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Simatai Great Wall Information and Tips

About the author, Vera Zhao
Vera Zhao is the product manager at Odyssey Tours. She has been in the line of Asia travel for 10+ years and stacks up helpful tips for tours to China, Southeast Asia and South Asia.
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The Great Wall at Simatai is famous for its “wildness”. It’s a 5.4 km long wall built on cragged mountain ridges.The tour takes about 4-5 hours hike with some steep steps. The wall here is partially covered with overgrown brambles and pointed stones that looks so deserted. It’s a classic and exciting, yet wild route!

120km away from the capital, Great Wall at Simatai located at Miyun County, northeast of Beijing.  It’s built in North Qi Dynasty (550-557), maintained in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and again refurbished by Chinese government in 1987 before re-opening to the public in 1990.The Great Wall at Simatai section boasts the best among all Chinese Great Wall. 

The Winding Simatai Great WallReal Hikers like Simatai.

 Divided by the Mandarin Duck Lake, watch towers are equally separated to the both sides of Simatai Great Wall, linked by a hanging bridge. 

Simatai Great Wall HikingDecorated with marble arches and lotus, the Fairy Tower is one of the most gorgeous watch towers. In close proximity is The “Heaven Bridge”; with only one brick narrow,“the bridge” standing along the abyssal cliffs leading to the peak where you’re able to enjoy the view of Beijing.

Simatai has been reconstructed since 2011, until now, only ten towers at the east part of Simatai are opened to public; also, renowned attractions like Fairy Tower and Sky Bridge are closed due to safety reasons.

However, these trivia can’t stop enthusiastic travelers from visiting Simatai, since most of them know Simatai provides a more “authentic” wall experience than the Great Wall at Badaling or Mutianyu. Climbing along the uphill path, patchy wall and ruined paths built among the deep valleys assure that you’re already standing on one of the wonders on earth.

simatai great wallVigorous and forceful, Simatai Great Wall easily gives an illusion of a wounded dragon creeping along the mountains

What to Do:

1.   The famous Simatai to Jinshanling hiking route is blocked for construction purpose until further notice. As an alternative, you could hike from Jinshanling to Gubeikou.

2.   Now only the 1st to the 10th watch towers at the east side of the Mandarin Duck Lake are opened to visitors.

3.   Photo shooting.

4.   To accelerate your climbing, you can use the two cable cars located at the 5th watch tower and the 8th watch tower respectively. 


1.   It's recommended that you bring 3 to 4 bottles of water in summer.

2.   Bring comfortable footwear for hiking is necessary.

3.   In winter (after November) and spring (March and April), don't forget to bring jacket to keep warm from chilly winds.

4.   As you may bushwhack through the journey, a trekking pole and a pair of hiking gloves could protect you from the brambles.

5.   Be alert that local hawkers may tail you, offer assistants along the way in order to sell their food, souveniors…You have to say no to them at the very beginning when encountered this.

6.   The section installed with zipline/ flying fox is under restoration and was closed until further notice.

Note: Fishing, swimming in the lake or camping on the wall are forbidden.

More: MutianyuJiankouGubeikouJinshanlingHuanghuachengBadaling Great Wall & Badaling Remnant Great Wall

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