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Gubeikou Great Wall

Introducing Gubeikou Great Wall
Located 100 kilometers from Beijing, Gubeikou has long been a town of military significance and important pass to Beijing, linking the southern and northern areas of the Yanshan Range. As early as 2,500 years ago, a fortification was built at Gubeikou and repeatedly reinforced throughout the following dynasties. As it has never been reconstructed, it retains its original beauty. Visitors can feel its old history through the damaged buildings.

Gubeikou Great Wall Fast Facts
• Chinese Name: Gu Bei Kou Chang Cheng 古北口长城
• Best Time to Visit: April, May, September and October
• Recommended Visiting Hours: 3 to 4 hours
• Opening Hours: Anytime from sunrise to sunset (it is wild Great Wall)
• Entrance Fee: Free
• Address: Gubeikou County, Miyun District, Beijing

What to expect at Gubeikou Great Wall

Features of Gubeikou Great Wall

The main part of today's Gubeikou Great Wall was constructed under the supervision of Xu Da, a well-known general in the Ming Dynasty. Gubeikou Great Wall runs for more than 20 km and consists of four sections: Wohushan, Panlongshan, Jinshanling and Simatai. Gubeikou Great Wall has 143 beacon towers, each positioned at an average interval of 156 meters. The nearest two are only 30 meters apart. The inside of these towers varies in design. While some have a flat ceiling, others either have an arched ceiling and a domed ceiling, or an octagonal, painted ceiling. Each tower has two floors, six archways and ten arched doors, allowing garrisoned soldiers to advance and retreat freely. The towers are also different in size. The largest one can accommodate a garrison of 100 soldiers and the smallest one a garrison of 10 soldiers. The towers commonly have one to six portholes.

Two Sections

Gubeikou Great Wall was built along the precipitous mountain ranges, rising and falling at various sections.

Wohu Mountain: Wohu means Crouching Tiger in English, because the mountain looks like two tigers, one lying on its back while the other lies on its stomach. Located in the western section of the Gubeikou Great Wall, its highest peak measures about 665 meters (2,181 feet). A watch tower is erected every 150 meters (492 feet) of the wall, overlooking a deep valley or mounted on a strategically important hilltop. A professor from Peking University compares the wall to a huge cursive script work with the watch towers providing the pausing or transitional strokes. Gubeikou Great Wall retains its fascination today as its raw condition is still evident.

Panlong Mountain: West of Wohushan, it is located in the middle section of Gubeikou, where most of the historical wars took place. In ancient times, both warring parties placed emphasis on securing the Panlongshan Great Wall, because each knew that once the wall was captured, the Gubeikou Great Wall would be readily occupied. The whole wall measures about 13 kilometers (3.1 miles). Of its over 40 watch towers, the General Tower is the most famous. It is located at the commanding elevation of Panlongshan Mountain, from where wars were directed. There are four arrow windows on the north and south sides respectively, while each of the east and west sides has three arrow windows. This section is of unique construction: it is made up of earth, stone and brick walls. It is also preserved in its original state.

How to get to Gubeikou Great Wall
1. Take Bus 980 Express from Dongzhimen to Miyun Station. Then, take Miyun Bus 25 to Gubeikou Great Wall.
2. Take Metro Line 13 to Qinghe Station, and take Suburb Rail S503 to Gubeikou Station. Then, take tourist express and get off at the Gubeikou Zhenzhengfu Station.

Additional travel advice on Gubeikou Great Wall
• Many areas of the Great Wall are quite steep and have uneven surfaces, please wear comfortable walking shoes with a good grip.
• Please prepare enough drinking water, food and other necessary equipment if visitors want to explore the Great Wall in the evening.

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