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GW10: Huanghuacheng Great Wall Hiking

  • Itinerary
In the morning, our guide and driver will meet you at your hotel at an appointed time and escort you to hike the Great Wall at Huanghuacheng. As several parts of the wall are under water, it is also called the Water Great Wall. This makes the wall special and unique. There is no lunch today. We suggest you prepare some snacks or fast food beforehand. After the whole day's hiking, we will escort you back to your hotel.

Meals: not included, but our guide will offer some suggestions.

Prices (US$ Per Person)
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If you are not interested in a guided hiking tour and prefer to take a bit adventures by yourself, we provide the following information for your reference.

Huanghuacheng Great Wall is 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) long, and was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), and located in Huairou District, 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) northeast of Beijing. Constructed of millet congee, making it solid and strong; the wall once served as the defense of the ancient capital Beijing, as well as guarding the imperial Mausoleum of the Ming Dynasty. Part of the wall was submerged under water and was given the name Water Great wall.


Huanghuacheng and Xishuiyu

The most convenient way of getting to the attraction is to take the special tourist buses from Dongzhimen station - the buses are available on weekends and holidays from April to October. The bus departs from Dongzhimen between 08:00 and 09:00. The cost is CNY 80 per person, including the entrance into the attraction and the return trip. 

Another option is to take bus No. 916 from Dongzhimen Station costing CNY 12 per person. It is available from 04:55 to 19:00 leaving every 15 - 20 minutes every day. Get off at Nan Hua Yuan San Qu of Huairou, then walk on about 100 meters and connect bus H21 at Nan Hua Yuan Si Qu to Shuichangcheng (water great wall). The bus runs every 40 - 50 minutes. You can also take a taxi to the attraction, costing about CNY 150 per cab. 

When you see the three Chinese characters "Huang Hua Cheng" at the entrance of a village you have arrived at your destination. Follow the narrow path on the left which lead to the Xishuiyu Scenic Area, which boasts picturesque scenery and is known in North China as Little West Lake. Xishuiyu Scenic Area is mainly composed of Haoming Lake and some man-made entertainment facilities on the island around the lake. The Haoming Lake divides Huanghuacheng Great Wall into three parts. This hiking tour will focus on the most splendid section.

Huanghuacheng Reservoir and the Dam

The first guard tower

Walking about one hundred meters along the main road from the entrance of the village, you can see the wall on the hill ahead. The admission fee is CNY 45 per person. The opening hours are 08:00-17:00 on weekdays and 07:30-17:30 at weekends and holidays. We suggest you finish your hike before 15:30 so you can have enough time to catch the bus back to Beijing. In front of the wall, there is a large reservoir intercepted by a 30 meter-long dam, which is the Huanghuacheng Reservoir. Walking along the dam, you will see a little path along the hill leading to the lowest guard tower of the wall, this is where your excursion will start.

The wall between the first and second guard towers is in ruins. The road between the walls is also dilapidated. However, you will realize that this part of the road is the best compared to others. The roof and the walls of the second guard tower have totally collapsed and are now covered in weeds and trees. The road from the second guard tower to the third guard tower is not very steep, but very narrow. The great wall was built on the ridge of a mountain, walking on the wall is like walking on a single-plank bridge. After climbing over the third guard tower, you will find the road in the middle of the walls is full of shrubs and weeds making it accessible, but difficult.

The ruined wall

The second guard tower

Continue climbing to the fourth guard tower, which has been well preserved. There is a wooden ladder between the two floors allowing you to climb onto the second floor and overlook the surrounding charming scenery. The walls from the fourth and sixth guard towers have also been preserved very well. Because there are few visitors walking on the wall, the road is covered by weeds. The fifth guard tower was built on the outside of the wall and is almost ruined: leaving only the shape of its foundation. In front of the sixth guard tower, the road has been collapsed. The local peasants put some tree branches there as a path and sometimes there will be a peasant there to charge you a CNY 1-2 passing fee.

The wall covered by shrubs

Road full of weeds

After the sixth guard tower, you will see three sections of V-shape walls set into the mountain. The wall descends sharply to the bottom of the valley and then soars up to the top of the mountain. Again, it falls rapidly to the lowest point and rises to the mountain peak. Climbing down the mountain along the wall you will find the seventh and eighth guard towers together with the walls between well preserved. It may be because this section hides in the valley that keeps it from erosion. Standing at the low point of the valley and looking up, you will see the wall winding like a flying dragon to the top of the mountain.

The road leading to the ninth guard tower is very steep, is covered by gravel and is very slippery. We advise you to concentrate on climb as opposed to the scenery on this part of the wall. The ninth guard tower was built on the mountain peak and is totally weathered. From here, the wall slopes down the valley again and submerges into the water at the end, giving an eerie view of the wall under water.


The ruined part of the wall

The road down the mountain from the ninth guard tower is ruined and very hard to hike, so we suggest you return to the eighth guard tower where there is a little path leading to the foot of the mountain. Although the path is narrow, it is in good condition. At the foot of the mountain, there is a rural road leading to a broad road for about 1 kilometer, you will arrive at the side of the large reservoir. At the gate of the village, you can catch the minibus back to Huairou to connect the bus No. 916 back to Dongzhimen Station.

