Huangyaguan Great Wall
Huangyaguan is considered to be a miniature of the Great Wall of China. In this section, you can find the stone base built in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 557) and the brick battlements laid in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Watchtowers there are either solid or hollow, and have different shapes, including round ones and square ones. Outside, you may see independent outposts a few meters away from each other; inside, there are also ramparts to reinforce the defense system.
Basic Facts of Huangyaguan Great Wall
Huangyaguan Pass was first built during the Northern Qi Dynasty and repaired extensively during the Ming Dynasty under the supervision of Qi Jiguang, a renowned general of that time.
Stretching 26 miles (42 kilometers) from the General Pass in Beijing to Malan Pass in Hebei, there used to be 52 watchtowers and 14 beacon towers in total. However, most of this part of the wall has collapsed due to lack of renovation. Starting from 1984, people spent three years repairing 3,308 yards (3,025 meters) of the wall and 20 watchtowers.
Because the cliff rocks to the east of the pass are mostly yellow and they look gilded at the sunset, the pass got its name Huangya (Yellow Cliff) Pass.
The Pass of Huangyaguan
Surrounded by abrupt mountains, Huangya Pass is one of the most important passes with barbicans, turrets, emplacements, barracks and other indispensable military facilities orderly arranged. Within the pass, more than 40 crisscrossing streets form the shape of the Eight Diagram, which gives the pass a nickname, Eight Diagram Fortification City. In the center of the Eight Diagram Street block is the Great Wall Museum, which used to be the Dispatcher's Office in the Ming Dynasty. Here, you can have a look of the weapons and daily necessities used by soldiers of the Ming Dynasty. Besides the constructional sites, you can also feel the cultural atmosphere by viewing poems inscribed in the Stele Forests and couplets carved on the bamboo strips in the Couplet Hall.
Huangya Water Gate
Built during the reign of Ming Emperor Yongle (1403 – 1424), this pass connects the Huangya Pass on the west and Taiping Mountain Stronghold on the east. With a length of 83 yards (75.5 meters) and a height of 41 feet (12.5 meters), there are five arches below the wall allowing the river to flow through. During the wartime, the arches would be closed, and soldiers would settle gun barrels along the battlements to defend against enemies coming from the waterway. In ordinary days, it was just like a giant bridge over the river.
It is 1,100 yards (1,000 meters) east of the Huangya Pass in the Xiaopingan Village, guarding the valley of that region. There is a statue of Qi Jiguang standing in front of it, commemorating this eminent general who made great contributions to the state.
To the west of Taiping Stronghold stands a square tower named the Widow Tower, which is a two-storey beacon tower donated by twelve women whose husbands helped to build the Great Wall but lost their life during the construction. It functioned as a military fortress during the wartime with crenels and emplacements built on the second floor. It is also a piece of architectural artwork worth a close viewing. You can find dragon's head sculptures on two sides of the roof, and figurines of kylins, phoenixes, and lions crouching at the four points of the eave.
Huangya Sky Ladder
Walking westward for 550 yards (503 meters) from the Huangya Pass, you will get to the steepest segment of this section, the Huangya Sky Ladder. Stairs there are not very smooth. Some of them even crack in the middle. Stretching to the top of the ridge, this long stairway seemingly leads to the sky. Climbing over the ladder, you will reach the primitive Great Wall built in the Northern Qi Dynasty, marking the end of the Huangyaguan section.
|Admission Fee||CNY 50|
|Children less than 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) in height: Free|
|Opening Hours||7:30 – 18:30|
How to Tour Huangyaguan Great Wall
There are two entrances to the scenic area: one is at Huangya Pass (main entrance) and the other is at Taiping Mountain Stronghold (east entrance). You can start hiking from either of them to the other end, which may need about one to two hours' time. Besides, the spots inside the pass are also worth visiting. Therefore, the whole trip will take about three hours.
There is a distance of 1.5 miles (2.2 kilometers) between the two entrances with sightseeing buses shuttling between. The twisting mountain road would require half an hour's driving. The ticket price is CNY 30/per person.
It is recommended to start from Taiping Mountain Stronghold and hike westwards to Huangya Pass. It is a relatively energy-saving route, because you will go downhill all the way to the pass. Besides, there are more farmhouses around the pass where you can have meals and rests.
If you still feel very energetic after reaching the Huangya Pass, you can keep hiking westwards. With cracked stairs and collapsed towers along the way, an original section built in the Northern Qi Dynasty lies at the west end waiting for you to explore it.
Huangyaguan Great Wall Marathon
There will be a marathon race on this section in the middle of May annually. Thousands of runners will be attracted by this distinctive racing route every year. Step by step, the beauty of this section will be revealed to the gaze of every participant.
See detailed Great Wall Marathon
How to Get to Huangyaguan from Beijing
The section is located in the north of Jixian County of Tianjin. To get to the scenic area, you should reach Jixian County first, which is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) away from Beijing.
Take a long-distance bus in Beijing Sihui Long-Distance Bus Station to Jixian County. The bus runs from 6:30 to 19:30 with an interval of about half an hour. Duration is about two hours and ticket fare is CNY30-40. Upon arrival, charter a minibus to the scenic area; it's within an hour's ride and costs about CNY 25-30 per passenger.
Take a train in Beijing East Railway Station to Jixian County Railway Station. The trip is about one hour and the ticket price is CNY 14.5 for a hard seat. Then, charter a minibus to the scenic area, which is one hour's driving away from the train station.
Click to check real-time China Train Schedule
How to Get there from Tianjin
Take a long-distance bus in Tianjin Jinyu Passenger Station or Tianjin Tongsha Passenger Station to Jixian County, which would take around an hour and a half and costs CNY 40 or so. Then, charter a minibus to the scenic area.
|Tianjin Jinyu Passenger Station||The bus runs from 6:30 to 18:30 with an interval of about ten minutes|
|Tianjin Tongsha Passenger Station||7:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:40|
Take a train in Tianjin Railway Station or Tianjin North Railway Station to Jixian County Railway Station. It would take around two hours to get to the county. Then, charter a minibus to the scenic area.
|Station||Operating Time||Price for Hard Seat|
|Tianjin Railway Station||7:24, 9:30||CNY 18.5|
|Tianjin North Railway Station||12:22, 16:23, 18:10, 18:57||CNY 16.5|
Where to Rest and Dine
There are local farmers' houses near the Huangya Pass (main entrance), which provide meals and accommodation. Once you finish the visit, you can have an immediate rest there and also taste the local cuisine.
Related Tour: Huangyaguan Great Wall Hiking