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Simatai Great Wall

Kind Notice: Please be noticed that Simatai Great Wall has been closed for renovation since June 17, 2010, and the re-opening time is to be released later.

The Simatai Great Wall is situated in Miyun County, 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) northwest of downtown Beijing. It is largely in its original state, as it has not undergone much renovation like other sections near Beijing. This particular section, built in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) long, with the Jinshanling Great Wall to the west.

 A Ruined Watchtower, Simatai Great Wall in Beijing  Simatai Great Wall Map

The wall is characterized by its steepness, the closeness of its watchtowers and variety in its structure. The wall follows the topmost ridge of the mountain, or the precipices and cliffs, sections of the Heavenly Stairway and the Heavenly Bridge being unimaginably breath-taking. The narrow Heavenly Stairway has no parapet and reaches an angle of 85 degrees, while the Heavenly Bridge is only 30 centimeters (12 inches) wide at the top. As safety comes first, visitors are not permitted to climb on them.

The watchtowers are particularly closely distributed on this section of the wall. By the normal standard of building the wall, watchtowers would be built every 500 meters (547 yards). In this 4.5-kilometer wall, there are thirty-five watchtowers, with the minimum distance between towers being only 43.8 meters (48 yards). These watchtowers are symbolic and to be marveled at. The well-preserved General Tower is adorned with relief sculptures with designs of Kylin, a legendary auspicious animal in China. Seen from a distance, the fourteenth tower in the east looks like an elegant cat squatting on the top of a hill. The exquisite and complex Fairy Tower hidden among the trees gives an impression of some concealed beauty. The sixteenth tower, at an altitude of 986 meters (3,235 feet) is also known as the Watch Beijing Tower. It is the highest tower in the Simatai section, and commands a spectacular view.

 Steep Simatai Great Wall in Beijing  Single Wall at Simatai Great Wall in Beijing

The wall itself has seven modes of construction. Four of these are single wall, double wall, obstacle wall, and parapet. In contrast to the enhanced double wall, a single wall was built in one thickness on the terrifying bluffs and is too narrow to walk on. The obstacle wall and the parapet were built on the coping of the whole wall. The obstacle wall served to prevent the enemy from shooting at the wall-guards and the parapet served as a handrail. Watchtowers vary in shape and size. If you look carefully, you may find even the roof of towers are different, flat, polygonal, or dome-shaped.
In addition, the Simatai Great Wall enjoys the bounty of nature with an unusual lake at its foot. This lake is a combination of a hot spring and a cold spring, and consequently the water of the lake is semi-hot and semi-cold. It is a great pleasure to enjoy boating on the lake.
It is really a tough hike to climb the wall, but it is enormously rewarding. And now cable cars are in use to provide an alternative to the hike, CNY30 for a single trip and CNY50 for a round trip.

Admission Fee:
CNY40
Bus Route:
980  at Dongzhimen (东直门外) to Miyun Bus Station (密云汽车站), and then change a small bus to the Simatai Great Wall (司马台长城).

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Comments and Questions

Is the Great Wall open to walk between Simatai to Jinshangling

Reply2/26/2015 11:59:45 PMRamona,   Canada

Juno :3/30/2015 10:08:05 PM

I'm afraid not, because the section of Simatai is still closed for hiking. Common tourists hve to reserve their visiting in advance.

Anyway, you can treck the routes between Zhuanduokou (砖朵口) and Qilin Tower (麒麟楼)of Jinshanling section. It is still worth.

how long is the trip from Beijing to Simatai by bus?

Reply8/22/2014 1:22:53 PMgiulia,   Italy

Shonali ( India ) :8/25/2014 4:39:08 AM

it takes 2-2.5h.

is the simatai great wall opened now ?

Reply5/21/2014 1:42:19 PMfiova,   Spain

Lucy ( Australia ) :5/23/2014 4:27:42 AM

Yes, it has reopened since Jan. 2014. However, I heard it requires reservation for visit!

hi ! is the simatai great wall opened now ??

if yes, is it accessible in the beginning of december ?

how long would it take overall to get from beijing to the wall with the bus ?

thanks !

Reply10/14/2013 6:17:50 PMhéloïse,   France

Ashley :10/14/2013 6:51:29 PM

it is still not opened. and it is unknow when it will reopen.

Hi, is the Simatai still closed? I will stay in Beijing in April/2012. Is there any tour for Jinshanling/Simatai sections?

Reply2/22/2012 6:52:10 AMRicardo

Babara :2/22/2012 6:19:39 PM

the Simatai Great Wall is still closed.
you book a tour to Jinshanling Gret Wall at :
http://www.beijingtrip.com/travel/tailor-made.htm

Whey-jane ( United States ) :3/5/2012 6:46:45 AM

When Si Ma Tai Great Wall will reopen?

Babara :3/5/2012 5:52:24 PM

the opening time is still nor released yet.

Hello, is the Simatai section of the Great Wall closed entirely?

Reply8/29/2011 9:55:38 AMAndrew,   United Kingdom

Candy :8/29/2011 7:29:11 PM

yes Andrew,
it is under renovation and closed entirely.

I learned on your website that Simatai is closed until 2012. Is it still possible to do the walk from Jinshanling to Simatai?

Reply8/6/2011 11:20:21 AMRémi,   France

Helen :8/6/2011 10:52:31 PM

you'd better not.
it will be quite dangerous since it is under renovation.

I want walk throug simitai is this possible.

Reply5/15/2011 8:26:00 AMnealct@gmail.com,   China

tina :5/16/2011 3:32:00 AM

hi,
the Simatai Great Wall is closed for renovation, which is estimated to take 2 years.

Has there been an offical re-opening of the Simatai section

Reply1/19/2011 7:21:00 PMJohn,   Canada

Hank :1/19/2011 8:37:00 PM

No official notice yet. It's pridicted that it will be re-opened in 2012.

When is the Simatai section of the wall re-opening to visitors?

Reply9/28/2010 6:45:00 PMJaneen,   United States

Lily :9/28/2010 8:51:00 PM

it is hard to say, it is still closed now.
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