Simatai reopening–2014 experience report

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View from the distance, you could see Simatai Great Wall and the water town.

 

August 4th, 2014 Update:
1. Time of reservation: One day early;

2. Reservation instruction: Register by real name and reserve ticket to the next day or within 10 days;

3. Batches of tour reservation: Two batches, 10:00 or 14:00, beyond which no tickets and tour schedule are available;

4. Means of reservation: Online (http://www.wtown.com);

5. On successful reservation, the working staff will send SMS of “successful reservation” to the reservation guests;

6. Redeem ticket to Simatai Great Wall by the SMS of “successful reservation” and valid ID certification at the designated window during the day of tour;

7. Open hours of Simatai Great Wall: 9:00 – 16:30. No ticket redemption is allowed after 14:00. So far, towers 1-10 east of the reservoir are open to the tourists;

8. Charge of tour to Simatai Great Wall: RMB40/person for entrance ticket (subject to reservation for individuals), RMB100/person for tour guide, RMB 80/person for great wall cable (one-way) and RMB120/person for cableway (two-way). See notice at the site for any preference.

Feb 4, 2014 Update: according to Gubei water town Co., Ltd, Simatai Great Wall opens daily between 9.00 – 16.30, (How long Simatai Great Wall stay open for is still not clear.) Visitors are allowed to walk through East 1st tower to East 10th tower. Admission fee: 40RMB p.p, Gubei water town: 80RMB p.p.

Simatai Great Wall ticket reservation must be made at least one day in advance. (You can call 010-8100 9999 to reserve your tickets in theory, but I am not sure the staff can speak English or not).

 

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Last year, I went to Simatai around Beijing to check the construction site of Gubei water town under neath Simatai Great Wall. Simatai has been closed for developing the nearby Water Town tourist attraction since 2010. The re- opening date is not clear.

This year I decided to check out Simatai again. The main reason for this is because we want to check out the exact date of reopening of Simatai, and Simatai is also one of my favorite sections of the Wall around Beijing, it’s worth visiting again.

 

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View from the bridge, Simatai Great Wall is in the distance.

Navine and I left for Simatai at 8am, on Sunday, 29th, Dec, 2013. The road to Simatai was clear early in the morning, which made the driving a lot pleasant. Even when going through the toll gate near Simatai, I could see that there were significantly change going on the road than I saw last year.

 

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Cross the bridge, you will enter into the water town.

 

By the time we arrived at Simatai, it was around 10.30am. We went on a weekend, so I had thought there would be as many people. In fact I was wrong, we only saw several security guards and workers at the newly constructed parking lot.

The security guard claimed that Simatai is still closed and will officially reopen on May 1, 2014. In other words, we were not able to enter Simatai Great Wall today. The good news was that it’s possible to walk around Gubei water town, so we decided to spend most of the morning in the water town area, check out the interesting buildings.

 

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Navine with the security guard. You can see the road is much better than last year.

Gubei water town is not a real historical Chinese town, it’s a upgraded version of Wuzhen water town in Zhejiang province. It was also designed and presided over by Wuzhen water town developer.

 

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The town is made up of several separate areas: the tourist area, five star hotel area, club area. There would be various western restaurants and pubs here, including a Peking duck restaurant that was confirmed by the security guard. You can chose to stay overnight in one of the many hotels and hostels there. In summer, you could take a trip in a boat round the water town. I guess the town would be very commercial in the future.

 

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At about 12am, we walked back cross the bridge and met the young security guard again. He was very nice and told us that Ice lantern festival would be held at Simatai water town in January, 2014. He suggested us to come back again during the festival if we got a chance. We thanked him and said goodbye to him then drove back to Beijing.

The afternoon was spent on Haidilao hot pot restaurant in Beijing where we had a yummy lunch. Haidilao is a very popular restaurant and famous for its hospitality and authentic Sichuan cuisine. The food was great and the service was really attentive. We paid 285RMB for the meal, while not super cheap, still within reason.

 

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