Simatai section of The Great Wall
Distance from Beijing: 120 km
Length: 5.4 km
Opening hours: 8:00-19:00 (April to October); 8:00-17:00 (November to March)
Entrance fee: CNY40/20 adult/children; CNY90/160 cable car single/return ride (CNY45/80 for children)
Recommended time for a visit: about 3 hours
Simatai Section (司马台长城; Sīmǎtái Cháng Chéng) of The Great Wall is east from Jinshanling, and these two sections are immediately one after another. It is also much more touristic than Jinshanling. It is quite abrupt and peculiar in a way, so visitors are warned not to take it for granted. It has 34 towers, 16 in the eastern and 18 in the western part, and these two parts are divided by Mandarin Duck Lake. The view is magnificent, and the combination of the preserved wall and preserved nature are breathtaking and worth visiting.
History of section
The Simatai Section of the Great Wall was first constructed during the reign of the Northern Qi Dynasty in the 6th century, but it was rebuilt and extended in the beginning of the Hongwu years of the Ming Dynasty. Tourists are usually impressed to know that this section is almost completely the same as it was during the Ming Dynasty, since just a small part of it was recently reconstructed. The construction also happened under the supervision of General Qi Jiguang, like most of the sections of the wall near the Beijing in general.
Near Simatai is a great little Gubei Water Town, where is a plenty of accommodation and dining options. ATMs are also available.
Take bus #980 from Dongzhimen Bus Station (东直门长途汽车站; Dongzhimen metro station, Exit E) to the Miyun. From there, take a minibus or taxi (around CNY200 for roundtrip) to Simatai.