in the opened part are in sound condition and not very steep. The rest of this part may not be safe and not recommended to visit. This includes the Fairy Maiden Tower and Wangjing Tower. However, it's still worthwhile to admire these two towers from No. 10 East Tower. Standing at the top of the lofty mountains, they look magnificent even from a distance.

 If one insists on hiking the unopened eastern part, be well prepared with professional hiking equipment.

 Since the western part is closed, hiking from Simatai to Jinshanling is not allowed.

 The wall was built along steep ridges. So, more energy is needed for ascent. Generally, it takes around two and a half hours hiking to reach the East No. 10 Tower, and around an hour for descend.

 If you feel it too difficult to go the whole way walking, a cable car is available to save your energy. After reaching the cable car upper terminal, there are two footpaths leading to the East No. 5 Tower and East No. 8 Tower respectively.

 Only the segment between No. 5 East Tower and No. 6 East Tower is opened for the night tour. Visitors are required to take the round-trip cable car.

Simatai Great Wall Map

Better Make a Reservation in Advance

Because of the damage in some parts, in order to let visitors have a safe and pleasant tour, tourist number is limited in each time interval. To guarantee a visit upon arrival, you'd better make a reservation in advance.

 If you intend to climb Simatai Great Wall only, you should make an online reservation one to ten days in advance at, using a valid ID certificate like passport. After booking, you will get a confirmation message. Upon arrival, buy the entry ticket at the visitor center square using the reservation confirmation message and your ID certificate. From the square, you will be guided to the shuttle bus to the Great Wall. The ticketing service is only available at 10:00, 12:00, and 14:00, so, you should arrange your itinerary well.

 Visitors who have not made a reservation in advance are not guaranteed a ticket when they arrive. They will only be given a ticket if the number of tourists with reservations doesn't reach the limit.

Beijing Simatai Great Wall Steep Simatai Great Wall

When is the Best Time for a Simatai Great Wall Tour?

The best time for a visit is April, May, September, or October. In April, May, and September, the warm weather is very comfortable for visitors. With lush plants covering the mountain, the winding wall looks like a dragon lying on a green sea. In October, red leaves cover the ridge, offering you another wonderful scene.

In one day, morning time or at night is are the best period, because there are little of visitors on the Wall and the Simatai Great Wall at night is particularly beautiful. 

Entrance Fee CNY 40;
CNY 20 for children between 1.2 - 1.5m (3.9 - 4.9 feet);
Free for children under 1.2m. 
Cable Car Ticket one-way: CNY 90; round-trip: CNY 160
Combo Ticket Great Wall + Gubei Water Town: CNY 170
Great Wall + one-way cable car: CNY 110
Great Wall + round-trip cable car: CNY 180
Opening Hours Daytime Apr. - Oct.: 8:00 - 18:00
Nov.: - Mar.: 8:00 - 17:30
Note: Site-cleared at 16:30
Night Apr. - Oct.: 18:00 - 22:00
Nov.: - Mar.: 17:30 - 21:00 (Mon. - Fri.), 17:30 - 21:30 (Weekends)
Ticketing time:
Apr. - Oct.: 18:00 – 21:30
Nov. - Mar.: 17:30 – 20:10 (Mon. - Fri.), 17:30 - 20:40 (Weekends)

How to get to Simatai Great Wall from Downtown Beijing

Take subway line 2 or line 13 to Dongzhimen Station.
1. Take a tourist bus from Dongzhimen to Gubei Water Town directly, which takes about 2 hours and costs CNY 48 for a single trip. The buses depart at 8:00, 9:00, 12:00, and 15:30, and one more bus at 14:00 in during weekends and holidays. The returning buses depart at 13:00, 17:00 and 21:00, and one more bus at 19:00 during weekends and holidays.
2. Take Bus 980/ 980 Express from Dongzhimen to Miyun Xidaqiao and then change to Miyun Bus 51 to Gubei Shuizhen (Gubei Water Town).

Where to Eat

 Although there are food stalls on the wall, they are not cheap; it is recommended you bring some snacks and bottled water with you.

 If you also buy a ticket for Gubei Water Town, you can have a meal in the town after your visit to the Great Wall. The water town is also a great place to stay overnight.

 If you don't plan to visit the water town, you can go to the Simatai Folk Culture Village for dining and accommodation. It is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from Gubei Water Town. You can get there by bus Mi 51. Get off at Shalingzi Station and you will find the village.

- Last modified on Aug. 28, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Simatai Great Wall
Asked by Pablo Santana from UNITED KINGDOM | Sep. 12, 2019 07:18Reply
trekking from Simatai to Jinshanling
Hi !!

Thank for all information in your website, it's being really usefull for my trip.

We are planning to visit the Great Wall first week of October, would you know is still is closed the trekking from Simatai to Jinshanling? Or where could I check officially this info??

Thank you very much!!
Answers (2)
Answered by Aly from UKRAINE | Sep. 17, 2019 23:52

Well, as I know, you can hike from Simatai West to Jinshanling. As I know, you can join in One Day Mini Group Great Wall Hiking Tour - The most splendid hiking from Simatai West to Jinshanling Great Wall of TravelChinaGuide. They provides warm service and nice travel routes. If possible, you can contact
Answered by Pablo from SPAIN | Sep. 19, 2019 08:30


Thanks for your answer.

Could we walk on our own or it's mandatory trekking with a group? Would you recomend to start to Jonshanling and go to Simatai or viceversa?

