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My New Favorite - Jiankou Great Wall

Time: 2018-07-13

I should have posted this earlier but I’ve been hesitant. On the one hand, I really like this part of the Great Wall and want to share its beauty with people; on the other hand, it is not officially open to the public and its wildness might cause risks. Finally, I decide to introduce you the Jiankou Great Wall, as a traveler, not a tour operator. Maybe, if more people are interested, the local government can be inspired to renovate it and officially open it? Then I hope the wild feel of this area can remain unchanged.

Jiankou Great Wall is about 100km from the city center, 2-3 hours drive depending on the traffic and where you start. It is a bit west of the Mutianyu Great Wall. Actually you can walk from Mutianyu on the wall to Jiankou. I did the day trip to Jiankou only, once in April, once in June, with different partners/friends. I like both trips. In April it was cloudy and gray but we could finish the 3-hour hiking. In June it was green and beautiful but due to the storm, we only visited a small part of it.

Now let’s take the trip.

First we drive to the parking lot of Xizhazi Village, at the foot of the wall.

Take a look back at the village.

There are several trails to different parts of the wall and we take the most dangerous one, as said to be. It takes about half hour on the trail to finally reach the wall. This is the tricky part. If you don’t know about it, you may keep wondering “where is the wall?” For me it is also the most tiring part since the trail goes up the mountain, with a several-hundred meters altitude change from bottom to top.

Then you see the Wall, oh no, Walls! The amazing thing about Jiankou is you can see the walls going several directions. There is a tower called Beijing Jie(Beijing Knot) where the walls from 3 directions meet. But due to time limit, we didn’t make it to Beijing Jie though I saw it from the distance. It gives me new feeling of the Great Wall. It is vaster and more expansive than I knew.

Of course it is also famous for being dangerous. Check the pictures for yourself. Well for me it is no problem at all, easier than the trail. Haha.

On the way from the wall down to the village, it is again the mountain trail. Warning: This trail is more dangerous than the Wall since it can be sloppy and slippery. Yeah didn’t expect the trails were the tough part!

Another warning: Try to avoid going to the Wall in rainy and stormy days. The lightning and thunder add the sense of awe and wonder, with terrific view but it confines you to a small section only and there is a chance the lightning hits whoever is up there. And it is more slippery than usual. No kidding. There have been reports of the accidents because of the lightning hit or the falling.

Then we had a dinner or lunch at Mr Zhao’s family run guesthouse. Nice and cozy to be there!

The recent news, as I just checked, is the government has begun to renovate some parts of the Jiankou Wall. Again, I hope it will stay awesome and wild while becoming safer.

By Angie Guo - Charmission Travel


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