Xiangshuihu Great Wall

The Xiangshuihu Great Wall was constructed in 1404 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to guard the northern frontier. It got its name from the rippling Xiangshui Spring, the source of drinking water for locals. Nowadays, the Xiangshuihu Great Wall has been partly renovated and developed into a scenic area which is famous for the winding Great Wall on precipitous mountains, the Health Preserving Valley, and the limpid Xiangshui Spring.

Entering the scenic area, you will see the site of the Moshikou Fortress first. The walls of the fortress have fallen down, leaving the foundations for later generations to find its trace. The fortress was used as a camp for soldiers of Xiangshuihu Great Wall.

Walk on, and you will arrive at the entrance to Xiangshuihu Great Wall: the Moshikou Pass. "Moshikou Pass" literally means a pass which has been polished smooth. It got the name because there used to be a stream below it and the bedrock of the pass has been burnished by the torrential stream. The pass was also called "Double Passes" in the past because it consisted of two defensive architectures: a tower and a barbican. Together with the stream, it formed a solid defense which was very hard to break through. Nowadays, the pass has been replaced by a small reservoir, and visitors need to go across its dam to reach the Great Wall.

The Great Wall here has been renovated, so it is not difficult for visitors to climb. Along it, there are some watchtowers in which to have a short rest. Generally, it takes about an hour to reach the highest one. It's a typical two-storey hollow watchtower. Its base is well-preserved and you can go up the stairs to get into the tower. The first storey has five windows on both west and east walls, and three windows on both north and south walls; the roof of the second storey has disappeared, only leaving the east and north walls. Standing on the winding Great Wall on the top of mountains, you will be fascinated by the subtly of the great military project and the wisdom of ancient Chinese people.

After climbing the Great Wall, you can go forward to the Health Preserving Valley located to the north of the mountain. The valley has a length of 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometers). There are health preserving aphorisms by famous doctors, secret recipes written on the stones, and hundreds of medicinal herbs here and there. Additionally, the scenery in the valley is intoxicating. The high waterfalls, clear spring, sparkling river, chirping birds, fragrant flowers, and fresh air will take tourists’ breath away. The Xiangshui Spring at the end of the valley is known as the "No. 1 Spring in Huairou District" for the first grade quality of water. The water is rich in calcium and magnesium which are essential to people's health.

Apart from climbing the ancient Great Wall and enjoying the beautiful scenery, you can taste some delicious local food. Many kinds of countryside food can be found in local restaurants, including the roasted rainbow trout, roasted golden trout, stewed chicken, boiled egg, and distinctive wild vegetables.

How to get there from downtown Beijing

The Xiangshuihu Great Wall is situated in Dazhenyu Village, Bohai Township, Huairou District, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of central Beijing.

1. Take bus line 916 or 916 Express from Dongzhimen to Huairou North Avenue Station for about CNY 10. Then, change to bus line H34 or H51 to get there for CNY 2.
2. Take bus line 867, or 936 from Dongzhimen to Yujiayuan Station for about CNY 10. Then, transfer to bus line H34 to your destination for CNY 2.
Ticket Price CNY 32
Opening Hours 8:00 – 17:00

Further Reading: Great Wall of China in Huairou, Beijing
- Last updated on May. 26, 2020 -
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