Simatai reopening–recent experience report


Recently I spent half day at the construction site of Simatai. It only took me 1.5 hours to get to Simatai with little traffic. Simatai is closed from 17 June 2010 as the result of agreement to redevelope the Simatai area for a hot springs resort between Miyun local district government and CYTS in June 2010.

Re-opening date of Great Wall Simatai is unclear but I was told by local villagers and security guard working for Simatai administrative office that Simatai will reopen in May 2013. No official notice yet. Be prepared to adjust your travel plan to Jinshanling, Mutianyu, GubeikouJiankou or other sections of Great Wall while you are in Beijing.

The hot springs resort at the foot of Simatai is under construction.


Great Wall Simatai is about 120 Km / 75miles from Beijing but with the freeway it takes about 2.5 hours to get there. It is less-crowded, a bit more untouched and often you feel you are on the Wall on your own (not like Badaling which is closer to Beijing is overun with tourists).

Originally built during the Northern Qi dynasty (550–577) and rebuilt in the Hongwu years of the Ming dynasty by General Qi Jiguang, Simatai Great Wall retains the original features of the Ming dynasty Great Wall. It has the best view or ups and downs. The scenery is stunning.


Simatai Great Wall is around 3.4miles/5.4km in length, with 35 watchtowers. It is separated into eastern and western parts by a valley, with a rainbow-like chain bridge over the valley. Eastern part has 16 watchtower while western part has 18 watchtowers. It is a favorite for photographers who specialized in Great Wall. If you have time, an overnight stay allows you to watch sunrise early in the morning or sunset in the afternoon. There are several good hotels within 10 minutes walk to the foot of the Wall.


It’s predicted that Simatai will be re-opened in May 2013 and the original hike from Jinshanling to Simatai can be done only halfway. You can still walk to tower 22 (Simatai West) rather than tower 30 and then have to stop at Qilin Tower and exit from the newly constructed trail, or go back the same way you came to Jinshanling. You will be followed by vendors selling ice-water and souvenirs while you are hiking this section, but it is relatively peaceful, not too crowded, and less refurbished. Words don’t describe what’s happening at Simatai, so perhaps the photos I shared will help.

Related Tour: Jinshanling Simatai West Hiking

Hiring Private Car to the Great Wall

Hiring a private car for excursions outside the city a good choice if you are not travelling on budget and want to avoid the crowded people and traffic. If you are travelling with 3 or 4 friends, this way is much more cost-efficient. We offer a single online destination to service all of your rental car needs including round trip rental cars, one-way rental cars, airport rental cars and off-airport rental cars.Your rental car with a licensed driver will help you get the most out of your holiday!

Vehicle (Car, Van, Coach) Rental Rates (RMB)

Options Airport-pickup drop off Half Day  Downtown (within 4hrs) Full Day Downtown(8 hrs) Badaling Great Wall Mutianyu Great Wall Mutianyu+Summer Palace Jinshanling Great Wall
4 seats Hyundai
200 250 600 650 650 750 900
4 seats Red Flag 250 300 650 700 800 900 950
7 seats Refine
300 350 650 700 800 900 950
7 seats BuickGL8 300 350 700 800 900 950 1000
12 seats MB100
300 400 800 900 1000 1100 1200


Your turn

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