Jiankou is one of the best places for a serious Great Wall enthusiast. It has a wide variety of places to climb. It has terrific scenery and offers great opportunities for photographers. It’s reasonably close to Beijing. And as the eastern meeting point of the inner and outer Ming Walls, it connects to long stretches of Great Wall in three directions.
Jiankou Great Wall is regarded by some people as the most picturesque section of Great Wall and is a good example of “Wild Great Wall”. It’s become a popular photographic hotspot and hiking destination in recent days. Jiankou is translated as “Arrow Nock” in English, since the shape of the mountains where the walll was built is like an arrow with the collpased ridge opening as its arrow nock. The main section of the wall was built along the ridges with steep cliffs on each side. Therefore, you have to prepare for a good fitness and great care if you climb this section.
Located in the mountain ridge of Xizhazi Village, about 30km (19 miles) to Huairou County in Beijing.Jiankou Great Wall was an important section of the wall in Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Owing to the need for renovation, the wall is regarded as one of the most dangerous sections of the Ming’s wall. It connects to Mutianyu in the east and joins Huanghuacheng in the west. From east to north, the wall zigzags 9.3 miles from ‘The Ox Horn Edge Wall’ to ‘The Nine-Eye Tower’ via ‘The Beijing Knot’. Compared with Mutianyu Great Wall, the mountain is higher and steeper, while compared with Simatai Great Wall, it is more winding and varied. It was built from the local material – dolomite. The large pieces of white rock make the wall striking to the eye at a distance.
There are many famous sections of Jiankou Great Wall, such as ‘The Nine-Eye Tower’, an important command post during the ancient wars. It has three layers, and there are nine holes which look like nine eyes on each side. ‘The Beijing Knot’ is the meeting point for three walls coming from different directions. ‘The Sky Stair’, is a precipitous stair whose angle of elevation is 70 to 80 degrees. It leads to ‘The Eagle Flies Facing Upward’, a watch tower built on the lofty peaks. It is so dangerous that even eagles have to fly facing upward to reach the top. ‘Zhengbei Tower’ is the right place to appreciate the beauty of the sunrise and the sunset.
Jiankou Great Wall is not peaceful any more. The scenery is breathtaking here, but it’s not for all ages. Due to the unrestored condition and more and more visitors, the wall is becoming loose and unsteady. Some walkers claimed here as rock climbing instead of hiking. Try to avoid weekend in summer time, since it’s crowded with local Chinese, and you have to wait the long queue in certain dangerous sections. You have to watch your steps very carefully. In a bad weather like lightening and rainstorm, you have to get off the wall as quick as possible. Several Chinese were killed by lightening in the past years.
Definitely kids and seniors are not recommended here. Simatai, Jinshanling and Mutianyu are good alternatives.
It’s highly recommeded to employ an English-speaking guide in Beijing and a local farmer guide in the village who is faimliar with all secret path in the wall just in case. Comfortable boots is a necessary. Stick is helpful but some sections you have to climb up by hands.
Hiking from Jiankou to Mutianyu or reverse can be an alternative for those who really want to experience Jiankou section. You can start from Zhengbeilou Tower, where you have a panoramic view of the whole Jiankou section, and then walk eastward to Mutianyu. In this route, you will not miss the secenery, and not try the risk as well, and a fairly 5 hours hiking. You will finish the hiking at Mutianyu, and then try a fun experience of toboggan down the mountain.
Jiankou Great Wall Tour
Hiking From Jian Kou to Mutianyu Tour
Start from 32USD P/P
Jian Kou Great Wall Day Tour
Start From 28USD P/P
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