Simatai Great Wall

Simatai Great Wall, Beijing

Simatai Great Wall
4.5
State Parks • Ancient Ruins
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Simatai, a section of the Great Wall of China located in the north of Miyun County, 120 km northeast of Beijing, holds the access to Gubeikou, a strategic pass in the eastern part of the Great Wall. It's one of the most untouched section of the Great Wall which will surely become the highlight of your trip to China!
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.5
482 reviews
Excellent
316
Very good
133
Average
27
Poor
4
Terrible
2

Abusyed
Tianjin, China42 contributions
worth to visit
Jun 2021 • Family
One of the best place to visit, not an normal greatwall as locates in badaling, its special worth to visit , its a only place have.cable car for night view, well preserved. Nigth view something special.
Written 1 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KodoDrummer
Yekaterinburg, Russia64,030 contributions
Awesome Great Wall hiking
Apr 2021
A super hiking experience on remnants of the Great Wall of China. This is one of the greatest wonders of the world. Truly an awesome experience.
Written 25 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stephen C
1,055 contributions
Night view of the Great Wall
Dec 2020 • Couples
Having been to Badaling and Mutianyu sections of the Great Wall, I was therefore looking forward to visit the Simatai section. The added bonus is that there is the option to visit in the evening.

To get to the cable car station for this attraction, we opted to go through Gubei Water Town (see my other review).

I was not disappointed. The night view of the water town from the Wall is spectacular. Only a small section is open for visit in the evenings but still it was worth it as the lights are very nice.
Written 27 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nadia M
21 contributions
ABSOLUTELY THE BEST
Oct 2019
If you want to find the old Great Wall without many tourist, this is the only place you can go. First time I went more than 15 years ago and it is still in my heart
Written 30 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

poeticchampion
Columbus, OH8 contributions
Happy Camper
Mar 2019
I and some Oz friends camped out here in October '95 (disregard the stupid required dropdown that only goes back to March 2019). Very, very rustic back then with no tourist crap yer. We rode on the local mini-bus from Beijing with the Chinese locals, which took about 4 hours one way. There were no tourist buses going there at that time.
The locals still mined the wall for the bricks to build their homes and wall was just sand piles in places.
We built a fire in one of the guard houses and slept there. During the night we got hit with a cold front and it rained. I was froze. But a great time all in all!
Written 6 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

fiasco-ss
Perth, Australia210 contributions
Atmospheric night time Great Wall
Oct 2019
This short section (three towers) is only open in the evening. Access from Gubei Water Town and the Cable car opens at 5pm. In the autumn of October the sun has just set by this time and the wall has been lighted up by staff in advance.
Not much walking involved it is mostly the atmosphere of being there. Maybe you could pack some nibbles and a little drink and lay back and enjoy it.
Okay, it is a slightly novelty Great-Wall experience but it does add to teh overall experience. We stayed overnight in Gubei but you could extend it by a day and enjoy the town more.
Written 30 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MargaretFNov
Adelaide22 contributions
For those seeking self-guided tour on local tourist bus read on to Walk Great Wall your way
Nov 2019
We liked the freedom this gave us to plan a trip that suits our needs. Local bus routes are cheaper, but also takes precious time out of your day. We paid 48 Yuan one way for a tourist bus direct to Gubeikou (Water Town). The bus schedule is set for day trips from Beijing and this allows you time to walk Simatai Great Wall, explore Water Town and if you stay until the last bus back at 9pm you can also see views of the wall lit at night. Water Town is a replica of Wuzhen Water Town in Southern China.

I used Trip.Com app on iPad and phone to book combined tickets for entrance to Water Town and 2-Way Cable Car and entrance to Simatai Great Wall. WeChat is also an app to download and I paid for a short-term Chinese SIM to make sure I had data to access WeChat at any time. This was essential to arrange transport . Trip.com has details in English, you can show the QR code on your phone and overcome a lack of Mandarin. The tickets are only for the day booked. Other posts talk about need to buy in advance, but we could have just bought on arrival in November.

