With only part of the Simatai Great Wall open to visitors it’s a bit short for a hike. But with the Gubei Shuizhen (AKA Gubei WTown) Lantern Festival fair to explore at the same time, it becomes well worth the drive out.
- Climb the Simatai Great Wall—hike the ten towers on the east side of the Great Wall at Simatai. Short, steep, and excellent views from the top. (Cable-car option available)
- Explore the Gubei Shuizhen—after a restaurant meal, our guides will take you on a walk to see the highlights of the Gubei Shuizhen. Then you’ll have free time until the drone show. Go shopping, find food and hot drinks, do some people-watching … up to you!
- Lantern Festival fair—mingle with the crowds to see performances and shop small stalls.
- Drone show—see a choreographed swarm of drones make shapes and pictures, with the lit-up Great Wall as a backdrop.
Included in the price
- Round-trip transport from Beijing.
- Entry tickets for the Gubei Shuizhen and Simatai Great Wall.
- Included lunch at a restaurant.
- Beijing Hikers guides.
Not included in the price
- Cable car tickets are not included. If you’d prefer to take it easy and still see the best part of the Great Wall here, the guides can help you buy one-way or two-way tickets for the cable car up to the top section.
- Dinner is not included. You’ll find plenty of options for an evening meal, including pizza (if that’s what you prefer)
|Bus departs from Liangmaqiao, heading to Lido
|Bus departs from Lido
|Arrive at Gubei Shuizhen
|Begin the hike up the east side of the Simatai Great Wall
|Meet up back at the town square
|Lunch at a town restaurant
|Guided tour of the highlights of Gubei Shuizhen
|Free time to explore and/or shop, find your own dinner
|Meet up to watch the drone show
|Drone show finishes, walk out to the car park
|Driving back, stopping for a bathroom break
|Arrive at Lido, then on to Liangmaqiao
More about the Simatai Great Wall
The Simatai Great Wall is an excellent example of what the main sections of Great Wall looked during the peak of the Ming Dynasty—solid foundations cut from local rock and topped by brick battlements, with large, closely-spaced towers that feature interesting architectural touches.
The wall here was repaired and opened to tourists in 1990. Before then, its main construction periods were in the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577, likely just a low line of rocks and stones), the early Ming Dynasty (late 1400s, built on top of the older Northern Qi wall), and the later part of the Ming Dynasty (1570s, in the style that is seen today).
Interesting architectural features include single-sided walls that cross narrow ridges, and towers with multiple levels, different floor plans, different numbers of windows, and different designs for the roofs and doors.
In 2010 the whole area below the Simatai Great Wall was closed down for its transformation into the Gubei Shuizhen. Currently only the first ten towers on the east side of Simatai are open to visitors, which means the most famous (and dangerous) parts – Fairy Tower, Wangjing Tower, Sky Bridge – are off-limits, as is the stretch of wall on the west side.
More about Gubei Shuizhen
The Gubei Shuizhen is a popular tourist resort, built in the style of Hangzhou’s Wuzhen water town.
The main part of the Gubei Shuizhen is found within the walls of the Chao River Fortress, and inside the walls you’ll find ancient-looking cobbled lanes, bridges, temples, and gates, plus shops, stalls, restaurants, cafes, guesthouses, and hot springs.
Gubei Shuizhen Spring Festival photos, January 2023
Sophia from the Gubei Shuizhen sent us these photos from the Spring Festival fair in January 2023. Thanks, Sophia!