Jinshanling section of The Great Wall
Distance from Beijing: 125 km
Dimensions: length 7 km; average height 7 m; average width 5 m
Entrance fee: CNY80 (March to November); CNY70 (October to February); CNY40 cable car single ride
Recommended time for a visit: 4-6 hours
Jinshanling section (金山嶺长城; Jīnshānlǐng Cháng Chéng) of The Great Wall is a perfect place to have an authentic experience of China, avoiding the crowds and enjoying the peace, since there are no many tourists as in the other sections. It has 31 watchtowers, but among them of the most importance are the Big and Small Jinshan Watchtowers. These watchtowers were built in different sizes and shapes, depending on their purpose at the time, where most of them are on two, even on three floors. This section provides a great view, but it is not naive, so you should be well prepared for hiking, starting with suitable shoes, since the path is rough at certain parts.
History of section
The section of the Great Wall at Jinshanling was also initially built from 1368 to 1389 in the Ming Dynasty, but its reconstruction and rebuilding occurred in 1567 and 1570. It was mainly directed by General Qi Jiguang, who was in charge for the previous section as well. What is quite interesting regarding this section are poems and tablet writings which can be found on the wall, and they date from the time of its reconstruction. This section has many original features, and it is one of the best preserved.
There are dozens of restaurants and guesthouses near the Wall where you can have a lunch. But take lunch with you and you will have an unforgettable meal in a great historical and natural surroundings.
Special tourist bus run from Dongzhimen Bus Station (东直门长途汽车站; Dongzhimen metro station, Exit B) to the Jinshanling. Bus leaves from 45 Donghimen Wai Xie Jie (东直门外斜街 45号). Once you arrive there, you can take a special tourist ticket for CNY120 that includes round-trip bus ticket, entrance to Jinshanling scenic area, and one-way cable car. Bus leaves Beijing at 8:00, and returns from Jinshanling at 15:00.
There are also buses from Wangjing West metro station (望京西站) to the bus station near Jinshanling (1.5 hours; CNY40; from 7:00 to 16:00 on every one hour; last bus from Jinshanling at 16:00).