Photos of Huanghuacheng
 More Great Wall Hiking Routes:
Badaling Hiking: Explore Badaling in one day
Mutianyu Hiking: Mutianyu Hiking routes with practical tips
Jiankou Hiking: One day itinerary of Jiankou
Gubeikou Hiking: with practical travel tips
Shanhaiguan with Laolongtou: Hiking from beijing to Laolongtou, Shanhaiguan and Jiaoshan

More Beijing Independent Packages:
Forbidden City: 4 routes to discovery the world's largest imperial palace
One Day in Beijing: over 30 itineraries of one day in Beijing
Bike Tours: 13 well-designed routes to travel around Beijing by bike
Questions & Answers
Asked by Adam Soutar from UNITED STATES | Oct. 17, 2018 23:26Reply
Malaga-Munich-Beijing-144 Hr Waiver - Bangkok (conx) - Singapore (3day stop) - Zurich- Malaga
Malaga - Munich - Beijing and Singapore - Zurich - Malaga on same ticket.

Beijing to Singapore (via Bangkok) separate ticket.

Anyone can confirm I'm OK?

Many thanks!
Answers (1)
Answered by Charles from USA | Oct. 18, 2018 18:43

I'm afraid you cannot because 144 hours visa regulates that tourists shall hold the interline tickets before you start your trip.
Asked by Tania from SOUTH AFRICA | Jul. 03, 2017 13:20Reply
What will a taxi cost me from Badaling Hot Spring Resort to Huanghuacheng wall?
What different options are there to go from Badaling Hot Spring Resort to Huanghuacheng Wall, besides the bus route and what is the cost per person?

Is there any other routes to Mutianyu from Badaling Hot Spring Resort, beside through the city? I have a route that goes first into the city and then out...but want a route that can go straight to Mutianyo from the resort.

Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Sara from GERMANY | Jul. 03, 2017 22:53

1. The taxi fare may be around CNY220-240/car for a single trip in the day time.
2. Besides the bus route, you may charter a 4-seat car from Badaling Hot Spring Resort to Huanghuacheng Wall. It may cost around CNY900 for a round trip.
3. You can also charter a car from Badaling Hot Spring Resort to Mutianyu . It may probably charge around CNY600 for a round trip.

Anyway, all fares are only for reference.
Asked by Jas from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 26, 2017 11:09Reply
Would it be possible to see great wall (Mutianyu Great Wall ) and forbidden city in 24 hours?
So land at the airport at 11am and catch flight back at 8pm,
can both be seen in that time?
Answers (3)
Answered by Lisa from CANADA | Jun. 26, 2017 21:34

If you have 24 hours layover, then it is enough to visit these attractions. Generally, you can visit the Great Wall in half a day or a whole day, and the Forbidden City also needs half a day. The opening time of the Forbidden City is 8:30-17:00. However, you need to buy the ticket in advance and enter the scenic spot before 16:10. The Great Wall opens from 07:30-18:00 in weekdays and 07:30-18:30 on weekends.
Answered by Jas from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 27, 2017 09:06

Hi thank you Lisa

Also how far is great wall mutianyu realistically in traffic by taxi from the airport. which order would you do it.. land at the airport in the morning then do the great wall then forbidden city and then back to the airport? approximately how far are both of them from the airport?

thanks again :)
Answered by Lisa | Jun. 27, 2017 22:53

Well, it is about 60 kilometers from the airport to the Great Wall and around 30 kilometers to Forbidden City. You are advised to visit Forbidden City first because there will be a limited number of persons who can visit there in one day. Besides, you may reserve the ticket of the museum in advance online.
Asked by Ayu from MALAYSIA | Apr. 27, 2017 02:35Reply
Hello, may I ask. I have questions.
1. How to going Zhangjiajie Bus Station from Changsha Huanghua International Airport? and how to going Wulingyuan Bus Station from Zhangjiajie Bus Station? Is there any buses operate?

2. How to going Tianmen Mountain from Zhangjiajie Bus Station? what the operating hours of the sightseeing bus?

3. How to going to Mutianyu, Great Wall from Hutong, Dongcheng District, Wangfujing street? Is there any subway / bus going there? how many hours to get there? and how much the payment necessary to enter the Great Wall?

4. What bus / subway if we are going to Beijing Airport (PEK) from Dongcheng District and operation hours?

Please advise. Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Damian from USA | Apr. 28, 2017 03:28

1. Upon landing, take airport shuttle bus to get to Changsha Railway Station first. Then walk to Changzhutan Bus Station and take the bus to Zhangjiajie. The buses are available from 8:20 to 19:00. The fare is CNY 120. The trip takes about 4 to 5 hours. :)
2. The distance is not far. You can just take a taxi to Tianmen Mountain directly.
3. You need to get to Dongzhimen first. Then you can take bus line 916 Express or 916 to Huairou North Avenue Station. The 916 Express is recommended and it costs CNY 12 and takes 60-70 minutes. Then, transfer to bus no.h23, h24, h35, or h36 to Mutianyu Roundabout. After that, walk about 500 yards (450 meters) to the ticket office of the scenic area.
4. Take shuttle bus Jinbao Street Line from Jinyu Hutong (Peace Hotel) to PEK directly. The service hours are from 07:00 to 19:00 at intervals of around an hour.
Asked by Jillian from USA | Mar. 01, 2017 20:53Reply
How long is the tour and the hike itself? What intensity is the hike?
Answers (1)
Answered by TravelChinaGuide | Mar. 01, 2017 20:54

Huanghuacheng Great Wall is 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) long. Usually it takes 3-4 hours hiking there. There are many steps. It really takes a lot of stamina and it could be difficult for seniors.
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