Simatai Great Wall Travel Guide: A Journey Through History

Why Visit Simatai Great Wall?

Wondering where to get the best Great Wall experience?

Simatai offers an unforgettable journey into China’s rich history and natural beauty.

  • Easy to Access: It’s one of the most visitor-friendly parts of the Wild Wall in Beijing.
  • Impressive Size: It stretches 5.4 kilometers and reaches heights of up to 1,000 meters!
  • Authentic Experience: About 75% of the bricks and its huge granite base are original.
  • Unique Location: It’s set on a mountain that looks like a rooster’s crest, in Miyun county, only 120 kilometers from Beijing.
  • Stunning Beauty: Its breathtaking views make it a favorite for photos and one of the top spots to see on the Great Wall.

Simatai Great Wall Guide Map (Right Click to Enlarge or Print)

Hidden History

Have you ever dreamt of stepping back in time?

The Simatai Great Wall lets you do just that.

Built in the 6th century and then spruced up by the famous General Qi Jiguang about 500 years later, this piece of history stands tall and proud, just like in the old days.

When you’re at Simatai, a few things will strike you:

  • The Air: It’s different here. Crisp, fresh, and rejuvenating, every breath reminds you you’re somewhere special.
  • The Views: Because of how high the wall is, your eyes can wander far and wide, taking in the beauty of the sprawling landscapes below.
  • The Quiet: Few places can match the serenity of Simatai. It’s a chance to escape the noise and find a moment of peace amidst history.

Practical Information

When planning your visit to the Simatai Great Wall, it’s essential to be well-prepared and equipped with practical information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

Entrance Fees:
  • Adults: Currently, it’s around 40 RMB.
  • Discounts: Available for children and seniors.

Tip: Always verify the current fee on the official website before heading out.

Opening Hours:
  • Generally: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Note: Hours might change based on seasons or special events, so it’s smart to check ahead.

Best Time to Visit:
  • Spring & Fall: Mild and comfortable weather, perfect for exploring.
  • Summer: Can get quite warm and humid.
  • Winter: Cold, so bundle up!
Packing Right for the Simatai Great Wall Adventure

Clothing:

  • Layers: Be ready for changing weather—whether it’s a chilly breeze or unexpected warmth.
  • Weather-Proof: Be ready for a sudden shower or the day’s sun.

Footwear:

  • Comfort is Key: Go for sturdy shoes that give solid support and grip. The wall’s terrain can surprise you!

Protect Yourself:

  • Sun Savvy: Don’t forget a hat and sunscreen to shield yourself from the sun.
  • Stay Hydrated: A refillable water bottle is a must.

Pack Smart:

  • Snack Attack: A light backpack with munchies, a first aid kit, and personal items can be super handy.
  • Entry Essentials: Always have your ID or passport with you. Some sections may ask for it!
Staying Safe & Honoring the Simatai Great Wall
  • Respect the Rich History: This wall isn’t just bricks and stones—it’s a glimpse into ancient times. Treat it with the reverence it deserves.
  • Heed the Signs: Always stick to the rules. If a sign says “no climbing,” it means it. Let’s keep the wall intact for years to come.
  • Watch Your Step: The paths can be tricky. Always tread carefully, especially on those uneven or steep parts.
  • Need Help? Ask!: If something’s up or you need guidance, the site staff and visitor center are there to assist.
  • Clean As You Go: Remember, the only footprints you should leave behind are the literal kind. Make sure to carry out all trash.

By following these tips, you’ll ensure that both you and the Great Wall remain safe and sound!

Facts & Trivia

Landscape: You can see so far away because of the height of the mountain.

The sky there is always clear without any foggy days.

Scenery: The mountain’s impressive height allows you to enjoy expansive views that stretch far into the distance.

The sky consistently remains clear, free from any foggy days, creating a beautiful backdrop.

Referred to as the “backyard of Beijing,” you’ll spot numerous apricot trees on the mountainside, accompanied by squirrels playfully leaping along the Wall’s edge.

Environment: The neighboring mountains feature steep cliffs and deep valleys, along with many orchards in the vicinity.

To the east lies the Simatai reservoir, Beijing’s largest, while to the south is the Miyun reservoir.

Both reservoirs are vital sources of drinking water. Notably, the Chengde Summer Resort, once a retreat for Qing emperors (1644-1911), is located around 120 kilometers away.

Embark on an unforgettable Great Wall adventure from Jinshanling to Simatai West!

Key Highlights:

  • A thrilling hike covering 10 kilometers in 3 to 5 hours.
  • While Simatai East is on pause, your journey will take you to the 22nd tower, with a brief return before descending a new path to a fresh parking spot.
  • Split by a scenic valley, Simatai is divided into East and West zones. East has 35 captivating towers!
  • Marvel at the chain bridge linking Jinshanling and Simatai, and enjoy the winding route to Simatai East.

What to Look For:

  • The breathtaking Mandarin Duck Lake.
  • Fun features like a lake slide and suspension bridge.
  • A 1.5-hour walk brings you to East’s 12th tower, with grand cliffs framing the Wall past the 10th tower.
  • For safety, two guards stand by the 13th tower.
  • For a breezy exit, hop on the cable car at the 8th tower.

Additional Tips

When planning your visit to the Simatai Great Wall, it’s essential to consider a few additional tips to make the most of your experience:

A. Insights on the best times to visit to avoid crowds:

To avoid large crowds and enjoy a peaceful exploration, consider visiting on weekdays and during the off-peak season, which usually falls in the late autumn or early spring months.

Mornings and late afternoons are typically less crowded than mid-day. Also, take into account the local holidays and school vacations, as these can draw larger crowds to the site.

B. Advice for capturing great photos and respecting the site’s rules on photography:

The Simatai Great Wall is an incredibly photogenic location, offering stunning views and unique architectural details.

However, it is essential to respect the site’s rules on photography.

Be mindful of signs indicating no-photography zones, especially inside certain historical structures.

Additionally, remember to be respectful of other visitors when taking photos, and avoid blocking pathways or causing congestion.

For the best shots, consider using a zoom lens to capture distant details, or a wide-angle lens to encompass the sweeping vistas.

Sunrise and sunset are ideal times for capturing the changing light on the ancient stones.

C. Considerations for those traveling with children or people with mobility issues:

If you are traveling with children or people with mobility issues, be aware that some sections of the Simatai Great Wall may be steep and challenging to navigate.

It is essential to research the different sections of the wall in advance and choose a route that suits your group’s abilities.

If you’re traveling with children, make sure they’re closely supervised and understand the importance of safety when exploring this historic site.

Wear appropriate footwear and bring walking poles for additional stability if needed.

Conclusion

Visiting the Simatai Great Wall is a journey into China’s rich history and a remarkable testament to the engineering prowess of ancient Chinese civilizations.

Its unique features, breathtaking views, and relatively preserved condition make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the iconic Great Wall of China.

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