Great Wall Simatai is closed: tour to Simatai to be suspended

17/06/2010
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Simatai section of the Great Wall will be under major renovation from June 17, 2010. This is the notice from Miyun Government and Simatai Authority. Tours to Simatai will be closed until further notice.

The Great Wall hiking tours provided by www.beijingholiday.com  will have to alter its Simatai tour to Jinshanling, Mutianyu, Gubeikou and other sections.

Simatai Great Wall

Simatai Great Wall

Features of Simatai Great Wall

The Great Wall at Simatai retains its original appearance in the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). With its fantastic scenery and precipitous topography, Simatai Great Wall is a remarkable place for sightseeing, hiking and exploration.

Dimensions of Simatai Great Wall

Simatai Great Wall is 5.4 km long (3.4 miles) with all together 35 watchtowers. On the east part of Simatai, the elevation goes abruptly up from 295 meters (968 ft) to 986 meters (3235 ft), making a breathtaking scene.

Difficulty when building the Simatai Great Wall

Simatai Great Wall was built along the steep mountain ridges, with Heavenly Ladder and Sky Bridge being the most thrilling parts. Heavenly Ladder is a steep and narrow (about 50cm/1.64ft at its narrowest point) wall that go up 85 degrees to the mountain peak, with cliffs on both sides. At its end is the Sky Bridge, which is not more than 100 meters (328 ft) long, but only 40 cm (1.3 ft) wide. When this part was being constructed, bricks were bundled on goats’ back to the mountaintop.

Diversity of Simatai

Visitors can admire Simatai Great Wall by ropeway, pulley, or boat. Simatai Great Wall is separated into two parts by Simatai Reservoir, over which a chain bridge runs through east to west. Another popular way is hiking. A popular hike is to traverse from Jinshanling to Simatai, which takes about 4 hours.

Dense Watchtowers

The average distance between two watchtowers is 100 – 200 meters (328 – 656 ft), with the nearest two only 44 meters (144 ft) from each other. This is very dense because the average distance is 500 meters (0.3 mile) for the Ming Dynasty Great Wall’s watchtowers.

Trivia

What is interesting along Simatai is that, visitors can find a section laid with bricks carrying inscriptions that recorded the date on which they were made, and the code number of the armies who made them.

History of the Simatai Great Wall

Its construction started in the early Hongwu years (1368-1398) of the Ming Dynasty. Like most sections of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall often visited today, this section was also built under the supervision of General Qi Jiguang (1528 – 1588).

Nearby Attractions

The Gubeikou and Jinshanling sections are only 20 minutes away. Jinshanling to Simatai is a popular hike.