The Great Wall at Simatai is
famous for being both slightly perilous and absolutely
marvelous! This part of the wall is situated northeast
of Beijing near Gubeikou Town in Miyun County.
It is 19 km long with 35 watch towers and definitely
not for those feeling unhealthy or unadventurous.
But, this is a authentic and fascinating part
of the wall. It is the only part of the Great
Wall remaining that maintains its original Ming
Dynasty appearance and has been listed by UNESCO
as one of the most important cultural relics in
Simatai Great Wall is divided
by a pretty valley. The western part of the wall
is relatively flat and the 20 watch towers atop
the wall are in good condition. This is the part
of the wall which is most photographed, said to
resemble a golden dragon stretched out across
the slope. The eastern part of the wall is even
more spectacular but a little more steep and can
(especially in the winter months), get quite slippery
and dangerous so be careful and go prepared!.
Along this stretch are 15 watch towers and a beautiful
marble gate engraved with lotus flowers.From the
top of this stretch there are fantastic views
of the surrounding countryside and the city.
Simatai Great Wall also has a
cable car for those who wish to avoid the demanding
hike up the wall. Some call might this laziness,
but others would call it wanting more time to
enjoy the view!
This is certainly one of the
most unspoiled areas of the wall, although this
is bound to change soon. The first stalls and
touts are already starting up shops, so make sure
you get there soon! The Simatai Great Wall International
Gliding Festival is held in June, a Cultural Festival
is held in August and a Tower Climbing Competition
The best time to visit is from
May to October when the tracks well marked and
the views spectacular.