By car park where bus stops is a building to drop off any luggage for free and clean toilets to use. If organising pick up for accommodation outside Water Town, please note you may need to walk a little way up the road to meet them (I think this was to avoid paying entrance fee for the car). We waited by the luggage storage and they then helped us back up to the car.
Written 28 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Francismlee
Singapore137 contributions
Best section of Wall IMHO
Dec 2019 • Family
Visited on a weekday morning and there was no more than 5 other people on with us. Took the cable car (recommended) up to Tower 5 before exploring the remaining 9 Towers. If you don’t have young kids, you don’t really need the return cable car ticket as it’s a manageable walk back to start of trail

Some sections have merely centimetres of wall left at the sides so it’s strongly encouraged to keep close watch on young ones
Written 25 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Liz P
Sydney, Australia66 contributions
An awesome challenge
Oct 2019
We did 5 days of the Great Wall in 5 very different sections. No spoiler alert required. It IS how it looks in all the photos but much harder to trek in parts.
You MUST take plenty of water and a good idea to take snacks/ protein bars/ pieces of fruit such as bananas, mandarins. Carry some toilet paper ladies.We trekked during golden week and 2 sections of the wall were extremely crowded and it was hot hot hot. Ask around when you arrive i Beijing how to get to lesser known and less crowded parts of the wall, 2000 years old in parts and decaying but worth the effort.
We used trekking poles on 2 days of old difficult sections. No poles required on restored parts, lots of energy on every section and plenty of time to enjoy your surroundings.
All in all it was awesome and challenging.
Written 24 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

David Morgan
Perth, Australia50 contributions
Express Bus to Great Wall Simatai (司马台长城)From Dongzhimen (东直门)
Nov 2019
Firstly, sincere thanks to 748joshh of Los Angeles, California. I think he has provided the best description of how best to get to The Great Wall - Simatai (司马台长城)。
Given his description is two years old, I thought I reiterate my experiences based on the knowledge 748joshh supplied. I will however only discuss the express (direct) bus option.

The express bus leaves from the Dongzhimen (东直门) District and is best reached by Subway Line 2 (the blue inner circle line) and using Exit B. This will take you up into, or in front of, the Dongzhimen Bus Terminal. You DO NOT want this. Instead walk east (see map) along the main street Dongzhimen Wai (东直门外街) until you reach the first crossroad – Dongzhimenwai Xie Street (东直门外斜截) and turn north (left). Stay on the west side of the road and follow the road for about 400 – 500 meters. You should then see an open bus station and there is a blue signpost on the first corner (see picture) that says Dongzhimen to Beijing Wtown (Express Line) in Chinese AND English. The bus was actually parked on the road and not in the bus station. In the front of the bus was a moderately large sign (see picture) displaying in Chinese and English ‘Gubei Water Town (古北水镇)’ and Simatai Great Wall (司马台长城) to Dongzhimen (东直门)48 元 (i.e. the cost is 48 Yuan in cash or WeChat / Alipay. No bankcard)

I have attached a timetable posted inside the bus. Ignore the Beijing South Railway station columns. 周一到周五 = ‘Monday to Friday’ and the other column is the weekend timetable. Having said that the buses leave on-the-hour on Saturday morning, my bus left at 08:30. The bus took about 1 hour and 45 minutes and arrived at the Number 2 (lower) carpark (see picture). PLEASE NOTE that the latest departure time back on this express bus was 15:00 (3 pm). If you catch an early bus then this gives you over 4 hours, enough to see the Great Wall but probably not enough to see The Wall and the Water Village.

If you’re ONLY going to see the Great Wall, then there’s a few other things to realise. Firstly, there’s a separate ticket office off to the left as you approach the main entrance. The easiest thing to do is go to the Information Counter (this is clearly marked) and ask where The Great Wall Ticket Counter is. At the The Great Wall Ticket Counter you can purchase your entry fee (40 Yuan) +/- the cable car. After you’ve purchased your ticket what comes next is IMPORTANT if you’ve decided NOT to see the Water Town. You HAVE to catch a bus (i.e, you cannot walk) through the Water Town to The Great Wall Entry Point. Similarly, we you come back you HAVE to do the same thing. However, when you are coming back, IMPORTANTLY you meet the bus at a different point. You must walk about 80 meters further down the hill, to wait inside a hallway adjacent to the gates. Don’t be an idiot like me and wait at the top of the hill where you were dropped off for 40 minutes! The bus is supposed to run every hour, but the timetables seemed to mean very little. By the middle of the day as there were many more people the buses seemed to run 10 minutely.

Good luck, the effort is worth every kuai.
Written 9 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Simatai Great Wall

Simatai Great Wall is open:
  • Sun - Sat 08:00 - 17:00
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