Jinshanling Wall

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by nmagann on August 2, 2004

Jinshanling to Simatai is a one way hike, where you are dropped off by mini bus at the entrance to Jinshanling and given four hours to reach Simatai where the mini bus picks you up to return to Beijing. I should have known from my experiences with other trips including a previous Great Wall hike that you are given more than enough time and that I could have stopped and eaten a sandwich or just taken rest. The entire hike took under three hours.

Another unique aspect of this part of the wall is that you are starting at a point on the wall where you could actually go either direction. Others sections there is only one direction to go, either because the wall is not passable the other direction or that it has ended at a reservoir. I went the opposite direction for about 15 minutes to throw off the lady that was trying to accompany me and eventually sell me something. When I figured she’d found someone else to following I turned around and went the correct way. She had waited for me and latched on as soon as I reached the point of the wall where we all first entered. I was huffing up steps with sweat pouring down due the heat and the little English she knew began with, "where are you from?" to which I replied, "don’t want to talk". She would try this several times until I found one section of fairly flat cobblestones and took off very quickly outpacing her. I wanted to enjoy the nearly spiritual feeling this place had on me.

The distance between the towers was greater than those at Simatai and not uniformed. Shape and sized varied as did the degree of ruin. This section is known for its obstacle walls and other items to throw off intruders. I found myself heading up stairs that dead-ended at the wall of a tower or I found I could not exit the tower on the other side. (The latter resulted in taking a dirt path that paralleled the wall.) On this section I found the hike alternating between ascending and descending whereas at Simatai it was straight up one direction and back down the way you came.

After covering about half the distance, a gentleman in next watchtower served as the ticket seller for the Simatai section. So here you pay another Y30 to walk on the wall. When you reach the last tower before the reservoir there is a hanging bridge you need to cross for Y5. After crossing this you are now at the first tower for the Simatai hike. Taking the road down you have the option of taking a flying fox line back across the reservoir and being returned by boat. This is just for fun of course as it is not a short cut. Not too many takers for this. Perhaps it was because the harness was just Velcro.

Great Wall (万里长城)
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Beijing, China
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