Jinshanling Great Wall
Situated a few kilometers southeast of Luanping Country’s Bakeshiying Township is the Jinshanling Great Wall. This portion of the infamous great wall is considered to be the most preserved one wherein it still contains much of its original structures and features. The Jinshanling Great Wall starts at the Wangjinglou Tower and then heads westwards to Longyukou, covering a total of 6 miles.
The name Jinshanling Great Wall was derived from Big and Small Jinshanling, the land formations on which the wall was built. The wall was created using massive bricks weighing around 26t pounds each and the resulting structure consists of 5 passes and a total of sixty-seven towers. The towers are positioned every 100 meters of the wall and each tower is around 33 feet high. The towers are designed based on specific functions so you will find that some of them will be made of two levels while some are single-level towers. The two-level towers often have the first floor with windows in which arrows are fired at the enemies. The second floor was the area where the weapons and other items are stored.
Iconic Watch Towers
Speaking of watchtowers, if you are to visit the Jinshanling Great Wall, do not forget to take a peek at the popular watchtowers called the Big and Small Jinshan Watchtowers. “Big Jinshan” is a two-story tower with stone stairs where the upper level served as a sleeping area with polished stone for eaves and rafters. “Small Jinshan” on the other hand was created by Jiangsu and Zhejiang soldiers under Qi Jiguang who was one of the top Military personnel during the Ming Dynasty.
Each Tower Has Its Story
There are other towers to visit while in the Jinshanling Great Wall. The great thing about the towers is that they are in pretty good form and so the structures have been preserved. You can visit the Towers of Tauchun, Black and General, all carrying old stories and legends. One of those wonderful legends was of the Wangjinglou Tower in which it was said that the stones used to create the structure were carried to the mountain by the Jade Emperor’s Nephew, Er Lang Shen. General Tower is a commemoration of a female heroine named Wu Guihua for her sacrifices against Northern enemies.
These little stories behind the towers show how deeply important the Jinshanling Great Wall is for the Chinese, in which each tower symbolizes the heroism of every Chinese who defended the country, and their efforts are immortalized in stone as strong as they were when first erected. There are numerous other sights to visit in the Jinshanling Great Wall such as the half a mile cableway and the 4 mile Night great Wall.
Best Time to Visit
There are seasonal trips to the Jinshanling Great Wall in which the best time to visit would be between the third week of November to the second week of March for the low season. More people visit during March to November months. If you want to take advantage of the cableway, you can choose the one-way or round-trip tickets.
Visiting the Jinshanling Great Wall is a perfect way to have a bird’s eye view of Beijing especially if you go to the highest point (Watching Beijing Tower). From the entrance, till you reach Simatai, the condition of the tower is pretty good, but as you progress, you will find that some of the structures have already deteriorated in time. There are loose bricks and stones and some of the steps are pretty steep with some loose structures every once in a while. Nevertheless, traveling to the Jinshanling Great Wall is very inexpensive and the joy of seeing a historical and cultural landmark is definitely worth the experience. If you travel on your own, you might be able to find cheaper deals but if you use a travel agency to book a tour, you might end up with a higher cost.
If you want to visit Jinshanling Great Wall, be sure to wear a comfortable trekking outfit and footwear and do not bring unnecessary baggage, the steep steps and perilous sections of the tower can be a challenge as well overall elevation of the wall. It is more ideal for those who are physically fit but is welcome for anyone who wants to see one of the better-preserved sections of the great wall.
- Location: 140 km away from Beijing
- Ticket Price: RMB 60 per person
- Opening Hours: 8:00-16:50
- Recommended time for a visit: 2 hours