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Simatai vs Jinshanling

Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
18 posts
3 reviews
Simatai vs Jinshanling

Hello everybody.

I have a couple of doubts about my trip to the Great Wall.

I'll visit Beijing between the 11th and the 17th of December and I'm planning to visit the Great Wall when the forecasted weather looks decent.

I read all about differences of all the sections and I slimmed down to two options which are Simatai and Jinshanling because I'd like to see a less touristy section of the wall but open to the public and easy to get to (my hotel organizes bus tours to Jinshaling and there's a bus from Beijing to Simatai water town).

I understand that the Jinshanling section was recently reopened after a year long renovation work. The pictures before the renovating process are stunning but I'm afraid I may not have the same opinion now that has been reopened. I'm having trouble finding recent pictures and see what has really changed.

I also know that Simatai has a decent mix between renovations and ancient section of the wall but also has a "ghost" tourist water town nearby that tries to attract tourist and also needs a reservation to get to the wall.

Recent pictures show Simatai as a not so renovated part of the wall and reviews are great while I read someone in this forum writing about not having the same feeling about Jinshanling as years ago.

At the moment I think Simatai may be a better option but can anyone give me an advice about this? Thank you very much.

3 replies to this topic
Europe
Level Contributor
3,400 posts
149 reviews
1. Re: Simatai vs Jinshanling

I can't compare as I only visited Jinshanling.

The what you call 'ghost' Watertown at Simatai is an entirely artificial creation, called Gubei, a Chinese Disney that charges a significant entrance fee.

We walked Jinshanling last month in the week after it opened and it was heaven. We were mostly by itself. The main entrance was still under construction so the crowds haven't arrived yet. But once they are done the infrastructure (parking etc) is ready to receive massive crowds of tour buses. Go now!

If you want unrestored, untouristy Wild Wall you should go to Gubeikou. It's next to Jinshanling. No ticket booths, no souvenir sellers, no tour buses, just 1000 year old wall.

If you overnight in gubeikou you can do one day at Gubeikou and one in jinshanling.

Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
18 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Simatai vs Jinshanling

Hi. Thank you for your answer. I would like to visit something like Gubeikou but I really don't know how to reach the place and I'm a little worried about safety but I don't know if I should even worried about that.

I'd look into that anyway.

About Jinshanling I read your post about not having a different experience from the pictures that you saw of the place.. so do you think the renovation was pretty good? ;)

thank you.

Europe
Level Contributor
3,400 posts
149 reviews
3. Re: Simatai vs Jinshanling

> I really don't know how to reach the place and I'm a little worried about safety

I don't understand the safety concerns. Safe in which way?

You get to Gubeikou public transport. Very easy.

Best thing is to stay at Great Wall Box House in Gubeikou who cater to independent travellers and can help with transport and guidance. They've got excellent ratings on TA

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