Asked by Philipp from GERMANY | Aug. 20, 2019 19:34Reply
Tourist Bus at 8am(Dongzhimen Station)early enough for 10am TicketService/Shuttle at Simatai G. Wall
Is it possible to get tickets for Simatai great wall at the Ticket Service at 10 am when taking the tourist shuttle bus from Bejing at 8 am (Dongzhimen Station)?
If we understand correctly, you can only access the wall at certain time slots and we are not sure if the shuttle bus will arrive in time (at 10 am) to the entrance if it departs at 8 am. According to the Internet, it should take the bus 2 hours to travel from Dongzhimen to Gubei water town.

Thanks in advance for your reply
Answers (1)
Answered by Wills from USA | Aug. 28, 2019 23:23

It is suggested to book the ticket in advance because Simatai has limited the number of visitors per day in sake of protection. There's no guarantee that you will buy the ticket after your arrival.
Asked by Llibert from SPAIN | Jun. 04, 2019 05:31Reply
Simantai great wall and Gubei
I am interested in visiting in August both Gubei town and Simantai Great Wall with reurn cable car ticket. I will get there from Beijing with a private driver and spend the day. Do you have to book tickets in advance? or can I buy those tickets direct when I arrive in Gubei? As I understand you only book tickens when visiting the great wall only. Thank you
Answers (3)
Answered by Arien from POLAND | Jun. 11, 2019 00:29

Well, the online booking page only has Chinese version. But don't worry. Just purchase the tickets when you arriving at Gubei. Have a nice trip!
Answered by Llibert from SPAIN | Jun. 11, 2019 03:03

Thank you
Answered by Loo from MALAYSIA | Jun. 11, 2019 05:32

I just paid my visit to Gubei & Simatai last week.
- If you want to visit only Simatai, you would need to buy the ticket in advance.
- If you are paying the tourist ticket to visit Gubei village or stay inside one of the hotels in Gubei, you can buy at there.
- Recommended to go for night tour to Simatai. The night tour ticket selling shall start at 5.30pm but the tour might be canceled due to weather. So please check weather forecast.
- It is recommended to stay more than a day if you are visiting Gubei + Simatai. I reached Gubei at 5.30pm, stayed there for 3 days 2 nights and left the village at 1.15pm.
- It took me around 400++ RMB from Beijing to Gubei by taking Didi (the local UBER). You can save your budget by taking bus which will cost you around 48 RMB (if I remember correctly).
Asked by Mirka from CZECH REPUBLIC | Apr. 01, 2019 01:23Reply
Great Wall in September for 2 days
We will be in Beijing in September for one week and want visit the Great Wall - we want see "everything" - wall, see, river - and want have anywhere overnight. What is your best recommendation? We are 58, in this case not so much adrenalin is necessary. Thank you Mirka
Answers (5)
Answered by Hailey from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 01, 2019 19:25

Hi, Mutianyu and Simatai are recommended since you can stay overnight in Gubei Water Town, which is on the foot of Simatai Great Wall.
Answered by Mirka from CZECH | Apr. 02, 2019 00:54

Thank you for your answer. Which way and kind of transport recomende you to go therere? How fare are those two points? Thank you. Mirka
Answered by Hailey from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 02, 2019 18:18

To Simatai Great Wall, you can take subway line 2 or line 13 to Dongzhimen Station first. Then take a tourist bus from Dongzhimen to Gubei Water Town directly, which takes about 2 hours and costs CNY 48 for a single trip.

To Mutianyu Great Wall, take Bus Line 916 from Dongzhimen Station to North Huairou Avenue. Then transfer to Bus Line H36 to Xinying. Get off the bus, you can see the Great Wall. It takes around CNY15 per person.
Answered by Mirka from CZECH | Apr. 02, 2019 23:11

Dear Hailey, many thanks for your all good recomendation and tips. My last question: If we will visit the first Simatai and overnight in Water city and the next day go to Mutianyu - how far is it and how can we rich it by the public transport? Or do you have another sugestion for the next day? Many thanks Mirka
Answered by Hailey from AUSTRALIA | Apr. 03, 2019 17:58

In fact, there is no large difference of the two Great Walls. You can choose either one and then visit other attractions in the next day. There is no direct public transport between the two places and you need to go back to Beijing city again to depart.
Asked by Patricia from FRANCE | Feb. 16, 2019 10:35Reply
Jinshanling to Simatai. Good evening
Thank you so uch for your blog, it's helping me so much to prepare my first stay in China.
I have hotel booked in Jinshanling and was hoping to hike by myself from sunrise to Simatai and from Simatai, catch the 5 pm bus to Beijing for an evening flight. Can the hiking be done this way ? I'm a girl travelling solo with good physical condition.
Thank you in advance for your help
Answers (4)
Answered by Ron from GERMANY | Feb. 17, 2019 22:33

Hi, I'm sorry but it is not available now. Maybe you can adjust your schedule.
Answered by Patricia from FANCE | Feb. 19, 2019 10:58

Dear Ron
Thank you for your reply. I'll try to figure out other options then.
Have a good evening
Answered by Michael from FRANCE | Jul. 14, 2019 06:46

Hello !
Is the section between Jinshanling and Simatai still closed ? I would like to do the hike... Thank you very much !
Answered by Emery from USA | Jul. 18, 2019 20:43

As I know, the section is still closed.
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